From Our Reporter
Chairman of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle yesterday urged leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State to put the interest of ordinary members above personal gains and and eschew any action or utterance capable of further fuelling the crisis in the party in the state.
Alhaji Ibikunle said that growing promotion of hate, lies, character assassination and other destructive tendencies by those who had benefited massively from the party, was wrong, wicked and a deliberate attempt to deprive the young ones in the progressive fold the opportunities of realizing their political goals.
Speaking with journalists in Ibadan Ibikunle maintained that he had never at any time left the APC contrary to insinuations in a paid advertisement sponsored by some prominent politicians that served in the last administration.
The Ibarapa-born politician declared that he had never even for just one day, joined or worked for any other party than the political party of the late Alhaji Lam Adesina and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu since the beginning of the present democracy unlike many of those peddling callous falsehood whom he said were turncoats notorious for jumping from one party to the other, without any consideration for composition or ideological leanings of such parties.
Alhaji Ibikunle also described as “ most wicked and evil” allegation that he collected money from Senator Soji Akanbi to step down for him in the 2019 election, stating that he had never and would never engage in such an act and challenged anybody with any evidence of such to bring it out.
“In all my political life, I have maintained a very decent and clean posture and that is why all the leaders I had worked with hold me in very high esteem. Without being immodest, I can say categorically that the immediate past Governor benefitted immensely from my hard earned reputation and integrity, in securing our party’s tickets and winning his two gubernatorial elections.
“As a loyal, committed and totally dedicated member of the All Progressives Congress, I used all in me to work for the party in my ward and local government in all the elections and my results which are far better than the results of our party in the polling units of those accusing me falsely, are public information which anybody can verify. I did all this, in spite of the neglect, dispossession and persecution I and my followers suffered in the hands of the then Governor.
“Anyway, unlike them, I am not known from greed, callousness and self-centeredness. Now, having lost undeservedly in the last general elections, the former PA to late Lam Adesina added that “what all of us, the leaders of the party should be concentrating on is how to achieve genuine reconciliation, serious pacification of the aggrieved ones.
What I expected from the immediate past Governor and our leader is some level of soberness and expression of genuine apologies to those he had either by commission or omission held down in the last eight years.
“For instance, you asked people to buy nomination forms to contest for chairmanship and councillorship primaries and because of their firm belief in you and your leadership these people went ahead selling their property, their heritage, spent all their live savings and even borrowed money only for you to jettison primaries and unilaterally picked only members of your faction. Is that fair? Is that how to lead? What is progressive in that? Many of these people’s lives have been permanently ruined and yet no words of succour from Senator Ajimobi.
“Together with like minds, I have been reaching out to the aggrieved members and to the glory of God, the response has been amazing. We are rebuilding and re-engineering the party. My appeal is that our Egbon and former Governor to join us in assuaging the aggrieved members so that we can all be on the same page”, Alhaji Ibikunle said.