By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—Former deputy governor of Ogun State, Rafiu Ogunleye, has accused Governor Ibikunle Amosun of trying to force former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and other party stalwarts of the All Progressives Party, APC out of the party.
But in a swift reaction, APC publicity secretary in the state, Sola Lawal described Ogunleye’s statement as unfortunate.
According to him, the former number two man ”became everything he is today on the platform of the progressives before he defected to the PDP. As at today is still a member of the APC and no one has left the party for other political parties.”
The former deputy governor, who served with Osoba on the platform of Alliance for Democracy, AD, between 1992 and 1993, however said he warned Amosun against his action six months after he was elected governor but refused to change.
Ogunleye, who has declared his governorship ambition under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, claimed he was part of those that brought about Amosun’s emergence as governor.
Speaking after he submitted his letter of intent to the PDP Chairman in the state, Bayo Dayo, at the party Secretariat in Abeokuta, Ogunleye said the APC had lost its founding fathers to other parties.
Ogunleye said “Let me tell you something, the AC element in APC in Ogun amounts to almost 75 to 80 per cent and they have gradually left APC. You are in this state and you know what is happening. It doesn’t give me happiness. I have participated in the politics of the state and I can say that I participated in installing the present government.”
, I played a key role.
“Having installed the government, it is not doing what is expected for party members who worked hard to get him into that position. We discovered that as soon as he got there, he tried to separate everybody. I had a cause to meet him in 2011 barely six months after he got into power and I told him that within six months, he was already losing people, that people were not happy with him.
“But, instead of seeing changes, the situation became aggravated. People became disgruntled, members of the party became disgruntled and the party broke into two. So, there was ACN group on one side and the SIA group on the other hand. You can’t run a party like that. That was the reason many of us decided to leave the party, when there was no improvement. So, that is why I am here today”.
When asked about his ability to govern the state considering his age, the septuagenarian said “What does it take to administer a state? Tell me, does it require me to run a marathon race? Governance is about experience, wisdom and what you know. You will have commissioners to assist you, but you must have the experience.
”If they want employment, you provide employment for them. Is it age you will use to do all that? Or will I have to climb trees and mountain? The constitution does not state a maximum age, only minimum”.