By Lanre Adesanya
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed signaled the poise of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to welcome Sen. Goodwill Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader, to the party, nothing that Senate President Bukola Saraki basis for defection were unfounded.
On the rumours making the round about the defection of the Senate Minority Leader from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to APC.
Mohammed faulted the intendment of most defectors from the ruling party, stating that it was purely borne of selfish interest rather than love for the Nigerian project.
“I welcome it (defection of 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 the assertion that the bait of inducement for Akpabio was the possibility he being positioned for the position of the Senate President, Mohammed said,” that I don’t know”.
Mohammed also discountenanced the defection gale that brought some governors, state and federal lawmakers to the main opposition party, PDP, citing it as nothing to worry about.
According to him,there have been so much hype about this defection, and to me it’s nothing but a storm in a tea cup. 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 order words, today in Sokoto State, what’s the electoral value of those who have decamped?
He noted that the foundation for the defection was laid the moment Dr Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President against the wish of the party which affected the relationship between the executive and legislative arms.
He said that since the day 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 the allegation of Saraki being allegedly sidelined and the claim of lopsided appointment of Kwarans in 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 22.
On those complaining of not being given juicy appointment, 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 surprise that we have been fair to all.