One –on-one- with Lai Mohammed | “The biggest way to make money today in Nigeria is by endorsing GEJ” + ‘Real Reason why PDP is afraid of election’

Alhaji Lai Mohammed with Asabeafrika’s Gbenga Dan Asabe after the encounter
I was actually on my way to the
barber’s shop for a shave on Wednesday March 4th when a senior
colleague informed me about the presence of All Progressive Congress (APC) stalwart and national publicity
secretary/spokesman of Nigeria’s biggest opposition party Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was planning to meet a very few selected
members of the press including my colleague somewhere in Ikeja.

Sensing the
importance of his personality and his position on issues of national interest
in recent times, I decided it was good to tag along with my senior friend and
make the appointment together.

The encounter was initially to hold at
Protea Hotel GRA Ikeja but we came
behind the scheduled time and the man was gone.  My senior colleague quickly put a call to one
of his aides who invited us over to another location in same GRA which turned
out to be his office. On getting there, we met a crew of electronic journalists
from a Lagos based television station who must have equally been there for the
same reason as us. We were later led into the reception arena of his moderate
office where we sat until he rounded up with the TV men.  The lawyer turned politician later came out
and on getting to know I was not on his schedule for the day, he did a kind of
psychological search to know my reason for daring to meet him. It was the first
time we were meeting on this note and I understood his fears as well. I gave
him quality reasons why I came for him and what it meant to hear from him at
this season of political mongering in Nigeria. For real, Lai Mohammed is one of the biggest issues in what can be termed
“The downstream sector of Nigerian politics” and I had a number of questions for
him.
 For instance, a day earlier, the PDP
Presidential Campaign Organization spokesman, Chief Femi Fani Kayode had threatened a N5billion law suit on Lai
Mohammed
over the latter’s comments that the former should go for a medical
check up to ascertain if he is mentally okay. This was as a result of Fani Kayode’s recent jabbing on APC and
its political leaders. A week earlier, the same Femi Fani Kayode was alleged to have told a gathering that Lai Mohammed wears diapers! Whatever that means, I wanted Lai to clarify it as true or lie.
 There were issues like the one of President Jonathan’s desperate
campaigns in the South West, and the implication of the postponement of the
February 14th elections by six weeks on Lai Mohammed’s party. Questions! Questions! Questions! Good enough,
he got along with me and we later became friendly that he ended up sharing two
jokes on General Buhari with me.
Find a good spot for yourself and read the story of our encounter with Alhaji Lai Mohammed on your soar away
Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika.
Enjoy!

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’There are bigger issues to discuss than Femi Fani Kayode’

 Kindly tell this blog how you feel with the
way politics is being played at the moment in Nigeria?
Well,
I will say I feel very worried I feel very concerned that some forces are bent
on not letting us have a free, fair and credible election. The hallmark of
democracy is not necessarily the provision of infrastructure, free education,
affordable health care and a buoyant economy. We have many governments in the
world that has been able to deliver in terms of infrastructure, a better way of
life and general development of the citizens but the irony of it all is that
some of these governments are not even democracies. A very good example that
comes to mind is Saudi Arabia. The
real hallmark of democracy is that power really resides with the people; they
have the right to use that power not just to elect a leader of their choice but
if that leader also fails to perform, to show him the way out. I think this is
one area we have been unable to achieve so far in Nigeria and until that
happens, then we don’t have a democracy because if democracy is really about
the people choosing their own leader or leaders to direct their affairs, then the
people should also have the right to show their displeasure when things are not
favorable to them.  What is particularly
instructive about these 2015 elections is that, it is probably about the first
time in the history of Nigeria that the people will come out openly to express
their dissatisfaction with a ruling government. In the history of this country,
no ruling government has gone into elections so thoroughly unpopular, so
thoroughly discredited like the PDP. And this why we are worried, we are
worried that this government is not ready to respect the wishes of the people. 

