By Festus Aladesanmi
The stage was TVC, the anchor was the amiable Yori Folarin and the guest was Bola Ilori. In his characteristic manner, he came prepared for the show and ready to preach the gospel of Don BAT, according to Ilori. This self-confessed loyalist of Asiwaju minced no words as he castigated whoever might have opposed or criticized the revered leader. It was not like your regular TVC show. Ilori spoke with seal and dexterity. He was angered because some people dared to disobey Asiwaju. He opined that an attack on Asiwaju is an attack on the Yoruba race; he was partially right on that, though. He couldn’t imagine how anybody within the APC could ever contemplate disobeying or insulting Asiwaju. Now that they didn’t just contemplate, they actually disobeyed and insulted Asiwaju, according to him. That was the peak, we must show them who is in control. He was so good and believable on the show that political neophytes might take him serious.
He presented himself as the number one defender of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. If rated by his performance on that show and other similar shows he has done since the commencement of his current season film, one would conclude that he can never refuse or disobey Asiwaju. The way he is fighting people that disobeyed or disrespected (according to him) Tinubu, you will think he will do anything, yes anything to please Asiwaju. Like the saying goes, it is easier to criticize and condemn others on tasks you can not do better. If there was anybody to be blamed for disobeying or insulting Asiwaju on the Ondo APC drama, that person was Bola Ilori.
BOLA ILORI Vs BOLA ILORI
Ilori said on TVC: “I didn’t know APC before. It was Asiwaju Tinubu that said we should move to APC and we did. He has said AD is the option now, even if he said GGG we wont look back before we move to the party.”
REALITY: The statement above portrayed Ilori as someone that have unspeakable and unflinching loyalty to Asiwaju. As someone that will always obey Tinubu at all times. Unfortunately that is far from the truth. The reality is that Ilori only obeys Tinubu when the instructions given serves his best interest. Where conflicts of interest arises, he snub Tinubu to pursue his own agenda; just like he did when he work against Tinubu’s interest in Ondo APC primary. Whereas Tinubu instructed all his soldiers to support and work for Abraham, Ilori chose Oke.
Tinubu spoke to him, pleaded with him and gave a marching order that Abraham must be supported and returned as the flag bearer. He agreed and promised to work for Tinubu’s interest but he didn’t fulfil his promise. He intensified his efforts on Oke because he was the number one contender for the post of deputy governor should Oke win. His refusal to obey Asiwaju led to other desperate measures that almost rubbished the whole process.
He could not obey Tinubu when he was asked to work for and support Abraham but now he can boldly say on national television that, “I don’t know APC before it was Asiwaju Tinubu that said we should move to APC and we did. He has said AD is the option now, even if he said GGG we won’t look back before we move to the party.” Who is fooling who?
Ilori said on TVC: “All what they are doing in the national headquarter of the party is Anti-Tinubu policies not in ondo alone but also in Kogi, Edo, Ogun and other party of the country.”
REALITY: This is a clear case of pot calling kettle black. I honestly don’t like some of the things the APC as a party and the presidency has done to the Yoruba race since the inception of this government. I am not impressed by some actions and inactions of these organs. Being that as it may, Ilori is not in position to criticize anybody for maltreating Asiwaju. These people have lives of their own and reserve the right to disagree with Tinubu or not. It’s people like Ilori that always mislead the revered national leader by making him believe that because he singlehandedly (according to them) built APC and dislodged PDP, he must always have his way; haba! Before you remove the speck in another man’s eye why not first remove the pebble in yours. Before you crucify anybody for pursuing Anti-Tinubu policies tell us what must be done to you for pursuing Anti-Tinubu agenda during the Ondo APC primary election. He who stay in glass house does not throw stone!
Ilori said on TVC: “Some people said it is because I want to be deputy governor at all cost. No, no, that is not true. We are fighting for what is not right.”
REALITY : You disobeyed Asiwaju because you wanted to be deputy governor to Oke at all cost but that is now history. You can not be deputy governor again because the reality on ground and calculation of your group didn’t favor your zone. You were penciled down for deputy governorship position because APC has a solid structure that can spring up a good aspirant to victory with just anybody as running mate. Now that you are in a party without such solid structure, it will be suicidal to play such game. You were therefore dropped to boost the chance of your aspirant and break the northern senatorial district. However, you still have the prerogative to pick SSG, Chief of staff or any ministry of your choice, should Oke win. Your current battle is therefore not for charity but to further pursue your selfish agenda.
You claimed to be fighting what is not right. On several occasions you said that delegates were interchanged on their way to voting arena after accreditation, up till now nobody has come out to confirm that he/she was accredited and didn’t vote. You also said fufu-sellers and vulcanizers voted as delegates. None of these people has come out to substantiate your claims even though you show them on television. Agreed the process was not perfect, must we destroy the party because of that?
Ilori said on TVC: “Some people are using president Buhari’s name to do the evil but I don’t know why the president kept silence. Someone who keep silent in a situation like this, it is either the person is a coward or confused.”
