There is a time-honoured saying among the Igbo that a man who does not know where the rain began to beat him cannot say where he dried his body. APC chieftain and acclaimed leader of the party in Kwara State, Alhaji Lai Muhammed must be wondering just where the rain of disaffection among party faithful began to beat him. At the current rate, he is in danger of totally losing his hold on the state and turning into a ceremonial figurehead with little loyalty and love and less power.
This was borne out during the annual Ramadan Lecture organized by the Minister of Information and Culture in his native Oro, Kwara. On the D-day of the event which was advertised and proclaimed beforehand with so much fanfare, Lai Muhammed was struck with a deadly political blow that resonated throughout the state and beyond. The top party faithful in the state who were expected to grace the occasion by default were conspicuously absent. Rows of empty seats earmarked for them gave the whole thing a funereal ambience.
And Lai? Terrible was his anger at the public display of spite and grievance. His ire towered to the skies and came crashing down on his associates who had the unenviable task of trying to pour water to douse the flames of intra-party conflict that only blazed brighter after the episode. The rebellion against what many perceive as Lai’s high handedness seems to be well and truly afoot.
Even the state chairman of the party Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa and his wife merely paid him surface courtesy on the matter: they arrived very late just as the event was wrapping up. They were not the only ones. The list of those who failed to show up at all, some throwing flippant excuses into the bargain. This is despite the invitation letters being dispatched a month before the event.
The genesis of the disaffection with the man known to be a close associate of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a knot with many tangles but one important thread is the rumour he has been picked to return as the sole minister from Kwara in the next dispensation. This development didn’t go down well with party stalwarts, many of whom still regard him as an usurper who rode on the backs of the powers that be to assume the mantle of party leadership in the state.
Insiders revealed that Lai in a bid to spare himself the coming embarrassment frantically made calls and pleas to the APC leading lights in Kwara including the incoming governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasak. The latter allegedly promised to show up but did not honour that promise. Others like Arch Lola Ashiru, Senator Ajadi, Ajibola ,Yahaya Oloriegbe, Moshood Mustapha, Cook Gani Olododo, Yinka Aluko and others also left the minister high and dry with their absence. The show managed to go on, but it was just like a blockbuster movie that turned out to be a D-grade flick. No wonder the minister is angry.