Thursday, 13 July 2017

Six reasons why APC lost Osun West Senatorial Election to PDP—Chief Abiola Ogundokun + Why Omisore can never become Osun Governor

By on 11:16
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L-R: Late Sen. Isiaka Adeleke, Ex-Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola (3rd Left) and High Chief Abiola Ogundokun (3rd Right)

One of the political juggernauts in Osun State (South Western Nigeria) and a former National Publicity Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) under President Shehu Shagari, High Chief Abiola Oladepo Ogundokun has reacted to the July 8, 2017 Osun West Senatorial by-election that saw PDP candidate and younger brother to late Senator Isiaka Adeleke (Who died as a serving senator of that constituency in April), Mr. Ademola Adeleke dusting APC candidate and former senator of same district, Mudashiru Oyetunde Hussein in a landslide victory that has changed the dynamics of politics in that state.
Ogundokun, an old political horse and former PDP tactical committee chairman in Osun State spoke to your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika inside his Lagos mansion in FESTAC on Sunday evening amidst legion of guests and relations who came to visit him. The High Chief who is equally the Basorun Musulumi of Iwo land analyzed the entire scenario that led to PDP taking the shine off the ruling APC and gave his verdict. He equally spoke on other political happenings in Osun State. Enjoy the excerpts.
Sir, two weeks ago, you gave a prediction that APC would carry the day in Iwo Local Government and win in the Osun West senatorial by-election. But yesterday, PDP snatched victory away with Mr. Ademola Adeleke of PDP beating Senator Mudasiru Oyetunde Hussein of the APC hands down. And to knock it down, PDP net 304 votes above APC’s vote in Iwo. As an elder statesman of Iwo town and a veteran political strategist, what can you say is the reason for what happened?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun

Desperate protest vote
Desperate Protest votes; what do you mean by that?
Yes, you don’t understand?
Maybe you should tell me more, sir?
Senator Ademola Adeleke
There is abundant evidence of blackmail, distrust and agitation for the need to understand the plight of the masses. Two, the blackmail has to do with the allegation made against innocent governor (Rauf Aregbesola) that he killed (Late Senator Isiaka) Adeleke.
You described Aregbe as innocent but the majority is not thinking in your line of thought?
I believe he is innocent because he is not the one who killed Isiaka. Isiaka was killed through overdose (of medicine) administered to him by his private medical staff; and we cannot say because there is misunderstanding, we should now blame it on somebody to blackmail. It is not too good for politics because we must not create enmity in the name of politics.
But there was a clear perception that the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke was the most favorable candidate for governor for next year election and he had been following the Aregbesola’s group diligently until this sudden death in April. People strongly believe there was more to his death than meet the eye?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun with Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke
Nobody knows….you see I don’t ever believe that, how many times have people contested wishing to be this and that and God…you know God’s wish is the answer to everything, you don’t say anybody would be. No. it is only God that maketh. Now, Demola is a senator by the grace of God, who has made it possible for people to have sympathy and respect for his family. And it is only God; without the approval of God, nobody can get to anywhere. To say (Isiaka) Adeleke was going to be the governor that may be difficult. There are so many potential contestants. And even before that, people have been complaining, they have been using all of forms of blackmail and negative campaign; one, because of salaries and because of retirees not getting (their) monies; secondly, because the APC itself is turning into factions. There is the faction loyal to the governor, there is the faction loyal to the party executives, there is the rumor that Aregbe may support a particular candidate which is forcing many other members to work against the party and play away their loyalty to the party. So the fall-out of this election is caused by greed, disunity, dishonesty and lack of love among members of the APC  (members) who knew that there is a very strong opposition coming behind them even though, they have their own problems. And the death of (Isiaka) Adeleke has helped the PDP to step up. I think there was a big mistake; they didn’t manage the outcome of the primaries well. I am not party to any of the activities but what I observed is what I am talking about.
You mean that the APC failed to manage the outcome of the primaries that once gave it to Demola Adeleke by the factions at the state level before taking it back to Tunde Hussein by the Abuja faction?
