Politics of preservation manifests in Oyo state, as political gladiators realign to protect and further hiding interests. The people of Oyo state clamoured for change of government, when the former occupant of the Agodi Government House, Senator Abiola Ajimobi was subjected to the public through wholesale media attacks , blackmailing, campaign of calumny with huge Pull Him Down (PHD) strategies by his political adversaries.
He was crucified , nailed to the cross, and they were able to achieve their sole aim which was to score cheap political points, as well as short circuit his political strength and that of his party, the APC in the state.
Despite his brilliant policies tailored at improving the lives of the people, yet, they manipulated the electorates against him and made them believed that the Abiola Ajimobi led administration’s policies were anti- people without human face. The political actors were able to sell their agenda through the media and it was assumed that the ‘injuries’ inflicted by the immediate past administration in the state were unbearable. Then , mediocrity reigned supreme in every aspect of life.
Indeed, for long, when he held sway, the then Governor Abiola Ajimobi had worked assiduously for his senatorial ambition and also to install a successor. A great number of those who called the shots in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) especially those who had earlier benefitted from his political style felt disenchanted, frustrated and confused when other members of the party are about to benefit from the same political system.
Taking the risk as usual, former Deputy Governor (Operations) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Adebayo Adelabu emerged as the governorship candidate of the then ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state.
This resulted in most of the political actors in the party and members working at cross purposes with the party, which is beyond Senaco, Lamist struggle, since Ajimobi was alleged to had hijacked the party structure.
Interestingly, Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) eventually secured the gubernatorial ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But, for a former governor in the state, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, remaining in the PDP meant a bleak future for him. He, then left with his supporters for the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and later to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) with Sharafadeen Alli, secretary to the state government, when Ladoja was Governor, while Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin remained in the ADC to pursue his governorship ambition.
At the end of it all, Chief Ladoja and others saw the need to come together to fight their common enemy – Abiola Ajimobi, who is becoming the emerging political godfather in the state. They realised that participating separately under various political umbrellas comprising the ADC, PDP and ZLP will further confirmed their enemy’s status as the political godfather in Oyo state as the coast was more clearer for the APC candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu to becoming the next occupant of the Agodi Government House.
Chief Ladoja went further to midwife and lead a collation where the major opposition parties in the state adopted Seyi Makinde of the PDP, as Sarafadeen Alli and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin sacrificed their governorship ambitions which now serves as tool for bargaining. Members of the political class insisted that Makinde occupies the Agodi Government House and the support base went beyond party line.
The coalition is the first time in the history of the state that opposition parties agreed to ‘gang up’ against the ruling party in the state.
The event which took place at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan was well attended by political elites and footsoldiers targeted at promoting the need for a change of baton. The people were continuously sensitized on why they should vote responsibly, curiously, the much awaited change has commenced and the people have changed the song .
Meanwhile, five opposition parties in the state successfully presented a coalition governorship candidate, Engr Seyi Makinde to run against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The parties in the coalition include African Democratic Congress (ADC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the New Progressive Movement (NPM).
Speaking at the event, Sen. Lanlehin said, “It is no longer news that a good number of parties in Oyo state have deliberated intensely over the last few weeks and have come to the resolution that there is an urgent need to free our dear state from the shackles of outside oppression and domination.
“We have therefore decided that in order to present an effective and workable solution to the unpalatable situation where Oyo State has been remotely controlled for the past 8 years by outside forces and all manner of constituted authority, there is the need to form this alliance of political parties in the state.
“We have firmly resolved to present one candidate in the person of Engineer Oluseyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party for the office of Governor at the elections holding on 9th March, 2019.
“He shall be heading by the special grace of God and the power of the people of Oyo State, a Government of Unity which will cater for the interest of all our people irrespective of political association.”
Other governorship candidates, Sharafadeen Alli (ZLP), Bolaji Ayorinde (SDP) and Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (NPM) appealed to their supporters to vote for Makinde.