REALITY : This is the icing on the cake from Ilori because he is actually doing what he accused others of doing. He is using Asiwaju’s name to do evil in Ondo state. Unfortunately, Tinubu’s silence is giving credibility to Ilori’s evil plan and game in Ondo state. He said, it’s either the person is a coward or confused. I know for sure that Asiwaju is not a coward but maybe he is confused because of series of lies the likes of Ilori have fed him with.
OPEN LETTER TO ASIWAJU
Things are not right with the APC, your brainchild at the moment but the situation is redeemable. I know this because despite the crisis, majority of Nigerians (especially Yoruba) still love the APC and you, for the roles God used you to play in restoring sanity to our polity. Lots of people still have confidence in the APC as a party and you as the national leader. As a leader, you should not expect things to be rosy at all times. This ugly situation is a phase in the history of APC and it will soon fade off.
Bola Ilori is only using you! You failed in all your attempts to use him to achieve your aim and desire for Ondo APC. He snubbed you and rejected your plea to support Abraham. Now he is using you to promote his own candidate, pushing his agenda further and destroying the house you built. I have nothing against the person of Bola Ilori but I simply detest his game. You don’t have to destroy the party because of your own selfish interest. Chief Olusola Oke, a fine gentleman is unfortunately surrounded with people who are blinded by ambition or by the money they are collecting from him.
I read in the news about the insinuation and permutation that some of your lieutenants and associates from the south west are revolting and ganging-up against you, in preparation for 2019. Please don’t pay too much attention to that. It’s the prayer of every parent that our children should be greater than us. If and when indeed God answers that prayer we must be ready to adjust and face the consequences. You lose at least 70% control of such child and will naturally be relegated to the position of adviser whose advice may not be totally followed. For the avoidance of doubt, Bola Ilori refused and snubbed you on Ondo APC primary not because of lack of respect but because he also believed that he should be allowed to decide on his own. If Ilori, your boy, can be bold enough to decide on his own, then you should understand and appreciate the need for others to want some level of independence from you. Has it ever dawned on you sir that most of these people who you empowered desire to become influential like you too? More so that they have assembled their own followers in their domains. You therefore need to support them to continue to remain relevant and not force your wishes on them all the time. That’s the bitter truth!
As the national leader of APC and a leader of the Yoruba race you should be playing more of reconciliatory roles now rather than allowing yourself to be used as a divide and rule tool. Even though you are a Lagosian but you are more of “ara ilu oke” in your approaches and dealings. Once you believe in something or someone, you don’t easily shift ground. That is not totally good sir. There is need for you to be flexible.
Dr. Segun Abraham could have won the Ondo APC primary if you were diplomatic in your approach. Your foot soldiers are your greatest enemies. You need to give them proper and better orientation. You are our revered leader not our God. You can cheat your followers with wisdom and make them thank you if you didn’t undignified them with your cheatings. But where you cheat people with pride, then you should be ready for revolt. “Alagidi loga alagbara.” That is what played out in Ondo state. Beyond whatever lies they are feeding you about the happenings in Ondo state, majority of APC members were angered by your endorsement!
Kudos, to Dr. Segun Abraham for choosing the path of honor and staying within the folds of APC. I feel his pain because he could have won the election. However, he also needs to put the primary behind him and join hands with other leaders to work for APC’s victory. This is not about Akeredolu but about our dear party. Your fatherly role is needed here too. Kindly accept all the reconciliatory moves of other leaders and help midwife a formidable APC in the south west, starting from Ondo state. All the emergency allies (Fayose, Fani-kayode and others) who are defending you now just want to use you to score cheap political goals.
Fayemi is bad, Fasola hate you, Banire disobeyed you, Akeredolu disrespected you, Ajimobi ignored you, Amosun isn’t afraid of you, Oshiomole didn’t visit you, Oyegun didn’t honor you and the list goes on. If you continue to listen to all these negative tunes it won’t be long before they tell you that Osinbajo dumped you or Oluremi hugged Saraki. These discordance tunes are always from people who are not comfortable when you are at peace with the people mentioned or people who are benefitting from your quarrel with them. It boils down to people who still use you to achieve their own selfish goals and agenda.
May God grant you the wisdom to lead the APC out of the present crisis and join other leaders to work for the APC’s victory in the November 27th governorship election in Ondo state. Bola Ilori with his imaginary 1,003 delegates know that nobody will take him serious for leaving the APC in Ondo state, hence the need to drag your name into the murky game. He is just using you. If he love and respect you as much as he wants us to believe, Abraham will be our flag bearer today. Asiwaju, just like I reminded you on Tuesday, 4th October 2016, my position does not mean that things should continue the way they are in the APC. All I am saying is that you should consider amicable solution to make the party stronger in Ondo state, the south west and Nigeria.
We disagree to agree, and vice versa.
Festus Aladasanmi, an APC members writes from Oba-Ile, Akure, Ondo state.
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