“In the history of this country, no
ruling government has gone into elections so thoroughly unpopular, so
thoroughly discredited like the PDP. And this why we are worried, we are
worried that this government is not ready to respect the wishes of the people”. 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’In the history of Nigeria no rulling government has gone into election so thoroughly unpopular like PDP’

Reasons why GEJ shifted elections
What is your candid opinion to the
postponement of the election?
The
postponement was primarily to give them more time to perfect their rigging
machineries, give them more time to throw more money into the campaign. Give
them more time to continue and intensify their smear campaigns against our
leaders as we are seeing today. To give them more time, weather they can get Buhari disqualified. As I am speaking
today, there are ten cases against him, which they are using to try to
disqualify him. It is to give them time to buy more PVC cards, it is to give
them more time to see how they can compromise the card reader, give them more
time to see how they can sack Jega.
All these unfortunately, will not put Nigeria in a good light in the comity of
nations. They (PDP) are behaving as if it is a matter of life and death;
politics should not be done that way. If a government has been in power for
five to six years like they have been, their records should speak for them.
They should campaign on their records. On the contrary, they can’t campaign on
their records. There are three issues that have single out this government as
not being qualified for election. One is insecurity; two is corruption while
the third centers on the economy. As I am speaking to you today, a dollar is
exchanging for N228, the implication
of that is that any small business man who use to bring in good at N160 to a dollar in the past, will need
50% more to bring in the same goods. And of course it is going to affect me and
you as well. Now, it means that many contractors will be unable to meet their targets;
it means many small businesses will be wiped out. This government has failed in
the area of economic development. There is rampant unemployment everywhere.
There is hardship. This government has also failed in the area of insecurity.
They want us to forget that as we are speaking today, there is over two hundred
and something of our girls still missing. We must ask this question ‘What has
happened to them?’ They have tried in the last few days to see weather they can
bring about some manipulations. It is too little, too late. If he has acted
faster than now, probably we would not have had the number of casualties we
have had. There is nothing you can do now that can bring back those who are
dead. Then on the issue of corruption, corruption used to walk with its two
feet in the corridor of power but right now, it lives in the villa. And when we
talk about corruption, we are not talking about small corruption we are talking
about humongous corruption. Over N2.6
trillion
Naira was uncovered in
subsidy scam, as I speaking to you, not one single person has been convicted.
And who are those that have been implicated in the fuel subsidy scam? They are
the sons and relations of PDP chieftains. One of the reasons today, you have
fuel scarcity is caused by the same corruption because there is this N12 billion dollars domestic gas
project which has been looted by this administration.

“They removed every other billboard
including commercial billboards and placed Jonathan’s
billboards
there. This is part of the impunity of this government. I will
tell you this for free; the love of people for change cannot be defeated by the
presence of posters and billboards. Let them erect billboards, billboards don’t
vote. Human beings do”

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’For PDP to accused APC of being responsible for Petrol scarcity shows how bad they have lost focus’
How N12B Gas Project was looted…
Can you tell us more about the
project? 
This
project was to encourage Nigerians to use gas for their cooking, for generators
so that our dependence on kerosene, diesel and premium motor spirit (PMS) will
be less.  This money was looted. Two,
they have been unable to pay the (Oil) marketers’ bill, the outstanding N2.6 billion because of corruption. The
oil marketers are now saying they cannot bring in new products, they are saying
they are now going to pay them hundred percent of N2.6 billion. That might not even solve the problem. So, these are
the issues that we want to discuss and we have brought to the public domain.
This is why the people of Nigeria don’t want this government again.
But the People’s Democratic Party
(PDP) said it is you guys that are behind the petrol scarcity across the
country, so why do you think the PDP said so?
You
see, when a government is on the throes of death like this particular
government, it is so punch-drunk
that it cannot even coordinate it responses. Look at the responses and the
actions of PDP in the last couple of months; one would think that the
opposition is already in power. You will think we are already in power. How can
you come out and blame opposition for the scarcity of fuel? Number one, who
approves those that bring in the product? Who pays them? Who appoints them? Who
is in charge of NNPC? Two, if you are a serious government and you are able to
discover that somebody is sabotaging you, what do you do? You punish the
person. But they are so confused that today, even if their wives have a
miscarriage, they will say it is APC. This clearly shows that this government
has vacated its responsibilities and they will look for any excuse to blame
everybody but themselves.