Also, in his short remarks, Chief Ladoja submitted : “It is my pleasure to present to you the agreed candidate for the election coming up on Saturday March 9, and who Insha Allah, will become governor-elect on that day, and will be subsequently sworn in on May 29 as governor of Oyo State.
“He is my son. I present to you Engineer Seyi Makinde.”
Political barriers were broken ; politicians were united in the quest to have a change of leadership in the state. In the government today, is the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and on the number one seat is Seyi Makinde. This was achieved courtesy of the agreement between the major political actors.
The members speaking incognito also disclosed that the incumbent Governor had series of agreements with members of the political class. According to a source in the know, the mutual understanding revolved round positions in cabinet, local governments and parastatals . But the source laments that Seyi Makinde refused to keep its own part of the agreement completely or to a satisfactory level , so to say .
“Look closely at his cabinet and other bodies in government, you will see the manifestations of failed agreement, where is Alli or Lanlehin? Aside from Baba Ladoja, these are the major political juggernauts in the coalition”, one of the members argued.
Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) has repeatedly maintained that governance transcends party affiliation, while assuring that he would take care of all the interests. But party loyalists find it difficult to understand the governor’s statement.
Shockingly, cracks hit the coalition parties in the state, three months after they forged an alliance that ousted the All Progressives Congress from the seat of power.
The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the March 9 election, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, publicly announced his withdrawal from the alliance.
The ADC guber nominee, in a statement by his media office in Ibadan, said “I, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Solan), Oyo State Leader of the ADC, hereby announces forthwith, my personal withdrawal from the coalition with Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.”
Lanlehin, who hinged his decision to quit the coalition on what he tagged Makinde’s non-compliance with the spirit and letters of the terms of the governorship pre-election agreement, also maintained that his party (the ADC) was at liberty to remain in the coalition, and believed it should, in fact, remain.
The former Senator added that he remained a committed member of the ADC, but would adopt a ‘siddon look’ posture in the governance of Oyo State and allied matters.
Considering the configuration of the PDP led government in Oyo state, under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde, political observers averred that the best man that can stabilize the present administration as its Scribe (Secretary to the State Government) is Akogun Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli due to his cognate experience in the art of politics and governance as a former local government chairman, ex Secretary to the State Government and ex Chairman, Oodua Investment among others.
Governor Makinde, his Chief of Staff, Oloye Bisi Ilaka and other allies in the government are from private sector with little or no experience as far as public administration and governance is concern, the political watchers added.
Fear of the unknown gripped the occupant of the Agodi Government House, believing that the Ibadan Chief, Akogun Alli, is a threat to his future political ambition and conceding such a position to him or any other relevant role may jeopardise his chances, thus a less prominent role such as an ordinary member of the state advisory council was offered to the ZLP governorship candidate with a view to regulating the growth of his political wings.
Political analysts in the state suggested that a good politician will risk it to keep the last man standing, Akogun Alli at bay, since Lanlehin is old and cannot contest again in 2023.
Though, political observers also believed that he has committed political harakiri considering the ‘kangaroo coalition’ and efforts targeted at sending him to political oblivion, but as a political strategist, Alli has not been successfully displaced or thrown into the dustbin of history, he remains one of the threats to Makinde in 2023.
However, there are nagging questions that requires resolute answers: Was there not agreement between ZLP, PDP and ADC and others before the 2019 guber election? Why not fulfil the agreement for the sake of prosperity? Was the PDP credible enough to dislodge the APC, if not for the alliance?
Another technocrat from the private sector, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, was appointed as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) by Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) while other juicy positions have been doled out to perceived ‘alter egos’ whom were also technocrats. Alli has remained silent and inactive since he has tactically rejected the offer ( Member, Advisory Council).
Presently, neglected politicians are keenly studying the game and forming clusters among themselves for future political games if the status quo remains.
For now, political climate in Oyo state is conducive for governance and development depending on Governor Seyi Makinde’s administrative acumen, but political quagmire may begin after the first two years.
GSM, When Will Alli’s Prayers Be Answered?
