Lai Mohammed speaks on Akpabio’s expected defection
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Sunday described the recent defection of some governors and lawmakers from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as nothing but a storm in a teacup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there have been rumours making the round about the defection of the Senate Minority Leader, Goodwill Akpabio, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC.
Mr Mohammed, however, told journalists in Lagos that those who left the ruling party did so for personal interests.
“I welcome it (defection of Mr Akpabio) because all politics is local. All those who have left us did that for purely personal reasons.
“Since they say politics is a game of number, of course we welcome gladly the defection of the minority leader. Like they say, it is one-one goalless draw.”
On whether Mr Akpabio was being positioned for the position of the Senate President, Mr Mohammed said “that I don’t know”.
Mr Mohammed said the recent defection of some governors, state and federal lawmakers to the main opposition party, PDP, was nothing to worry about.
“There have been so much hype about this defection, and to me it’s nothing but a storm in a teacup. We must appreciate the fact that at the end of the day, all politics is local.
“One should ask, what is the electoral value of these decampees? In other words, today in Sokoto State, what’s the electoral value of those who have decamped,” he asked?
According to him, the foundation for the defection has been laid the moment Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President against the wish of the party which affected the relationship between the executive and legislative arms.
The minister said that since the day Mr Saraki lobbied the opposition party to become the senate president, the relationship between the executive and legislature had been turbulent.
“In fact, we could not have suffered more as an executive in the hands of the legislature if a PDP person had been the senate president,” he said.
On allegation of lopsided appointment of Kwara people in Mr Buhari’s administration, Mohammad described it as unfounded.
He said that no fewer than 24 indigenes of Kwara were given federal appointments of which he (Mohammed) only recommended two while the Senate President recommended 20.
On those complaining of not being given juicy appointments, the minister said that people complaining were not ready to serve and turn things around but eyeing what to steal.
“It is not true that a particular part of the country is being favoured against the other.
“I challenge anybody to go to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and take out the list of appointees under this administration.”
“You will be surprised that we have been fair to all,” the minister said.