The Governor-elect of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has admitted that some associates of the All Progressive Congress (APC) party chieftain and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, supported him during the just concluded governorship election in the state.
Ademola noted that although some allies of Aregbesola, who was a 2-term governor of Osun state, might have joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and worked for his victory, it is not clear that the minister orchestrated their moves.
This disclosure was made by Ademola in a pre-recorded interview that was aired on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, on Monday night.
Adeleke said that he did not work or talk to Aregbesola, but has been in talks with a few associates of the minister, including Kolapo Alimi, a commissioner under Aregbesola’s administration.
What the Osun State Governor-elect is saying
Answering a question on the claim that Aregbesola supported the PDP, Adeleke said, “I did not work with Aregbesola. I didn’t even talk to him, but all I know is his associates, for example, Kolapo Alimi, one of the lawyers that represented Oyetola at the tribunal.”
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“Then, anytime I saw him (Alimi) in court, because I’m a civilised person, I will go to them and greet them and say ‘how are you doing?’ It was later he apologised and said ‘he was thinking ‘why is senator Adeleke greeting me? We are trying to mess him up and he is still greeting me’.
“But he later told me that while I was greeting him, I didn’t know that I was giving them poison. They knew that I won the election and they rigged me out and I was still greeting them. I believe that Aregbesola and Oyetola fell out.
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“He (Alimi) came to me and said he has watched me and that he wants to join our party and we accepted. But Aregbesola directly? No. But we know a lot of top APC that joined.
“Assuming that I had been talking to Aregbesola one way or the other, then I would say that maybe he gave them go-ahead to support me.
“These people have grown; they have their own minds to decide if they want to join me or not. They believed that I was the one to beat and they came to me. I won’t know whether Aregbesola gave them go-ahead or not, because I have not been talking to Aregbesola.”
On his take on the fight between Oyetola and Aregbesola, the governor-elect said he thanked God for the development, while admitting that the conflict paved way for his victory.
He said, “I said God is good. These (Aregbesola and Oyetola) are the people that colluded that time. They were together. Kolapo Alimi told me the truth that they robbed me. Even the president said it when he came over here that they won the election through remote control.’’
What you should know
- Senator Ademola Adeleke, the gubernatorial candidate of PDP, was earlier on Sunday, declared the winner of the keenly contested Osun State governorship election with a total of 403,371 votes, to beat his closest challenger, the APC candidate, Governor Oyetola, who pulled 375,027 votes to come second.
- Adeleke was the runner-up in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state, where he lost to the incumbent governor, Oyetola, in a runoff election, after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declined the polls inconclusive.
- Although challenged the results of the election in court, the Supreme Court in July 2019, upheld the election of Oyetola as the governor of the state.
- In the build-up to this election, Governor Oyetola and Aregbesola fell out over the control of the APC in Osun state. The minister was also absent during the party’s campaign in the state and did not vote in the election.
- Some political analysts have attributed the defeat of APC in the election to the feud between the 2 leaders and the inability of the party hierarchy to settle the dispute.