By Idowu Ayodele
N7.6B Loan : Work With Ajimobi’s Template If …, Oyo APC Group Tells Makinde
Oyo First Initiative (OFI), a youth group within the All Progressives Congress in Oyo State has urged Governor Oluseyi Makinde to work towards sustaining the legacy of developmental governance put in place by his immediate predecessor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who did his best to uplift the standard of living of the people.
Apparently reacting to the controversies surrounding the plan to utilize a loan of N7.6b by the Oyo State government, OFI said in a statement issued at the weekend in Ibadan by its State Coordinator, Comrade Ayo Adekanmbi, that the present administration needed to wake up and face the business of governance with all seriousness it deserved.
“It is time Governor Makinde is told in a plain language that trying to erase the indelible footprint of Sen. Ajimobi from history book of the Pacesetter State would amount to an exercise in futility since the record of achievements of successive administrations would always be available for the whole to see. As it stands today, Ajimobi administration is adjudged the best thing to have happened to the state since its creation in 1976.
“It is on record that Sen. Ajimobi came into office in 2011 fully prepared. He realized that the bulk of resources available to the state would be going into servicing recurrent expenditures and he started laying a foundation that would yield prosperity for the state in the nearest future by prioritizing infrastructural development which revolved around improved security architecture and modern physical infrastructure.
“To realize this lofty objective, the option of controlled borrowing to finance key projects became inevitable. If the state government’s wage bill was N5.2b and the monthly allocations hovered between N2b and N4.5b for the eight year period, what magic could have produced many dualized roads in all the major cities, ultra modern overhead bridges, reliable security and effective crime control, Model schools, sustained beautification and urban renewal projects, upgrade of health/medical facilities in public hospitals and many more?
“When the Ajimobi government was working round the clock to ensure a great future for the state, Engr. Makinde made campaign of calumny the hallmark of his electioneering and this culminated in the constant inflation of the state’s debt profile on several occasions until the Debt Management Office (DMO) came up with the true picture recently.
“To set the record straight, it is true that the immediate past administration applied for the said N7.6b loan to achieve an all-encompassing agricultural development goal but the loan request did not materialize. However, similar efforts manifested in the preponderance of grants and other funds which have been collected by the Makinde administration since it came into office. For example; the $611, 000 BESDA fund and the N2.8b UBEC fund made possible after Ajimobi had paid the Counterpart Fund. Same goes for the Primary Health Care (PHC) grant and the $200m World bank intervention fund from which the past administration only spent less than 30 per cent.
“All these were monies secured by the Ajimobi administration for developmental purposes and are now accessible to the present administration without anybody raising an eyebrow since government is a continuum.
Meanwhile, the honeymoon has since been over for Engr. Makinde and it would be unfortunate if he relied on the pseudo populism which earned him the declaration as the winner of the last gubernatorial election in the state by INEC.” Adekanmbi said.
Oyo: ‘Adelabu Is Baselessly Arrogant’, Says Adeduntan
- Urges Ajimobi to Step Down
FORMER Commissioner for Health in Oyo State and governorship aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan has attributed the monumental loss of the party to Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the state to Chief Adebayo Adelabu’s arrogance .
Dr Adeduntan, also noted that the party’s governorship nominee, Chief Adelabu supposed to seek involvements of other aspirants before and after the primary but his arrogance made him felt he could win the election with the only assistance of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The Otun Bashorun of Ibadanland, who stated this during a press conference with journalists on Saturday at his office in Alakia, Ibadan, the state capital also disclosed, “you can ask Ajimobi, we are very close. I told him that Seyi Makinde is my brother, we have been in this game since 2011, I may be older than Seyi Makinde but Seyi Makinde is older than me in politics, he has been in this game since 2003.
“He was first with Ladoja, he ran away when in 2007 he went to Ajimobi, he wanted to run for ANNP, he lost. He went to Baba Adedibu at Molete, he wanted to run for PDP, he was not allowed, Kamorudeen was given. He ran again in 2015, we did G7 together – Ibadan people that wanted to become governor. So, Seyi Makinde has been in this game for the past sixteen years. How can you bring somebody from Central Bank in July to come and fight somebody who has been in the bunker? It’s a fact. I told Ajimobi this and it’s on MTN, why I like technology is that it can be printed, you can quote me that I said it.
