Nigeria: I Didn't Insult Ilorin Emirate - Lai Mohammed

6 December 2018

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has denied ever making derogatory comments against the Ilorin Emirate.

Mohammed denied that he referred to the Ilorin Emirate as political Berlin Wall of Kwara politics, which has now fallen.

Rather, the minister said his attack was at best against the political dynasty of the Senate president, Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

According to a statement personally signed by him, the minister noted that indeed, he mentioned the Berlin Wall in his speech at the victory rally in his country home of Oro, but insisted that the statement was in reference to the stranglehold of the Saraki dynasty on Kwara politics.

"My attention has been drawn to a press conference addressed by the Ilorin Emirate Magaji/Alangua Forum in Ilorin on Tuesday, 4 Dec. 2018, during which I was alleged to have said that the 'Berlin Wall' of the Ilorin Emirate had been broken by the outcome of the 17 Nov. 2018 by-election in the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency of Kwara State.

"While it is indeed true that I mentioned the Berlin Wall in my speech at the victory rally in my country home in Oro on Sunday, 18 Nov. 2018, it was undoubtedly in reference to the stranglehold of the Saraki political dynasty on Kwara politics. Not once did I mention the Ilorin Emirate during that speech, and I challenge anyone who has any evidence to the contrary to release such. It is instructive that the news item that was referenced by those who made the allegation never mentioned Ilorin Emirate or made any reference to the traditional institution," he said.

According to the statement, those who tried to introduce the mischievous narrative into the polity did so in shameful desperation to support fading political warlords in the state.

"It is safe to conclude, therefore, that those who tried to inject the Ilorin Emirate into the whole issue acted out of shameful desperation. This is not a surprise, considering that they are yet to recover from the devastating defeat that they suffered in the by-election," he added.

Mohammed however, declared that he hold the Ilorin Emirate in high esteem and would never have acted to drag the Emirate into disrepute.

He said, "For the record, I hold the Ilorin Emirate, and indeed all our nation's traditional institutions, in very high esteem, and will never do anything to bring them to disrepute. No candidate for any political office in Kwara State will downplay the importance of the Ilorin Emirate, which is a father to all. Those who are grappling at straws, having realised that their hegemonic hold on Kwara State is coming to an end, are the instigators of this lie from hell that the Berlin Wall of the Emirates has been broken."

Mohammed, urged traditional chiefs of the revered Ilorin Emirate not to allow themselves to be used for political partisanship.

"The traditional chiefs who echoed the fake news concocted by the fading political warlords of Kwara should be wary of doing anyone's hatchet jobs. They should not allow themselves to be used to denigrate the revered Ilorin Emirate, which should be absolutely non partisan.

The traditional chiefs must realise that it is only by standing up for truth and justice that they can most effectively play their role of maintaining the 'ever solid wall of peace, unity, progress and stability' in the Emirate.

The defeat suffered by the tormentors of Kwara on 17 Nov. 2018 is a sign of what they should expect in the forthcoming general elections in the state. No amount of lies or other acts of desperation will save them from imminent defeat. Power flows from the people, and it is clear that the people of Kwara have totally rejected those who have appropriated the state's commonwealth to themselves to the detriment of the long suffering people of Kwara State," the minister stated.

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