As the real facts emerged on why the Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, denied the younger brother of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun Alli Okunmade II, Senator Kola Balogun, a second term ticket, Senator Balogun has challenged Governor Makinde to swear with the Holy Bible and with his life as a Christian if those reasons averred by the Governor were the real and principal reasons he took the decision.
It has been discovered that, contrary to reported claims, the decision to deny the incumbent senator a second term ticket was informed by the fear of the Balogun family becoming too powerful for the governor to control.
It could be recalled that Governor Makinde, about two weeks ago, gave his anointed candidate, Mr Joseph Tegbe, the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to contest for the 2023 senatorial election in Oyo South Senatorial District.
The governor, among some other reasons, reportedly alleged that Senator Kola Balogun has not performed and that he is not taking care of the party leaders in the senatorial district.
However, breaking his silence for the first time since the development, Senator Balogun said Governor Makinde was pressured by some powerful cartel in his Guest House who were of the fear that having a Balogun as the Olubadan and another Balogun as a senator would be too strong for the governor to control.
The incumbent senator, in a statement titled, “Real Facts Why Makinde Denied Olubadan’s Brother A Second Term Ticket”, said the governor was initially against the idea of dropping him as a senator but later caved in to the pressure.
“At the initial stage of preparation for the coronation of the Olubadan, the governor was unyeilding but a group within his house impressed it on him the implications of having two Balogun brothers as the Olubadan and as a senator.
“He initially rejected the suggestion by this group. A very prominent resident of Ibadan was with the governor on a pressing state matter when this same set of people came back to further convince him to stop my second term ticket.
“He also rejected the suggestion for the second time. But subsequent efforts of these people brought in a former senator from the state and they made him to cave in to their demand.
“Governor Makinde reportedly made some claims that I am not performing and that I am not taking care of the party leaders in the nine local government areas in Oyo South Senatorial District.
“As a Christian, can he swear with the Holy Bible and with his life that those were the real and principal reasons he took that decision?
“I challenge him to publicly swear before the PDP stakeholders; before the people of Ibadan, Oyo South Senatorial District and the entire state that he took that decision solely because of the reasons stated in the report. If he can do this, I will come back to openly apologise to him.
“The allegation of non-performance against me is puerile. The record of my performance and achievements is in the public domain and it is hereby attached to this piece,” he said.
Senator Balogun also challenged the governor to publicly disclose the party leaders in Oyo South Senatorial District who alleged that he is not reaching out to them.
“In Oyo PDP, under the leadership of Governor Makinde, we have two categories of party leadership. We have the formal leaders from the ward to the state levels, plus other recognised leaders.
“We have been relating with this category of party leaders in the course of my duty as a senator, both collectively and individually. The records are there for all to see.
“I made financial contributions to the campaign efforts of Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, both when he was running for the office of the PDP South-West zonal chairmanship and the Deputy National Chairman (North). It was in millions of naira. Some prominent leaders of the party are my witnesses.
“The party leaders in the senatorial district, including the nine local party chairmen, women leaders and youth leaders, among others, are all involved in the various projects, training and empowerment programmes initiated, sponsored or facilitated by me.
“If the allegation is true that I don’t relate with them, why would these party leaders be angry with the governor for denying me a second term ticket? Why would the local government chairmen of the party write to him, asking him to endorse me?
“We however concede to him that there are some informal leaders who are landlords in his Guest House. These people have constituted themselves into a very powerful and influential cartel.
“These informal leaders may be the ones who are complaining because some people who are seeking one favour or the other must go through them in order to get the attention of the governor.
“I don’t think that it is normal for me, as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to have a political relationship with the governor, and having to go through these informal leaders in his Guest House.
“So, they may be the ones complaining that I don’t give them anything. But I have absolutely no apologies to make in that regard.
“Even at that, I don’t part with less than between N100,000 and N200, 000 each time I visit the governor, either at his Abuja residence, Ibadan residence or the Governor’s Office in Ibadan. What else does this governor want from me?
“At the last PDP stakeholders’ meeting that he called, I gave out the sum of N5million; N4.5million at N500,000 per local council for the leaders and stakeholders’ from the senatorial district in attendance at the meeting, while the remaining N500,000 was for logistics for those who handled the money.
“On the same occasion, I gave some of his staff who were around that day the sum of N100,000. The same night, the nine local government chairman in the senatorial district sought to hold a meeting with me.
“I met with them and I also gave them money. So from where did this governor get all these spurious allegations that he is spinning around? The facts are there.
“Our conclusion from all of these is that these allegations are not only spurious, they are also pure lies from the pit of hell.
“Governor Makinde should remember that all power belongs to God and He gives it to whoever He chooses. The battle is still on and the final judgment is of the Lord,” Senator Kola Balogun wrote.
Lagos Post Online