“This man is already holding down the bunker, is ready for war. I was Labour party candidate in 2011, I knew what they gave me, I was aspirant in 2015 you didn’t use us and you now have somebody that brought 100 Serena cars into town. He went further to hire Aderupoko and others who are making jest on the streets, while Seyi Makinde was going to Oyo North begging people, connecting people who can help him , you are making noise in Ibadan here. Ibadan is not the only place where they vote.
The ex-Commissioner continued, “We paid N25 million to obtain the form, how many Nigerians can burn N25 million? They brought you from the Central Bank instead of coming to some of us who have been in the game, you believe that you and Ajimobi can win, after injuring eight other people?
“What Tinubu does in Lagos is that oh Dr Adeduntan, don’t worry, you will go to the Senate, Akintola, we are going to make you an ambassador, he will satisfy everybody.
“We called him, come this gentleman, politics is not a game of accounting money in the Central Bank. You can quote me that Adeduntan said he’s an arrogant person, Adelabu is baselessly arrogant because that’s why I said no-holds-barred, I am the Otun Bashorun of Ibadanland by now. If he wants to succeed he has to go and wear the cloth of humility, if he’s going to be arrogant, not to people like us, not to Akintola, not even to Tegbe. Tegbe have first class at the University of Ife, I have MBBS with distinction, so if you did Accounting and you say you have first-class in Accounting, you’re insulting people like us.
“Accounting is just one possible subject, there are no subjects that I cannot do. Instead of coming down with humility. This man was on a high horse with Ajimobi on the streets of Ibadan and the Oyo state people were just making jest of them. So it was a monumental disaster”
Reacting to the insinuation that he has joined the PDP, a reason he congratulated Governor Seyi Makinde, Adeduntan said he is still in APC saying Makinde is his brother from the same compound in Oja-Oba, thus congratulating him has nothing to do with currying favour from him or joining PDP.
“I am saying this to you, Adeduntan is still a member of APC in Oyo State, Ajimobi is my brother, so is Seyi Makinde, we are from Ojo Oba, politics should not divide us. So, if anybody says we saw Adeduntan with Seyi Makinde, and so what? If I had won, Seyi Makinde will congratulate me. What is wrong in congratulating somebody who has won an election, does that mean Adeduntan is looking for a job from Seyi Makinde?”, he questioned.
The revered surgeon maintained that he is still in cordial relationship with former Governor Ajimobi, adding that the ex-governor has learnt his mistakes in the last election. He noted that disunity in APC enabled PDP to take power.
According to him, “APC didn’t lose the last election, PDP got governorship a la carte , we give governorship to PDP. Look at what happened in Osun state, with all the money that Adeleke had, APC still crushed him using all necessary means. It is very difficult to defeat an incumbent government, but once you become disunited, the game is over.
“For those that forgot that I contested alongside some aspirants during the 2019 governorship election on the platform of APC should recall that I did not lose in the primary election but was illegally and unconstitutionally denied the right to contest even when it was all over that my good people of Oyo State will cast their votes for me as their preferred governorship candidate, but some leaders of the party did the bidding of their paymaster.
“Oyo state is not Lagos, what Tinubu was able to escape, you cannot escape it in Oyo state, this is not a no man’s land. So what I am saying, in essence, is that you cannot come to Oyo state and say you are the leader of APC and you want to impose on the people.
“There was also no APC primary in Oyo State on September 30, 2018, but an imposition of a wrong candidate. The consequences of that failure of leadership led to the monumental failure of APC at the governorship, senatorial and state assembly and even presidential elections showing that he who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind and that God Almighty is God of justice and will always vindicate the just.
