By Usman Aliyu
Ilorin – A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, Mr Oluwafemi Yusuf, on Saturday accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of a plot to distract the state’s governor-elect, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, with the allegation that he forged the Senior Secondary School Certificate he presented for his election.
Yusuf, who spoke to journalists in Ilorin, said the governor-elect hails from a renowned family in Ilorin and would not involve himself in a scandalous act as being alleged by the opposition.
He said there were many traps set for the APC prior to the conduct of the just concluded elections which the party eventually surmounted and expressed the hope that the current allegation would also end as an exercise in futility.
The APC stalwart stated that the party was unfazed with the attempts to blackmail Abdulrazaq, adding that the incoming government had passed that stage and was busy working for the good of the state.
“The issue of certificate or no certificate is one of the plots the opposition set for us. There were a lot of traps that they set for us to put us on our toes like that of an APC faction. But we were able to overcome that.
“Issue of certificate scam in the country is not a new thing. We have heard series of allegations of certificate scandals aside from that of Toronto (against a former Speaker of the House of Representatives).
“This is just another gimmick to blackmail our governor-elect. But I want to assure you that Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq comes from a renowned family.
“The family is very proud of itself. And honestly I used to envy that gentleman. None of the children of Alhaji Abdulganiyu Abdulrazaq has been found wanting.
“Our governor-elect is somebody that has dealings with people around the world. So, if at this point in time somebody is raising allegation about certificate, it could be suspicious.
“I don’t believe in that. I believe it is one of the political gimmicks of trying to distract the incoming government, and where we are in Kwara State now, we have passed that stage.
“Let them continue to unveil their gimmicks while we are busy working on the new Kwara.’’ Yusuf said.
On the expectations from the incoming government, the APC chieftain said Kwara had been driven back in the last few years but gave an assurance that the state would rise again in the next four years.
“I’m one of the very strong voices in saying that Kwara has been driven back in the last 16 years.
“ Kwara is one of the first generation states that we have in the country including Rivers, Kano and Lagos.
“Out of these four states, which one of them can one compare Kwara with? If the succeeding governments after (Mohammed) Lawal had followed the foundation he laid, it wouldn’t have been as bad as this.
“I want to project and foresee that in the next four years Kwara will start rising. I’m not saying we would be there in the next four years but we would start rising.
“ My prayer is that we should not see another driver that will drive us backward the way we were driven back in the last 16 years.
“It is because we are misplacing our priority here. Projects that doesn’t concern the masses or are people oriented were being executed,’’ he said.
Yusuf also said the APC in the state had succeeded in what could have instigated crisis within its fold during the pre-election period.
He said party leaders were concerned about the development of the state which prompted them to forgo their personal ambitions.
“There is not going to be crisis. The most fragile thing that can break the party is what we have overcome.
“ That was during our primaries. The struggle is about the people of Kwara, not about them (aspirants),’’ he said. (NAN)