From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A senator representing Lagos West and the governorship aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, has refuted the claims that he “bought” his endorsement as the consensus Ogun West candidate by a group, Ogun West Consultative Forum (OWECOF).
According to him, the group never asked him to part with a dime but only invited him just as it did for other aspirants, to make his presentation adding he never thought the interactive session would lead to any endorsement.
He claimed that he only knew about his endorsement via the media insisting he did not bribe any member or the group as a whole, to influence the decision of the Forum, stressing his presentation on his vision and mission might have convinced the Forum.
The Ogun West Consultative Forum last week announced its endorsement of Adeola as the APC gubernatorial candidate from Ogun West.
In swift reactions to the endorsement, however, two governorship aspirants from the zone, Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka and Hon. Abiodun Akinlade, condemned the Forum and tagged the exercise “sham” and “fraudulent”.
But Adeola, otherwise known as Yayi, during an interaction with journalists in Ogun State on Friday, rather commended the Forum and challenged his co-aspirants to a public debate if they so disagree.
His words: “I’m aware that before the Ogun West Consultative Forum embarked on this journey, consultations were made and I believe part of the consultations that were made was with the traditional rulers, elders of Ogun West senatorial district and other notable sons and daughters of Ogun West.
“It is aftermath of the consultation that was done here and there that the idea of invitation of aspirants came on board and as I’ve said, six of us were invited and it’s a programme that lasted for nine months. It’s not something that they did within three or four weeks, nine months and none of us contributed anything to the programme, not a dime! They are not here but God is here. I was invited like any other aspirant, I was given the opportunity to speak and address those people for two hours. Can he rule, yes or no, you can mark it. I think that is what those people did and they misconstrued them.
“Maybe by the time they put all of us on the podium like this and the whole world is watching, maybe then it can be a different ball game. And if they want, I challenge them to a debate; all the aspirants from Ogun West to a public debate and let us discuss and let’s tell the whole world what we are ready to do for our people.
“I challenge them. I challenge Akinlade, I challenge Tolu, I challenge Suraj, I challenge GNI, I challenge them to a public debate. I challenge even Ashiru. If you are sure of yourself and you believe you have what it takes to govern our state and take Ogun State to the next level, come out for a public debate. Let Ogun State listen to us and let Ogun State take its decision and let everybody stop hiding under the finger of one individual. The media can be the observer, you can call for the debate, you can organise it and let all of us come and talk to you”.
Adeola, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Contents, declared he had made up his mind to vie for the governorship of the state in 2019 and maintained he has what it takes to sustain and improve on the legacies of past and incumbent administrations in Ogun State, disclosing “I have identified 15 ways of generating more revenue for Ogun State”.
He added that a document which encapsulates his programmes, vision and mission, will soon be launched.
“If you are embarking on such a journey, one thing you must seek for is the face of God and once God says there is a way, then there is nothing else you can do. If I want to sit in the palatial home of Ikeja, GRA, Lekki, then why do I want to go into the rural part? But one day that rural part can be the same with these, some people must take the bold step. So I’m one of those that are taking that bold step. So, as I’ve decided to run or contest for the governor of the state, I have no regret. I am standing by my words that 2019 is sacrosanct
“Some people want to be the governor because they want to be the first Yewa man to be governor; some people want to be governor because other people have been called governors.
“Some people want to become governor because they are passionate with what they are doing, either to add value to whatever thing they met on ground in terms of development, in terms of expansion, in terms of improvement, and as such contributing their own quota to the overall development of the state. Well, some people want to become governor because they want to fly private jet, just enjoy themselves.
“But I want to become governor because I have what it takes to take Ogun State to the next level by the special grace of God. So, whosoever is in disagreement with Yayi, they would continue to disagree because the intention, the reasons why somebody wants to be governor is quite different from the other.
“So, for us to be looking for who will govern us in 2019, I believe we only deserve the best and only the best. So, as I’ve said, whosoever is not convinced about what Ogun West Consultative Forum has done, I challenge them to a public debate and let us settle the score one and for all”. Adeola submitted.