By Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTA – SPEAKER of the House of Representatives; Mr. Dimeji Bankole, former Military Governor of Oyo State; Gen. Adetunji Idowu Olurin, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo Bello and Senator Lekan Mustapha Monday shunned the much publicized debate organized by the party, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for all aspirants contesting under its aegis.
Also conspicuously absent at the filled to capacity main Hail of the June 12 Cultural Centre were a few other aspirants including Speaker of the Ogun House of Assembly; Mr. Tunji Egbetokun, a member of the House or Representatives contesting for Governorship; Mr. Abiodun Akinlade, another gubernatorial aspirant and current member of the House of Assembly; Mr. Leye Odunjo leaving only aspirants believed to be loyalists of Governor Olugbenga Daniel to participate in the debate.
Governor Daniel in his speech to declare the debate open also declared that Yoruba land was not available for “vagabonds” adding that all aspirants should be ready to defend the PDP government which he said had performed better in all areas governance that the previous administration.
The absence of the prominent aspirants at the debate which was aimed at deepening representative
democracy and increase stakeholders buy_in into the electioneering process further reinforced the notion that efforts towards resolving the crisis rocking the party in the state were not yielding the desired result.
The names of the aspirants which shunned the debate were also not read out as among those contesting by the Compeer as one official told Vanguard that only those who registered to participate were contained in the list.
Addressing the filled to capacity auditorium before the commencement of the debate, Governor Daniel said “Yoruba land is not available for vagabonds. We know our history and those we follow.
“I listened to a personality who had had the opportunity of ruling this state while addressing some people about two days ago and he said that they were the inheritance of Awolowo. When we took over in 2003, the roof here [Cultural Centre] was falling off and there was no Air Conditioner.
Gateway Television the known as GTV was leaking. We had rickety vehicles as Taxi cabs. People have short memories”
Daniel who was apparently making reference to the speech of former Governor Olusegun Osoba at Saturday’s State Congress of his party; Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], then highlighted some of his achievements in government which he said include the idealization of the Siun/Kobape road, building of four stadia, establishment of a campus of the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ayetoro, the establishment of Engineering faculty in Ibogun, the creation of a University of Education and establishment of four polytechnics amongst others.
He said “We repaired Ake palace and the late Kabiyesi told me that what they benefitted from the man was only a rickety gate and the man is not only an Egba man but also an Ake man. They are going to tell lies during the campaigns but you must confront them with facts. I challenge them to say in which area they have performed better than us”
The Governor also said that some people have been complaining that roads in the state were bad adding that his recent visit to Okuku and