“Eyan meji o kin padanu iro; ti eni
ton ban paa fun o ba mo, eni ton pa mo”. In order words, two people cannot be
casualties of a lie. If the person who is being told the lie does not know,
then the person telling the lie knows”

The PDP Presidential Campaign
Organization Chairman, Femi Fani Kayode yesterday threatened to sue you for
N5billion naira for telling him to examine his head over his reckless comments
on you and your party?
(Cuts
in) I will rather we don’t dwell on the issue of Femi Fani Kayode, there are more national issues to discuss. If he wants
to go to court, we will meet in court.
Why Buhari’s campaign billboard are
not allowed in Abuja…
Recently I was in Abuja and right
from the Airport down to the center of the Federal Capital Territory, all major
streets in the capital city had the banners & billboards of the PDP
Presidential candidate President Goodluck Jonathan and none for your party’s
candidate except in probably obscured areas. What do you think is responsible
for this?
Number
one, if posters will win elections, this election would have been determined
long ago. But posters don’t win elections. The preponderance of Jonathan’s
posters in Abuja is clearly the product of their illegality. Way before INEC
gave the go ahead for political parties to campaign; they (PDP) have been using
TAN (Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria) to buy over all the spaces which
made it impossible for us (APC) to be there. Two, you know they have a war
chest, which is the product of their corruption. If you are looking for where
our $20 billion dollars is, that is
where it is. If you are looking for where the N245 Billion pension scam is, that is it; if you are looking for
where our N2.6 trillion subsidy scam
is, this is what they have been doing with it. It is a combination of profiting
from doing illegality. And when they came to Lagos here, they used the federal might to take some strategic
spaces because they say that they control the third mainland bridge. They removed every other billboard including
commercial billboards and placed Jonathan’s
billboards
there. This is part of the impunity of this government. I will
tell you this for free; the love of people for change cannot be defeated by the
presence of posters and billboards. Let them erect billboards, billboards don’t
vote. Human beings do. And from the calls of Nigerians today, weather in the
market place, weather in buses, weather in the local bars or cafeterias, they
want change.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’In a Democracy people must be given the right to show their displeasure when leaders fail’

What postponement has done for APC…
Before the postponement of the
elections, the tempo was very high in support of your party APC but since the
postponement and like you said earlier, the using of federal might by Mr.
Jonathan to upturn the popularity of your party, do you think that has affected
the esteem of your party?
You
see, unfortunately for the President, I think the PDP and the president lost
more supporters due to the postponement. That is the honest truth; many people
who were undecided decided in the favor of Buhari
the moment the postponement came because they asked “What are you afraid
of?”, Two, yes, I agree with you like I said before, they realized that they
were going to lose the election if it took place on the 14th of
February. But you see, you can only postpone the funeral you can’t wake up the
dead person. PDP is dead in the mind of Nigerians. Yes, he (Jonathan) has been
going round the South west and everywhere but people are just taking his money,
they are not changing their mind. I have absolutely no quarrel with anybody but
when they say some people are the Yoruba leaders, I ask ‘would they tell me who
I am going to vote for, would they tell you who you are going to vote for?’ So,
let them go and collect their terminal benefits from Jonathan. That is what
they are doing. But on our own part what are we doing to correct the misdeed?,
we went to Chatam House in the UK to
raise awareness because this election, yes, it will be decided by Nigerians but
will be largely influenced by international opinion. I think the outing of General Buhari was very successful both
internationally and locally.  Now, we are
going to resume our campaign at the end of this week but even at that, we have
been busy holding town hall meetings, we have been busy, sensitizing our people
because at the end of the day, all politics is local and rallies are just to sensitize.
The real work is going from house to house and we have not relented in this.
Mimiko has sold a bad content to the Yorubas
Recently, Ondo state Governor Segun
Mimiko convened a meeting of Yoruba elders where names like Ayo Adebanjo,
Federick Fasheun, Olu Falae, Gani Adams and the rest endorsed President
Goodluck Jonathan for a second time after passing a vote of confidence on him.
How does the role of this “Yoruba Leaders” make you feel as the opposition’s
spokesman?
Unfortunately
in this country, we attach a lot of importance to label and not content. I have
asked many cerebral Yoruba people, I said ‘Are they speaking for you?’ and they
laughed. Well, these endorsements don’t come cheap either. Let them enjoy
themselves.  When it comes to election,
they will all vote in their pooling booths and I will like to see the results
from their pooling boots.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’The Love of People for Change cannot be defeated by the presence of posters and billboard’

