BY KOLADE LAREWAJU
ABEOKUTA – GOVERNOR Olugbenga Daniel, yesterday blamed the boos and jeers he got at Saturday’s Presidential Rally in Abeokuta on the handiwork of some people hired by perceived undesirable elements to embarrass him at the rally.
Daniel in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary; Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, said it was sponsored by some people who failed to dissuade him from attending the rally.
The statement said “for the avoidance of doubt, we want to put it on record that there was nothing spontaneous about the disrespectful act to the person and office of the Governor of Ogun State. It was a premeditated act by the sponsors of the ignoble act who having failed to get Governor Daniel not to attend the event decided to embarrass him at the venue.
They had hired some undesirable elements mainly from outside the State and briefed them to heckle the Governor during the event.
“Not that we were not aware of the plot. Indeed various scenarios were considered prior to the visit of the president to Ogun State. Some of the Governor’s advisers had counseled that supporters of the Governor should be mobilized to the venue to counter the plot which had already being uncovered by security agents.
“However Governor Daniel over ruled this suggestion because of security considerations. According to him, the situation could degenerate to a face-off between both sides which would have seriously embarrassed Mr. President and mar the visit. And the plotters would have gone to town accusing Mr. Governor of violence.
“The Governor also discouraged his supporters who wanted to hold another rally on the same day at another location. That of course, would also have been termed as an anti-party activity to the delight of the tiny band of opponents behind the plot to embarrass the Governor.
And Governor Daniel knew that by not attending the rally he would have played into the hands of his opponents who would have accused him of shunning Mr. President and not showing enough commitment to his function as the South West Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign Council.
“So the final decision taken by Governor Daniel was to attend the rally in spite of warning that there was a grand plot to embarrass him by hired thugs paid by some unscrupulous persons under the control of a fugitive from the law.
The Governor told members of the cabinet at the last meeting prior to the President’s visit that he would attend in deference to the President and as the Chief Host. The Governor said if the plotters eventually carried out the plot to embarrass him he would take it as a personal sacrifice that a leader must make from time to time.”