Ajimobi saved Lam-Adesina from supporters who accused him of using thugs ‘ Gov’s spokesman
Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, in this interview with OLUFEMI ATOYEBI, says the allegations by members of the Unity Forum in Oyo APC against his boss are baseless
The ward congresses in Oyo State were marred with violence last Saturday. As someone, who witnessed the scene at the party secretariat, what actually happened?
I got to the APC secretariat on Saturday (May 5, 2018) with the governor and discovered that some people had made trouble. We later learnt that the troublemakers allegedly came from the Unity Forum of the APC. They came to the venue with thugs but the police sent them away. It was a stakeholders meeting where different politicians would meet the Ward Congress Committee from the APC headquarters in Abuja.
When we got there, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, some House of Representatives members and others in the Unity Forum had left. But after normalcy returned, they came back to the venue and they were not harassed by anyone. Because of what happened in the morning before they left, party members at the secretariat were not happy with the Unity Forum. They wanted to attack them after the meeting ended but the governor appealed to them to allow peace to reign.
The governor told them not to touch anyone. He shielded and rushed one of the group members into his official vehicle. It is the same person that is now saying that Governor Ajimobi pushed him.
Are you talking of Dapo Lam-Adesina?
Yes! He is the one I am talking about. The governor told him to get into his (governor) car so that he would not be injured. This individual is like a son to Governor Ajimobi. He would not want any bad thing to happen to him. He groomed him in politics and he should rise above pettiness. He should stop maligning the governor and rubbishing his name. They are over-ambitious. The governor did not become APC leader overnight.
The governor’s belief is that despite political differences, it should not be a do-or-die affair. To him, people can fight and reconcile tomorrow. He helped him out of the venue when supporters expressed their anger against him for coming to the venue with thugs.
The forum members alleged that they were beaten up and chased out of the venue by loyalists of Governor Ajimobi. Could it be that there was a mix-up in the account of what actually happened?
A particular individual they mentioned is a gentleman that would not attack anyone. In fact, I am not sure that he was at the venue in the morning because we normally move together with the governor. He could not have been there when the governor had not come. That is not the protocol.
The group members are in the habit of weaving stories that are not true to confuse people. They twist events to suit their malicious mission. People should not believe Lam-Adesina and other members of the group. What would anyone gain by sending them away?
Lam-Adesina said the governor pushed him away when he moved closer to him to escape further attacks from the suspected thugs. He said he was aware that if the governor left him at the venue, he would be killed. Why were the attackers not checked?
We have pictures of the time when the governor pushed him into his own vehicle to shield him.
He said he forced himself into the car and not that the governor offered him a ride. What was the picture like?
How could Lam-Adesina force himself into the governor’s car? That amounts to security risk on the part of the governor. The security team would not have allowed him to do that. He should think of another lie. Is the governor’s vehicle free for anyone to enter? He should think of something else because it does not make sense.
He said he had filed a petition with the Inspector-General of Police that the governor wants to kill him. What is your comment on this?
Let him go and prove it to the IG that Governor Ajimobi wants to kill him. People throw accusations against the governor because they feel that the only way to get attention is by mentioning the governor. He is the number one citizen of the state. Does the governor look like a rough politician or a rogue in government? I have been with him many times and he continues to say that the politics of brigandage in the state is over.
He believes that government should appeal to the people and not fighting them. Since he came into power, violence has seized in the state. What will he achieve by destroying his legacy?
Don’t forget that he made these people (Unity Forum members) what they are today. Why would he want to kill them? Forget the talk about SENACO and other factions in the Oyo APC. It is one family. SENACO means Senator Ajimobi Campaign Organisation. That group ceased to be after the election and he has also said it many times. He wants everyone to come together.
We know of the Unity Forum, LAMIST group and SENACO faction in the APC. Why are you saying that there are no factions in the party?
It is easy for people to make claims. If Unity Forum members say they are in the majority, good luck to them. They have to prove it during elections. They cannot stay outside and be throwing stones into their own house. I am sure the governor is too busy to notice the petty issues they are coming up with.
Seven House of Representatives members from the state alleged that there was a congress held by the governor’s people and effort was made to smuggle in fake forms. How true is this?
All the stakeholders agreed to hold the congress on Sunday and there are pictures and videos that showed that the congresses held in the wards.
On Monday, the Congress Committee was to make a report but the Unity Forum members stayed away and said they did so because governor’s people had hired thugs to beat them up and destroy their congress materials on the way. Are you aware of this allegation?
Like I said, people can make claims. When they appeared at the meeting of the stakeholders on Saturday, were they beaten by thugs when the governor was present? That claim has no basis. It is just noise. Who would have stopped them from coming if they have anything to do at the secretariat?