Why APC is against using Army for
election…
The issue of using the army to
conduct the election is a very big one on the front burner, what is the
position of your party on this considering the atmosphere of election in
Nigeria?
There
are two reasons why we said the military should not be part of elections. One,
the court of appeal has upheld the decision of a federal high court, saying
that the deployment of soldiers for elections is illegal. What we expect the
government to do is to appeal that decision. But if that decision is not
appealed then, that is our law today. I think this is a government that prides
itself as being a government of rule of law, they cannot bring out soldiers. After
all just yesterday (March 3) the same court of appeal dismissed a petition
challenging the eligibility of the president to contest election and they
celebrated it. So, you can’t pick one ruling to obey and disobey another one
from the same source of law. So, for a president and a government that is pride
itself on the rule of law, unless that decision is appealed, they cannot use
soldiers. Two, our experience of the secret tape of Captain Koli in Ekiti
has shown that it is not even in the best interest of the soldiers themselves
to be exposed to election duties because they were used there to rig election
and in the process they were humiliated; a whole General was being rubbished
and being insulted. So, these are the reasons why we won’t expect the soldiers
to be used for the election and we have cried out to the international
community. That one, our laws will not allow it. Two; that the soldiers by the
definitions of their role in national service are not to pilot elections.
Why Fayose, Fani Kayode are acting
“Funny”..
Ekiti state governor, Peter Ayodele
Fayose seems to be the lone voice in the PDP wilderness shooting heavy missiles
on your candidate and by extension your party. How do you tag such a political
one man riot squad?
It
is very clear; he knows his government is standing on a very, very week feet
especially in the aftermath of the disclosure and exposure of the tape of the
rigging of Ekiti election and the
interview granted Sahara Reporters
by Captain Koli. So, he is battling
for his life and he is trying to divert attention from the real issue which
unfortunately will not allow him, to seek the truth. So, his actions are
diversionary.
But we equally learnt that the real
objective of the PDP government was to employ Chief Femi Fani Kayode to counter
most of your activities in the APC. Do you think he is doing a fine job of
that?
I
think I will rather leave that to the public to decide but the only thing we
only say is this, ‘show me your friend and I will know who you are. This same Fani Kayode has on several occasions
lambasted the president; on several occasions he has said that the man is unfit
to be re-elected, now, he is the same person who is at the forefront of his
campaign. Well, we take solace in what General
Obasanjo
wrote about him (Fani Kayode) that ‘He is my boy, give him food
and he will do whatever you want him to do’.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed shares a joke with his guests

