Governor Rauf Aregbesola

By Omololu Ogunmade and Yinka Kolawole

Former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Iyiola Omisore, yesterday denied issuing a threat to attack the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.

The denial however came on a day the former General Secretary of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, expressed dismay over insinuations that Aregbesola was planning the islamisation and secession of Osun State.

But Omisore, while reacting on allegation of attack on the convoy of Aregbesola, contended that there was no basis for him to issue such a threat to anyone not to talk of a governor of a state where he is a major stakeholder.

He pointed out that “as a politician who does not believe in politics of life and death, issuing of such threat as reported by the media was uncalled for.

“It is unfortunate that I could be misquoted to the extent of issuing a threat of attacking Aregbesola’s convoy, why should I make such a threat for God sake, I have no problem with Aregbesola or any politician whatsoever, why should I attack his convoy, in fact is that possible,in what capacity will I being carrying out an empty,” he said.

Omisore remarked that during the chat with some journalists in his house in Ile Ife last Saturday  what he discussed with journalists was that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State would not allow the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to rig any  election in the state as witnessed during the April 2011 general elections during which ACN made use of the OYES and other suspected thugs to scare away voters, especially the PDP members.

“I believed that all right thinking Nigerians would kick against election rigging, thus the PDP owes it a duty to stop Aregbesola from using OYES and thugs to intimidate the people of Osun state in any election to be held in the state. At the interview, I said we are ready to go to court to stop the OYES  and other groups and bodies unknown to the law of the land from monitoring elections in the state. I hereby dissociate myself from such irresponsible statement,” he said.
Meanwhile, Opadokun while addressing a press conference in his law chambers in Lagos, Opadokun warned the PDP against any ploy to use religion to foment crisis in the South-west, saying the opposition political party in the zone needs to be called to order for unnecessarily seeking to cause crises. “PDP elements need to be called to order. They should stop fanning the embers of crises. There is a limit to political chicanery and rascality,” Opadokun warned.

He described the allegation as pedestrian and the hallmark of frustration of some politicians seeking relevance in Abuja, explaining that given the socio-cultural state of Osun, islamising it is outrightly impossible adding that religion is a thing of the mind in the zone.

Osun is a big project and I am a stakeholder in the project called Osun state being an indigene, so I can never descend so low to the extent of nursing  such a senseless  ambition of attacking the convoy of a sitting governor being a former deputy governor myself and a lover of the nation’s growing democracy. I am a man of peace, I am committed to peace and stability of the state, I have no other state to lay claim to than Osun and I will continue to work for its stability,” Omisore noted.

Meanwhile, Opadokun, while addressing a press conference in his law chambers in Lagos, Opadokun warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against any ploy to use religion to foment crisis in the South-west, saying the opposition political party in the zone needs to be called to order for unnecessarily seeking to cause crises.

“PDP elements need to be called to order. They should stop fanning the embers of crises. There is a limit to political chicanery and rascality,” Opadokun warned.

He described the allegation as pedestrian and the hallmark of frustration of some politicians seeking relevance in Abuja, explaining that given the socio-cultural state of Osun, islamising it is outrightly impossible adding that religion is a thing of the mind in the zone.

“Yoruba is a sophisticated nation where religion is a matter between you and your God. Many homes are adherents of various forms of religion and they live in harmony and peacefully. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is an ideologue. He is not a religious bigot as people label him,” Opadokun added.

He also described allegation that the governor was plotting the secession of Osun State from Nigeria as childish and unfounded, alleging that members of the State Security Service (SSS) who raised the allegation have been compromised. He regretted that the Service which comprises highly educated persons could yield themselves to such blackmail.

According to him, the trend is a repeat of allegations of plots of insurrection made against Chiefs Olabisi Onabanjo and Chief Bola Ige, while serving as governors of Ogun and Oyo State respectively in the Second Republic.

Opadokun further said PDP was attempting to blackmail and distract Aregbesola because it is intimidated by his record of performance and managerial skills in less than two years of his administration, emphasising that he did not only employ 20,000 youth within his 100 days in office but also blocked financial loopholes and consequently saved N32 billion in the state’s purse.

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