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
Yes, and people are making false allegations. I believe the leadership of the APC at the top ought to have called the party leadership together and resolve the differences. If they had resolved the differences, it could have been very difficult for PDP to clinch power. If they have a free and fair election tomorrow, not with the Adeleke family, I don’t think PDP can win.
How do you mean, sir?
Adeleke’s case helped to win the election.
(Cuts in) You mean Adeleke’s misfortune whipped emotion from the electorates?
Senator Demola Adeleke weeping at late brother, Isiaka Adeleke-Serubawon's grave
Yes, people voted with sympathy and the Adeleke family and the PDP made effective use of the media and dissemination of false campaign.
What do you mean by false campaign?
To say that ‘Aregbe killed Adeleke’, that is not too good a campaign. To also say ‘Aregbe hates Adeleke’s family’. That may not be true.
But you don’t live in the governor’s heart?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun
I will not believe the governor would want to hate the people that supported him to power, because he did not get to power without the support of Adeleke’s people, who have also spend a lot of money. But, life is not always a bed of roses. Everybody has his own idea. He (Aregbe) believes that democracy must take its course. I am not party to their primaries, I don’t know what happened. But the party had too much to contend with, and the credibility of the governor was being challenged in a manner and the campaign was used very effectively to diminish him. But one thing is that, there are so many complaints from various angles of the state, that he did this, he did that. Like in my own town (Iwo) the people are really, really desperate; they don’t want to see the king—the Oluwo who went to the central mosque on Friday (July 7) at the Jumat, asking that Iwo people must vote for APC when you know Iwo people don’t even want to hear your voice. You can make noise, you can fight people, and you can do anything. People of Iwo don’t want Oluwo, Oba Abdulrasheed.
Are you telling me that his own appearance at the Friday Jumat  service, urging people to vote for APC the next day caused people to revolt and vote PDP instead of APC?
Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi (Oluwo of Iwo)
Yes, yes, people don’t want to hear him. He would have just kept quiet and use underground support (strategy), calling his people to support but for him to go and publicly make that statement at the Central Mosque (Iwo) also diminished the interest of the masses. He doesn’t want to accept the fact that Iwo people are tired of him.
There was also this perception that Senator Hussein of the APC was not popular with the people; and that during his first tenure as a senator, he was much of an Abuja based senator unlike Isiaka Adeleke who was very close to the grass root?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun (Basorun Musulumi of Iwo land)
I don’t know Hussein, so I have no right to make comments on him. I have not had anything to do with him; it will be an act of injustice to make comment. Those who know him can say what they know about him. I don’t know him. I met him a couple of times; about four-five times in my life and it was in casual meetings. But I know he is a very respectful man, he respects elders. Within the short time I met him; I can say he is respectful.
A lot of people believe that Iwo town is the cash-cow of votes that determines the victory of any candidate in the west senatorial district of Osun state. As a political strategist, are you now telling us that the Oluwo factor worked against the APC?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun with the GDA
I am saying it categorically that Iwo would have gone fully for APC if not for Oluwo’s involvement, he went to the Central Mosque. Definitely, an Oba is not even supposed to take side and make it public. Anyway, we know what the APC and PDP did for him for their campaigns. But never the less, Obas are not to be seen to be partisan. It is not because I have cases against him but the fact must be noted. Even his father cannot claim to be at my level. I have been handling Iwo for ages. I have successfully installed six Local Government Council Chairmen, my own candidates—the candidates of my choice. I have never failed an election. I have always contested and won elections in Iwo. I have been to the federal parliament, I have won with the highest votes, I was a counselor in Iwo and I scored the highest vote in the entire Iwo land and I have been the star gazer of politics in Iwo.