“I have nothing personal against Ajimobi, he’s my brother and we are very brotherly. But he himself knew he made mistake, he has asked for an apology from Nigerians including me, and he’s forgiven, APC needs to move forward”, he added.
He called for comprehensive and genuine reconciliation of active APC members ahead of 2023 and urged the former governor Abiola Ajimobi to step aside and allow younger elements to take over the party in order to move it forward, just as he condemned the imposition of candidates against the wishes of other aspirants.
In his words, “APC cannot move forward if all those people that caused the trouble are still there and they are not ready to reconcile. Reconciliation comes from the mind, it comes from the heart. If APC wants to reconcile against 2023, the party must realize that it has to be one man, one vote. At least, if some of us like me would be there, it has to be a direct vote and it can not be indirect. Indirect vote killed APC in the last election.
“What I am saying, in essence, is that imposition of candidate needs to go, new leadership must emerge in APC, it cannot be the old leadership. Like I said earlier on, what is going to happen to Adeduntan between 2019 and 2023? I believe in Almighty Allah and if you’re a Christian I believe in Jesus Christ because you can’t be a Muslim without accepting Jesus Christ using the Quran. Nobody will cage Adeduntan in 2023, I don’t need APC or PDP, God Almighty will direct where Adeduntan is going to go but I am in APC right now. APC will not cage anybody.
“But, if anybody is now saying that the APC that we have today is Adelabu ‘s APC, they are deceiving themselves, because Akintola is dredging in, Tegbe and others are waiting, even Teslim and others are waiting, it must be a free party, that’s the only way APC can survive and succeed. APC will be compelled to do what it needs to do if we want to succeed as a party. APC cannot remain the way it is and succeed, if there is going to be a primary in 2023, it has to be a direct primary without anybody influencing and saying this is the person I want to impose on you.
“And let me also close that Governor Ajimobi as I said is my brother, he trained in the US, when things like this happen after this kind of disaster what I believe he should do is not even a question of calling anybody, or he himself wanted to remain, leader, I think just like Douglas said old soldiers never die; they just fade away. I think Governor Ajimobi should try to step aside a little bit, allow younger elements to take over that party, if he does not, if what he wants to do is the same thing, what happened in 2019 will be a child’s play in 2023, but I can tell you Adeduntan will not be there by the grace of God”, the ex- Commissioner concluded.
Dr Adeduntan, however thanked Olubadan of Ibadanland, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji for the honour done to him with the conferment and promise to continue to assist the people of Ibadan and by extension Oyo state.
Omo-Agege condemns alleged attacks on Oshiomhole in Benin
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege , the Deputy President of the Senate has condemned the attacks on the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Omo-Agege in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, stated this in Abuja on Sunday.
The lawmaker, who described the development as callous, cowardly, inhumane and totally unacceptable, said this should be condemned by all, noting that political practice in the country should not be allowed to degenerate to a situation where violence becomes the language of activism by both politicians and their supporters no matter how disgruntled such persons may be.
Oshiomhole was reported to have escaped a major attempt on his life by armed thugs who swooped on his Benin residence in Okorotun Street, GRA, on Saturday. The thugs were said to have shot sporadically into the air.
The Deputy President of the Senate also called on the police to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.
This, he noted, will serve as a deterrent to others that political violence is not the best way to resolve conflicts, if any.
“Such criminal attack, remains utterly condemnable and illegal. Whatever their grievances, they should learn to explore dialogue rather than resort to violence.
” I call on the police to get to the root of the matter by prosecuting those involved in the act. It is my belief that the fine principles and ethos of democratic practice do have inbuilt mechanisms through which internal wranglings can be resolved without recourse to violence as it was the case in Edo State on Saturday.
“I would like to call on the parties involved to explore those options that would strengthen the party as entrenched in the constitution of the APC as that is the best way to move the state and the nation to the Next Level in which all citizens are expected to reap the dividends of the trust they reposed in the government led by President Muhammadu Buhari”, he stated.
Omo-Agege, however called on parents to warn their wards against political violence, adding that the attack negated democratic principles.