The Governor-elect in the just concluded Osun State gubernatorial election, Senator Ademola Adeleke has revealed how some associates of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola worked for him in Saturday’s poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the Adeleke, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election keenly contested by over five political parties in the state.
According to the electoral umpire, Adeleke polled a total of 403,371 votes ahead of the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 375,027 votes.
Adeleke’s victory in the stronghold of the APC has, however, stirred various reactions, with some political analysts saying the feud between Aregbesola, a former Osun governor, and Oyetola contributed to the defeat of the party.
It could be recalled that prior to the election, Aregbesola and Oyetola fell out over the tussle for control of the Osun APC leadership, the Minister was also absent during the party’s campaign in the state, and did not vote in the election.
The governor-elect who spoke in an interview on Channels Television on Monday on the claim that Aregbesola supported the PDP said he did not work with the minister on his governorship bid, but his associate worked for him.
He said, “I did not work with Aregbesola. I didn’t even talk to him, but all I know is his associates, for example, Kolapo Alimi, one of the lawyers that represented Oyetola at the tribunal.
“Then, anytime I saw him (Alimi) in court because I’m a civilised person, I will go to them and greet them and say ‘how are you doing?’ It was later he apologised and said ‘he was thinking ‘why is senator Adeleke greeting me? We are trying to mess him up and he is still greeting me’.
“But he later told me that while I was greeting him, I didn’t know that I was giving them poison. They knew that I won the election and they rigged me out and I was still greeting them. I believe that Aregbesola and Oyetola fell out.
“He (Alimi) came to me and said he has watched me and that he wants to join our party and we accepted. But Aregbesola directly? No. But we know a lot of top APCs that joined. Assuming that I had been talking to Aregbesola one way or the other, then I would say that maybe he gave the go-ahead to support me.
“These people have grown; they have their own minds to decide if they want to join me or not. They believed that I was the one to beat and they came to me. I won’t know whether Aregbesola gave them go-ahead or not, because I have not been talking to Aregbesola.”