Permit me the use of the very deep but apt Yoruba onomatopoeia, “Agabagebe” in order to drive home the very point I am out to make in this piece; a response to the ranting of the Governor of Ondo, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and his minions.
By the way, the word Agabagebe was first thrown into our political lexicon in Abeokuta, Ogun state courtesy of the ever-fearless boss and political strategist, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. We will never forget how his spontaneous use of that word to graphically capture the treachery of in-house viruses that sought to kill the APC restored the hopes of the APC members in Ogun right in front of President Muhammadu Buhari when the enemies within carried their anti-party oddities beyond imagination.
Akeredolu’s vengeful and vindictive attitude is the cause of all the troubles in Ondo APC. Conscience is an open wound. It would be strange for a man that has become Governor for years to still be bellyaching over an intra-party primary that preceded his tenure, if not for the fact that his conscience is never at rest with the open exposure of the fraud that lined his way to the Government House.
It will be recalled that the party’s Appeal Panel annulled the primaries that produced Akeredolu due to glaring fraud. The NWC of the party never agreed to the emergence of Akeredolu but the Oyegun/Saraki conspiracy of the era unilaterally submitted the name of Akeredolu to INEC and subsequently mobilized huge funds for his “see and buy” victory thereby imposing a made-in-Abuja Governor on Ondo state.
Some of us could not stand such shenanigan led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. We followed the party’s internal mechanism, but it was unilaterally terminated by the then National Chairman. Subsequently, we left the party in the expression of our democratic rights on the platform of another party in agitation against the clear injustice. We lost the elections. It was reported on national headlines that the vindictive Governor organized an attack on me at the venue of an official government assignment. We were to go to court, but some elders of the party led by Chief Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Pius Akinyelure and so on intervened and appealed to all aggrieved against the gubernatorial election processes to drop all further agitation and return to the party and embrace unity. The Governor thereafter organized a unity rally and I attended.
Chief Olusola Oke has since been working hard for the success of the party and was the South West Coordinator of the APC Presidential Campaign, while I, who was his Director General in the Alliance for Democracy was the Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (Field Operations) Door – Door Campaign throughout the Country. Akeredolu’s anti-party activity would have been justifiable as a payback were it to be that their mischiefs were directed against either Chief Olusola Oke or Bola Ilori, but neither of us were on the ballot but President Buhari and our National Assembly members. So it was a deliberate sabotage against the fortune of the party.
I laugh at how, in their confusion and desperate search for justification, they misguide themselves with falsehood and hope it will turn to truth in an era of Google Search Engine. Let me put it on record; if they are too lazy to Google, I was not holding any position in the party or government six months before and after the 2016 elections, contrary to their claims that I was in Osun Government while in AD, Osun had no cabinet for about 16 months at the time. So, dragging Aregbesola into their justification of treachery is not only based on falsehood but pure mischief.
I also wish to place on the record that, as the Director General of the Alliance for Democracy campaigns in 2016, I don’t have any record of funding received from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola or Senator Ajayi Boroffice for the AD. I dare Akeredolu and his team to come up with such fact. Let it be noted that neither Asiwaju Tinubu nor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola directed us to the AD nor funded the party. They did not campaign for the party to the best of my record also. If any of Akeredolu minions is in possession of substantive evidence against any of our leaders let such fellow come forward with it.
Rather than the Governor to openly apologize for his treachery against the President, the party and the people, he has continued to hold on to the straw and towing the path of arrogance that has led to the dwindling fortune of the party in Ondo state since his emergence as Governor.
We that he claimed to be copying did not act cowardly like him. We moved to another party and expressed our democratic rights. We never indulged in anti-party activities like he did and still doing. We never perpetrated ‘agabagebe’ by staying in APC and working against the party like they did even while holding party and government positions on the platform of the party.
Governor Akeredolu; we must tell the whole world, is only being tormented by his own arrogance, vindictiveness and ‘agabagebe’, not Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Chief Olusola Oke or Bola Ilori that he is ever quick to blame.
By Bola Ilori.
APC, Ondo .