(Cuts in) Star Gazer Indeed (Laughter) Can we say the absence of the star gazer led to this crumbs?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun with Late Sen. Isiaka Adeleke
You see, if not for the situation on ground, nothing would have stopped us. And the most important thing is that Iwo people want to have the next governor. In subsequent elections, anybody that makes an Iwo man a candidate for the governor would get the entire votes in Iwo and Iwo deserves it because we have been used in the past, as push over. That is the quarrel I had with Omisore who claims to have power in Iwo and the last election is a testimony that we have used that position to say ‘this is who will win and this is who will fail’ and we warned that time but this one (July 8) goes beyond anybody’s control, there are so many reasons; the campaign against the governor, the disunity among the leadership of the APC. There are about four factions of APC in Iwo. Particularly among those who want to be gubernatorial candidates. I thank God that this crisis brought them together at the end of the day but too late.
Sir, as the star gazer of Iwo politics, there have been allegations in the past that any candidate you support often have a robust patronage at the polling booth and that in most cases people don’t know how you do it as the box of such candidate will be stuffed beyond count. Some think it is Juju you use to boost such votes as it is always magical?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun (Basorun Musulumi of Iwo Land) with Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi
My people love me; they support me because I give them the good things of life that they deserve. And I am very proud to say that God gave me the support and it has been possible for me to get what I want. I don’t use Juju. It is the same thing when they wanted to kill me and they brought gun and even abducted me. Is it not God that took me away from them? They said I used Juju…where is the Juju?
(Cuts in) But you disappeared then, according to the story, you disappeared and people believe it was a pure case of Juju?
I don’t know about that, it is only God that can disappear. No man can disappear. So if God took me away from them, is that Juju.
Sir…sir…sir, but that is the normal thinking of the people. They will say Ogundokun disappeared and that you are so powerful in Iwo land?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun
(Cuts in) Only God is powerful. Whatever I have is given to me by God and I must appreciate that God is there for me. I don’t know about your Juju. What it should mean is that God loves me more than anybody in Iwo.
Sir, with the Adeleke family taking their position back in Osun State politics, what is your take because you were very close to the late Serubawon, Dr. Isiaka Adeleke and you were both honored with a chieftaincy title in Erin Osun land in year 2006?
Newly Sworn in Senator Ademola Adeleke
That young man, Demola is a very good boy. Demola is a very good boy, he may not have the experience but as he gets there, he will acquire the knowledge and with his late brother’s relationship with him, he might have even acquired the knowledge of politics. I am very happy with him because he is a boy I admire very much, very, very much. He respects me so much, including his senior brother, Deji. I am proud to say that Adeleke became Governor through (Chief) S.O.B. Babalola who used me to make him succeed that election; and it is that same influence that made me to even take away the senate (slot) from Akinlabi and gave it to him, that gave him the first experience to go to the senate. God used me.
Which year was that?
When he was governor, I was the one that made it possible, through God using Chief S.O.B. Babalola his political godfather and he used me to use my own party men to help him win the governorship. And it is the same me, that God used, to get him to the senate first time in his life which is year 2011 before Omisore fought him out of PDP and he now decamped to APC and got the new deal of going back to the senate. I think the family is lucky, he left PDP and he got a good romance into APC and won. And now his brother too, got back to PDP from APC and won. I think they have the good luck.
A lot of people believes that the election was won based on the sympathy for the Adeleke family and not PDP. Do you see it that way as well?
Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola
It is Adeleke family and the perceived or whatever anybody may believes that there was an injustice committed. And the false campaign of murderer has worked; the evil propaganda that Adeleke was killed by Aregbesola.
So, what do you advice the governor to do now?
No, governor should take everything easy and calm, sit down, get back to his people that are quarreling, bring them together and see reason with whatever complain and talk to very important people in Osun; people like Tunde Badmus at Oshogbo, invite the traditional rulers and have a very good rapport with them and discuss the way forward so that there will be a stop to unnecessary wrangling among the political class. The campaign is so much. Anybody that says he is not performing, that one is strange because he is performing; he is doing a lot of projects.
The allegation is that civil servants are not being paid and those paid are getting half salaries and pensioners are getting nothing?  
No, they say he is not paying but he is paying half salaries. Everybody gets money every month but not their full pay. But his position is ‘how can I be governor for so-so number of years and I have nothing to show for it in terms of development. In Osun?’ today, the schools (in Osun) are better than any other state’s schools.
