…says allegation spurious, handiwork of town’s monarch
The All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidate for Remo North State Constituency in the March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Ogun state, Biyi Adeleye, has denied the allegation of leading hoodlums to attack members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in his hometown of Isara-Remo.
Adeleye, in an interview with newsmen, said the allegation was not only spurious, but a calculated and deliberate ploy by members of the opposition party in the state to soil his reputation.
A group, Concerned Citizens of Remo North Local Government Area, in a petition to the Ogun State Police Command, had accused Adeleye of causing mayhem and physically assaulting PDP leaders and members in the local government area.
But speaking with newsmen in Isara, at the weekend, Adeleye noted that the allegation was a total fabrication, masterminded by the Odemo of Isara, Oba Adebose Mayungbe, who according to him, is a “card-carrying” member of the PDP.
He explained that before the election, the monarch subjected his Chiefs, Baales and some of his loyalists to oath-taking that they would never vote for the APC.
He added that it was the monarch, who allegedly accommodated in his palace, thugs and suspected cultists, who later prevented the Remo North LG chairman and leaders of the APC in the local government from gaining access into the Collation Centre.
Adeleye, who expressed dismay at the false allegation, further alleged the traditional ruler for instructing a leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Isara, popularly known as Titi Olosan, to mobilize his members and bring ballot boxes from the Orile-Oko ward.
“The allegation is totally fabricated and it is so unfortunate, the quarters from where the spurious allegation emanated from. It came from the Palace of Odemo of Isara. But the respect I have for the stool, made me to keep quiet on the issue before now. Since they now went ahead to write a petition to the police against me, I think I should tell the whole world what has been happening in this town, even, before the March 18 elections.
“We have lost an election before in this town and we have won, back then, we never attacked anybody. But Odemo, by his conduct, has shown the whole world that he is a card-carrying member of the PDP. Before the election, he subjected his Chiefs, Baales and some of his loyalists to oath-taking that they would never vote for the APC. I said it is okay. This is because the governorship candidate of the PDP, Oladipupo Adebutu gave him a car, 1,000 bags of cement, a transformer, the industrial generator in his palace and placed him on a monthly salary. So, to me, it is okay to do that to pay back for what Adebutu had done for him. But, the monarch should know his limit as a civil servant as well, he should not come out in the open to denigrate the stool of Odemo because of partisan politics, let alone the Office of the Governor who pays for the stool he is occupying.
“On that election day, it was obvious that the PDP took advantage of the current economic situation in the land and the lack of cash in the country to bring the integrity of the electoral process into destruction by buying votes for N10,000 per individual. Our people got sucked into it and as politicians, we knew that we would lose that election. But in order to ensure the votes that our party polled, counted at the end, we headed to the Collation Centre, but we were shut out by thugs and cult guys harboured by the Odemo in his palace. He had instructed them not to allow us access into the Collation Centre. The hoodlums led by one Banji Olosan and Bode Blue Face, were armed with dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, cudgels, guns and charms. These people did not allow a single member of our party, even the local government chairman, to enter the Collation Centre. It was so sad! They called me and asked them to leave the place and find a safe place to stay. These thugs even attacked a cousin of mine, smashed the windscreen of his car and he narrowly escaped
“They later went into a government-owned hotel, Capital Hotel in Isara. We then reported the situation to our party leadership in the state that the PDP guys prevented us from the Collation Centre. Our people were in the Capital Hotel when Odemo called the thugs to leave the Collation Centre right away and move to his palace. He then told them to head to the hotel. He told them that we were at the hotel thumb printing ballot papers which we planned to stuff into ballot boxes. The hoodlums swarmed on the hotel, firing at our people directly, wounding them in the ensuing melee. With gun shot wounds, they escaped through the barbed wire fence of the hotel. Some of the wounded people are still at the hospital receiving treatment”. He stated.
Adeleye said when the governor was later declared winner on Sunday, March 19th, he led his supporters and his party members on a jubilation ride around Isara, without attacking anybody, let alone attacking the Palace of Odemo.
His words: “When the governor was declared the winner on Sunday, we jubilated around town. I was in my open roof vehicle moving around and waving at our people, thanking them for their support. How they attacked Odemo’s palace, I don’t know. I expect him to show us proof of attacks and vandalization of his palace. This is the same Odemo, forgetting that he is a civil servant, who called an OPC leader in Isara known as Titi Olosan, asking him to mobilize his members to go to Orile-Oko and bring ballot boxes. A person who was with Titi when the monarch called him alerted us, so we informed the police and he was arrested with a double-barrelled gun. Odemo went ahead to call Adebutu who in turn called the police to release Titi. The guy was not only released, the gun was handed back to him. So, for some people to peddle falsehood that I led attacks on the PDP members and the Palace of Odemo, to me, is the height of the calculated attempt to tarnish my image. Odemo should stand up to the responsibility of swearing with all his children, to prove that his palace was truly attacked”.
The former local chairman, however, said aside being partisan, Odemo’s grouse with him started when the monarch accused him of preventing to benefit from vehicles gifted by Governor Dapo Abiodun to some traditional rulers in Remoland.
According to Adeleye, five vehicles were handed over to the Akarigbo of Sagamu and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, who used his discretion on the distribution of the vehicles.
“My offence according to Odemo is that I was the one who did not allow him to benefit from cars gifted by Governor Dapo Abiodun to some traditional rulers in the state, including those in Remoland. In actual fact, the Governor himself gave these vehicles to the Paramount Rulers of each zone, who then used their discretion to distribute to traditional rulers. How is that my fault? Even in Ikenne Local Government where the governor hails from, one vehicle was given and not to the Alaperu of Iperu, who is the traditional ruler of Governor Abiodun’s hometown. Odemo should check himself. He should see himself as a civil servant and not a politician”, he pointed out.
Adeleye disclosed that politicians in Isara-Remo have been playing their politics without any rancour until the monarch meddled in the affairs of politicians, urging the traditional ruler to play his roles as a father to all instead of pitching his tents with a particular party and instigating chaos and sowing seeds of discord in his community.
“If not for the Odemo who has been trying to cause disaffection in this town ever since he was installed, we, politicians have been playing the game by the rules. On the day of his coronation, we had issues. When he was being taken to seclusion (Ipebi) there was a problem, and even when we went there to give him gifts, we encountered problems, therefore, he should check himself. Ever since he ascended the throne, Isara has not known peace. People in the PDP are our brothers, except for the people who should act as fathers but meddling into political space.
“We did not lose the election, we won by the grace of God. This community, I really love so much. From Orile-Oko to Ilara to Isara and others, the people really love us so much and what we are doing, except for the fact that PDP and Adebutu took advantage of the present economic situation and subjected the election to vote-buying. That election was made for us to win. But even at that, we don’t have any problems. And let me emphasize once again that we did not attack anybody. If we wanted to attack, then, we must be prepared to attack over 6,000 who did not vote for us. We know our neighbours and cousins who did not vote for us, did we fight them? No! It is Odemo that needs to check himself”, he stressed
The APC House of Assembly candidate, who disclosed that efforts were already on to seek legal redress over the attacks on the APC leaders and members on March 18, submitted that “the physical attack, particularly on the council chairman must not be swept under the carpet. The man could have been killed in the attack. To me, that is not politics”.