We have no relationship with JEGA….
It seems there have been a sense of
sustained advocacy from your party and majority of Nigerians to keep INEC
chairman, Professor Atahiru Jega in office despite the fact that cronies of the
ruling PDP want him out. What is the cost of this action on the part of the
opposition?
Let
me make it clear to you today, there is absolutely no relationship between us and
Jega. We have no contact with Jega except the contact that all
political parties have with him, officially. However, we stand by the law. The
senate, which is the highest executive body in Nigeria invited Jega to demonstrate the use of the card
readers and he did, they were convinced. Two, we suspect strongly that if you
refuse Jega today and you bring
another person there, that person might say ‘I am not ready to conduct election
because of XYZ reasons’. So, we are saying don’t remove Jega not because we are interested in Jega as a person but because we don’t want any excuses for
elections to be postponed. Thirdly, is that, it has never happened before in
the history of this country that you are going to remove the chairman of the
electoral commission on the eve of an election; that will not bring credibility
to our elections. These are the reasons, they are not personal. But of course
people have been saying all sorts of things; they said we have met him in Dubai and up till now he has not been
able to tell us who met him and where. And the week we were supposed to have
met him, Jega was also in Abuja. So
this are our reasons, it is not personal about Jega.  And by the way, is it
not the same Jega that has been the
real poster boy of this government, a man they commended the way he handled all
elections? So what are they afraid of now? Two things, they are afraid to
convince him not to use the PVC and the card reader. Two, they are afraid that
as long as Jega is there, he will
insist on card reader being used. But this is the law, why are they suddenly
afraid? I have never seen a government afraid of election like this one;
looking for every reason to postpone elections.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’For PDP to accused APC of being responsible for Petrol scarcity shows how bad they have lost focus’

The latest scam in town is telling
lies to Jonathan….
Going back to the endorsement
strategy of Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo state and using OPC leader Frederick
Faseun and others to endorse Jonathan, do you believe OPC has up to 6 million
members as it alleged?
You
know there is a Yoruba adage which says “Eyan
meji o kin padanu iro; ti eni ton ban paa fun
o ba mo, eni ton pa mo”. In order words, two people cannot be
casualties of a lie. If the person who is being told the lie does not know,
then the person telling the lie knows. Look, you see the biggest scam and the
fastest way to make money today in Nigeria is endorsing Jonathan. It is the biggest business in town. So many people are
falling over themselves. If there are six million OPCs in Nigeria, that must be
the biggest organization in Nigeria. But like I said, the biggest way to make
money in Nigeria right now is to endorse Goodluck
Jonathan
and the man (Faseun) is a good marketer, he wants more money for
his group, so why should we stop him from making his fortune in a time like
this?

Alhaji Lai Mohammed gist with the GDA after the encounter

Don’t Praise me for my job…
Following history at recent times,
only few people have been able to sit long on a hot seat like yours and succeed
at what they do. How is Lai Mohammed doing it to be so strong till now?
No,
I think you are being unfair. That is not a fair question. I have been
extremely lucky; I have enjoyed such tremendous goodwill from the party and as
well from the media. And don’t give credit of everything I say to just me
alone, I receive a lot of suggestions, information from party members and
Nigerians at large. I am just a spokes person that is what I am.
Senator Simon Ajibola will fail in
Kwara…..
Let’s take you back to Kwara state,
last year I met and interviewed your kinsman Senator Simon Ajibola in Lagos and
because he happens to be the longest serving senator in the state from Kwara
South, he told me PDP was going to take Kwara in 2015, do you think the threat
is real now that Senator Simon Ajibiola is the PDP flag bearer in Kwara state?
Incidentally
I come from the same part of Kwara
as he comes from and I can practically tell you that he didn’t do anything good
in Kwara South.
But he told me he took care of
teachers and equally gave scholarships to indigent students?
Tell
Ajibola to tell us what he has done
for Kwara South in ten years of
being in the senate; he should tell us. He should tell Nigerians. But you see,
he must say something to you to make his dream look real but I can assure you
that Ajibola will lose massively in
his own area because that is where I come from.

The GDA and Mr. Paul Ukpabio of The Nation Newspaper in a heart-to-heart with Lai Mohammed