Are you sure, sir?
O yes, the buildings he constructed, go and see them in every local government; there is nobody that has that kind of edifice, and the same thing with roads—fly overs; you go to Osun and see.
So, why is he building an airport because people think that one is a white elephant project?
High Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika....'Demola won on Populace's sympathy'
Well, the airport thing has been there and it was because of the airport they were probing (Ex-Governor Olagunsoye) Oyinlola, accusing him of embezzling the airport money. And he believes that since that project is there, maybe he wants to see that we don’t have to get to Ibadan before we get to Oshogbo. So we can have direct flight to Oshogbo. When you travel between Oshogbo and Ibadan, you will want to relax yourself and go back to pharmacy to buy some Pandol for your body. I came in from Ibadan this morning and I know what I went through.  But the man (Aregbe) is trying. What he is trying to run away for is the future—so that they will not say he didn’t do anything for Osun state; there will be something visible. If he were to use all the money to pay salary, it won’t be too good. If he were to be in government when Oyinlola was there, I think we would have moved and had a better option.
Are you sure?
Yes, he performs better than Oyinlola.
Are you saying the kind of money given to Oyinlola is not the same given to Aregbe or what?
Oyinlola, Ogundokun & late Isiaka Adeleke in a group picture in 2006
The economic dynamics have changed. Money reigned during Oyinlola’s regime, money reigned. Money was just coming and they didn’t even know how to spend the money. We didn’t know that kind of money was coming and that was why they were trying to probe Oyinlola. Why did he leave PDP to join APC if there was no evidence for his probe? That is a question Oyinlola must answer.
You mean there was lots of money involved?
The billions of naira on the airport as well as the stadium and the construction of Iwo/Oshogbo road; if this young man has that kind of money, he will perform more than this; I am not in their party, I am not a party man but we should say the truth.
Do you know that Senator Iyiola Omisore that was alleged to have slapped late Senator Isiaka Adeleke in his life time and made him decamp from PDP to APC suddenly came back and joined Demola and even supported him fully to win the Osun West Senatorial election, people believe that the Omisore factor played well in that victory?
Senator Iyiola Omisore
No (Raised his voice angrily) the Omisore factor did not give them any victory.
(Cuts in) But that is what people said, they said it, sir?
No, Omisore factor did not give anything. Adeleke dynasty and the sympathy of the masses, it is not Omisore. Let Omisore go and contest in Ife and win an election.
No, they even said he can now come out for Governorship and that he will dust Aregbe’s candidate next year just like Adeleke dusted Hussein?
Who says? (Countenance changed)
The People
He wants to be governor and he is trying to use everything. Does Omisore have any support in Osun state to be governor? Why do people just talk anyhow? Politics is not like that, there are so many valuable gubernatorial candidates in PDP that will emerge. Lere Oyewunmi is there. Jumoke is there, there are so many of them like that. Yes, Omisore has money, he has acquired money in the PDP, if he wants to use that money, they will collect from him but he will not win the election.
Are you sure, sir?
I can bet my life for it.
That Omisore will not be governor of Osun state?
Chief Ogundokun with late Isiaka Adeleke and a lady guest
He cannot be governor, he will never be governor.
Do you have anything against him?
I have nothing against him. When I accused him of siphoning the campaign money which he took from Goodluck Jonathan, he denied it. He came insulting me, I was angry. But now, the money he denied, he is presently paying it back to the Federal Government through EFCC. So, did he not take money? We will use all the facts, we have the records. We are going to expose many people. CONSCIENCE is coming out now.
As an elder statesman in Osun state, can you give advice to the people of Osun on how to go about their political life?
I want to beg Osun people to love Osun more than their personal interest. Not to vote because of money. They should vote for their future and the future of their children because you will get N1000 (One Thousand Naira) to sell your vote and you vote for a wrong person, then the punishment and God’s anger will come back to you. You don’t take money and say because he has given money, I will vote. If they have stolen our money and they bring to you, take the money but vote for the right person.

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