Just two weeks to the controversial ridden gubernatorial election in Ondo State, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, his Solid Minerals counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, at a secret meeting allegedly boasted to compromise Judge handling a case involving Mr. Olusola Oke’s eligibility suit.
Olusola Oke is the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, AD. He has since been dragged to court by the Party’s legal adviser in an eligibility suit.
Oke, yesterday Oke yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution some ministers who he said were bent on stopping him from contesting the November 26 election, The Nationa Newspaper
Addressing a news conference in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday, the Director-General of the Olusola Oke Campaign Organisation (OOCO), Mr. Bola Ilori, specifically, fingered Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, his Jigwa State counterpart who chaired the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary Election Committee, Abubakar Badaru, Minister of Works Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Solid Minerals Kayode Fayemi and Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosu as arrowheads of the plot to stop him. This, said Ilori, is to pave the way for their “protégé”, APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu.
His words: “This plot to stop Chief Oke from contesting the election is simply to clear the way for their protégé, Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is also vying for the Ondo State governorship position.
“The plan of these people is to prevent Olusola Oke from contesting the election because their candidate, Akeredolu, is not in contention, having lost relevance with the people. Thus, they have resorted to lots of underhand tactics to stop him.
“We are aware of the pedigree of President Buhari, his uprightness and his zero tolerance to dirty tricks to get advantage of people, even against his avowed antagonists, but this cabal is using the paraphernalia of the Federal Government with impunity to get unsavoury advantage, thus tainting his good work.
“When they noted that Olusola Oke was becoming popular by the day while their protégé lag behind in the build-up to the election, they have resorted to series of underhand tactics to get him out of the race, thus leaving the APC candidate as the major candidate in the election, owing to the festering crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).”
Ilori alleged that there was an attempt to award a N10 billion contract without due process to a community and plough back N7 billion out of it into APC’s plan for the election, which he claimed the APC plots to rig.
“Also, they have tried several times to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State without success, given the media altercations between the APC and INEC of recent,” he said.
Ilori added: “Next, they have surreptitiously instigated the Legal Adviser of the Alliance for Democracy, a man who is not a candidate in the Ondo State election, to institute a suit in the court. While we are not against this action since it is the fundamental right of anybody to resort to the court as an arbiter, but we have credible information from a meeting held by this cabal last week in Abuja, where they boasted that they would ensure that the Judge who will sit on the matter would be compromised to give ex-exparte injunction against Chief Olusola Oke.
This in itself, he noted, “amounts to double speak” from top officials of a government noted for its uprightness.
“When you accuse judges as being corrupt and you did indeed move against some of them, isn’t it an irony that members of the same government are the ones boasting of compromising a Judge that would sit on the matter in Court? Such, Your Excellency, is the desperation of this cabal who are hell-bent on tainting your administration’s reputation.
“But their best joker, which has been lent credence to by the popular boasts in town in the past few days by Akeredolu and his minders is the ploy to instigate the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to invite and possibly detain Chief Oke days before the election over phantom allegations. Chief Olusola Oke has been severally investigated and cleared by the anti-graft agency of any financial impropriety, but of recent, they have been putting a lot of pressure on the Commission to harass him of late with a view to making him look as if he is guilty, a development which is far from the truth.”
He wondered why this renewed onslaught against Oke now that the election is two weeks away, adding : “But we are abreast of their tricks, which will continue to fail. We want to express our absolute confidence that he has nothing to fear from any anti-graft agencies, having left office on a clean slate 12 years ago and having been cleared
“We also want to quickly tell his traducers that Olusola Oke was a part-time member of the Niger Delta Development Commission and he was never involved in any untoward activities while in office. The allegations against him are mere tissues of lies that had been found to be so by the proper authorities
“We are aware of their evil plots to perpetrate perfidy in Ondo State during the election and the people of the state are watching them keenly. We want to appeal to Mr. President to please be aware of this grand plot to harass Chief Olusola Oke, distract him from meeting the people in his campaign tours and possibly to get him disqualified through unsavory means.
“The details of all the nocturnal meeting they have been holding, we are aware. It is not a new ploy and we are abreast of it. It happened few days to the APC primaries when this same Rotimi Akeredolu wrote a petition against him in which his tissues of lies were later exposed, all to get him disqualified, because he knows that he is but a mere babe in politics and cannot win the election.
“Now, they have started again, putting pressure on INEC, the security agents, resorting to compromising the Judiciary and lately to use the EFCC to restrain restrain and frustrate him, but by the grace of God, they will fail.
“But Chief Oke is not deterred. If they like, let them dare the will of God, the consequences await them. Our people in Ondo State are watching them keenly and in the fullness of time, they will get their rewards in full if they don’t desist
“We want to commend Mr. President for his zero tolerance to perfidy and we urge him to please save our souls in Ondo State from those who say the masses shall not be allowed to live and do their things in peace.
Fayemi, Fashola: it’s not true
Fayemi’s media aide Mr. Olayinka Oyebode described his boss as a decent politician who would not be dragged into an unnecessary controversy. He said: “The Minister of Solid Minerals is a busy man. He is a focused person doing the work given to him by the President diligently. It is during election period like this that people concoct lies to malign others. We have no reply for frivolities.”
Fashola’s Media Adviser Hakeem Bello said the allegation is laughable, saying that it did not make any sense. He said: “A reporter called me last week to ask for a similar reaction. Let’s look it this way. What is the allegation about? Does it make meaning to any reasonable person? The Minister has much work to do than to be involved in what these people are saying. His priority is to stay focused on the job.”