What People don’t know about Lai
Mohammed
Can you tell us about your style?
What does style mean to you?
I
am very conservative, I guess. I like to be decent, that is me. I am a very
conservative person when it comes to style. That is what I am.
You appear to me like someone that
loves books, can you tell me the best book you ever read that changed your
opinion for life and also prepared you for this job?
I
can’t remember immediately but you see, don’t forget that my first degree is in
French before I went to read law.
And my very first job between 1978 and 1986 was as the head of public relations
at the Murthala Muhammed
(International) Airport. So, I have
been doing this for long, it is a fairly familiar territory and my legal
background has also helped a lot in my work and having being a public figure in
terms of being a public servant; and having been a Chief of Staff to Asiwaju
Bola Ahmed Tinubu
and having being involved in party administration for
quite a while, I think this also helps because it makes it gives me easy access
to both the party, media and society. So, I think I have been extremely
fortunate. Nigeria has given me a lot; the country has given me an opportunity
to be able to realize my potentials and one of the things that motivates some
of us, is that we believe that the country has given us so much and we must
give back to the country. In my days in the university, there was no fear at
all in your mind as to job prospects. As a matter of fact I remember in our
days, they used to come and interview us for jobs; we use to pick and choose.
Of course it was not unusual for you to have two or three offers before you
leave the university. Today, we want to return Nigeria to that part of glory.
That is the motivation for many of us and that is why we believe that we need
this change. We need a more purposeful; we need a more dedicated patriotic
leadership.

The APC Spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

How APC will save Nigeria….
If APC comes to the seat of power in
Abuja come May 29th, do you see that CHANGE taking place almost immediately
due to the expectation of Nigerians?
You
see, we have also been worried and concerned, not about our ability to bring
back this change but by the kind of expectation from the people. People have
such a high expectation of this new government that it bothers and worries us
sometimes too. I remember I was on a campaign train to Makurdi and I always have the memory of this young man in Makurdi who stood before the poster of General Muhammadu Buhari and he was
talking to the poster. That action frightened me; which means that we must hit
the ground running. We are not going to have a very long honey moon with
Nigerians, because they expect us to be able to fix this country within the
shortest time. But one thing we are sure of is that more often than not, the
appearance on the scene of a morally upright person has a way of calming
nerves. Has a way of even turning over your economy immediately. It will even affect
the value of your currency. So, we believe that we have such a purpose-driven
figure in General Muhammad Buhari.
We have that figure that will be a calming influence on Nigerians. But if you
now take the trouble to look at our manifestoes, we intend immediately we come
into power, to create three million jobs. These three million jobs will be
created by investing in massive public works programs like housing, roads,
railway networks and schools. Because the easiest way to eradicate poverty is
to create employment; we also immediately intends to create safety nets for the
twenty-five million most vulnerable Nigerians by making sure that we start the
first phase of the social security payment to people above 70 years old,
unemployed graduates, we will be paying them  because we need relief before reforms. If we
don’t relieve them, many of them might be dead before reform comes.  Now people have asked us ‘where would you get
the money to do all these?

Lai Mohammed…..’The Postponement of the election cost PDP more casualties than APC’

(Cuts in) I was equally going to ask?
Yes,
we do agree that the price of crude oil has gone down but I will tell you this.
When you look at the trillions of naira that has been lost in wasteful
spending, in profligacy, in corruption and theft, it is more than enough to
begin some of these social programs. For instance, N2.6 trillion is what
was involved in fuel subsidy scam; people don’t seem to understand what N2.6 trillion Naira translates to in terms of value. You see one million
in one thousand places is one billion. One billion in one thousand places is
one trillion; that in other words, if today, let’s even assume for the purpose
of our standard in Nigeria, if it cost one million naira to seek one borehole,
with one billion you are going to sink a thousand borehole.  With one trillion we are going to have one
thousand boreholes times one thousand. That is the kind of money we are talking
about. Now let’s say it cost you a million dollars for one kilometer of road;
so, for one billon dollars which is just two hundred billion naira, you are
going to have a thousand kilometers of road. For two trillion naira, we could
have ten thousand kilometers of first class roads. Another N245 billion naira has been lost in the pension scam not to talk
about the $20 billion dollars Sanusi
said is missing or the ten billion naira
scam involving the minister of petroleum. So, if you look at all these monies
that are being stolen or you look at the fact that we are told that between a
hundred and fifty and two hundred thousand barrels of crude is stolen per day.
What is stolen in Nigeria is equivalent of the productive economy of some
countries like Equatorial Guinea.
So, we are not really afraid because the price of crude has gone down, no; if
we tighten all the loopholes, we are going to end up having enough money and in
anyway, we are not going to spend all the money in one day and the price of
crude will not remain like this forever. But with the prudent management of
resources we believe we can achieve a lot.
But are you sure the political elites
are ready for change?
Well,
it depends on who you describe as the political elite. Clearly the APC
political elite are ready for change, and the masses are also ready for change.
Once the people are ready for change, nobody can stop the will of the people

Lai Mohammed…..’In my entire Life I have never seen a ruling party that is so afraid of election like PDP’

What is your take on the AIT documentary
on the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, how is the party
handling it?
If
you remember, I told you that one of the reasons why elections were postponed
was to intensify the smear campaign. It is unfortunate the kind of unprofessionalism
that has now become the order of the day in Nigeria. When you de-market a
person and you run dirty campaigns on him, like Asiwaju; unfortunately it has another effect. It will even drive
away more people from you; we can assure you that by the grace of God we will
not engage in any negative campaign. What Nigerians want to know is not what
happened in the past but what would happen tomorrow. And most of the things (in
the video) are pure speculations. They are total lies, total fabrications which
we have heard all over the place. And the question we ask, ‘PDP has been in
power for 16 years, why have they been unable to convict him of any of these
offences? Why? Nigerians are not stupid; they know that this is all about
politics.
If you see Femi Fani Kayode
face-to-face right now or you are put inside the same lift with him, what would
you say to him?
Frankly
speaking I don’t want to make Femi
an issue; I don’t want to talk about him. The issue that faces Nigeria today is
what borders me. It so much borders me.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

(Cuts in) But he seems to have taken
personal interest in you and also made some dirty comments on you in recent
times?
Femi Fani Kayode is probably doing his job
the best way he knows and if it makes his employers happy, so be it. But I also
have a duty to enlighten Nigerians on certain issues said about us. I never set
out to run negative campaign on anybody. Look at all our press interventions;
we have always been raising issues. However, Femi started making outlandish claims. Claims that can actually
disrupt the co-existence of Nigerians; when you say there is a secret plan
between Asiwaju and Osinbajo; what you are saying in
essence is, if it is true, then Asiwaju will
become the Vice President, then we end up having a Muslim-Muslim ticket which
is dangerous for the polity. We had that choice (Initially) and we said no;
two, you are now saying that Asiwaju
actually wants to become President which means if he comes in, is he going to
kill Buhari?. No, it is not a
laughing matter because there are some very simple minds who don’t understand
issues and once you tell those things like this, it is hard for you to reverse
the implication. And that is why we have to ask, to say ‘look, we hope that you
are in full control of your faculty? There is a limit to what kind of lies you
can tell a civilized set of people. There is a limit; I am told that he said
somewhere that I wear diapers.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed….’We have a purpose driven figure in General Buhari’

I was even going to ask you how you
felt when you heard that Fani Kayode said you are on diapers?
But
you see, that talks much about his state of mind but like I said, I am not
going into all of that. I have bigger issues to discuss than coming down to
such mundane talks.
What are you words for Nigerians on
the March 28th election?
We
insist on one, elections must hold on the 28th. They must not listen
to any policeman who says they must go home after casting their votes. The law
permits them to stay there until results are announced. Two, we insist that the
card reader be used and we insist that the military must not participate in this
election. If these conditions are met, we will accept the outcome of the
elections. Meanwhile we want to assure all our PDP opponents that they should
not take this matter personal. That if truly, they are democrats; that they should
abide by the wish of the people, that if truly they are democrat and they were
brought in by the same Nigerians and if the same Nigerian people say they don’t
want them, they should respect their wish. After all, this same South West
voted massively for Jonathan in 2011
without any coercion. How many groups endorsed him in 2011? He didn’t run
around. But unfortunately because he has failed to do what he promised between
2011 and today, people are saying no. it is purely democratic for people to
show red card to a leader who has not listened to them. If Jonathan has
performed, believe me, he would have been riding on the crest of his
achievements. Even what he is doing now, is a bit too late. 

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