Abeni Aso-Oke



Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

I had a chance to listen to the media engagement between Hon Bola Ilori and Nifemi Oguntoye of TVC some days ago. While Nifemi cunningly wanted to draw inferences from the trending photograph attached below where President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was seen dialoguing with Hon Ilori when he visited Ondo state last week, Hon Ilori, being an experienced politician didn’t give in as he categorically left the import of the photograph to the media handlers of the president. However, he didn’t deny Nifemi’s interpretation either.

Nifemi re-echoed the dialogue in the photograph as president Tinubu demanded to know where Ilori stands in the political equation of Ondo State. He affirmed that he’s with Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa. Who doesn’t want to be on the lucky side in Ondo state today? I want to be lucky too. I am lucky already. This is the euphony everywhere in Ondo state. Ilori too is lucky enough to be on the side of truth and he didn’t hide that from the president in their open conversation. Are we to ask why the president demanded to know the mind of Hon Bola Ilori? That should be a topic for another day.

Abeni Aso-Oke

One thing that struck me in the course of the interview is Ilori’s straightforwardness while attempting to respond to the question of Aketi’s anointed candidate. Except in the morgue, Aketi never anointed anyone other than his darling Deputy, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa who’s today the 7th Civilian Governor of Ondo State. Hon. Ilori openly reminded us all that Aketi told him privately as much as he didn’t hide it publicly.

I was a member of the 2020 Aketi/Datiwa Campaign Council. I served under Mr Kunle Adebayo in the Strategic Communications Committee. I remember people who served with us. Larry Tugbi, Lulu Fawehinmi l, Oluwatobi Omosalewa Fademi were members of my committee too. On the day Aketi was to inaugurate the Campaign Council which he called a campaign village because of its massive population of party faithful, he dropped the hint. Right inside the Dome, Aketi spoke so well of his then yet-to-be Deputy. He told us how and where he chose him. Aketi said he prayerfully chose his Deputy.

In fact, he mentioned that he had to choose him under a strict guidance from the church. Aketi specifically mentioned church at the Dome. He jokingly told us that his inability to go to the church while choosing his Deputy was his initial and colossal mistake. He told us his first attempt at a bulletproof car was at the benevolence of Aiyedatiwa. He even wondered why people from the South like bulletproof cars in his usual jocular manner. We all laughed as he charged us to work for the party. He even cautioned that we should not lie about anything. We should be proud of his achievements where he had done well and beg the people where he hadn’t done much. Anyone in doubt should challenge me with the video of the day Aketi inaugurated his second term Campaign Council at the Dome.

I agree with Hon Bola Ilori that Aketi never supported anyone to be Governor till he died except Aiyedatiwa. I agree with him again that Aketi who was battling ill health never had a reason to fight Governor Aiyedatiwa. Ilori was right that it was all politics occasioned by the fear of the change in the political dynamics of Ondo State. This fear nearly wrecked us as a people. Politicians stopped at nothing to hold this state on the jugular. They strangled us that even nature was against us. The people yelled. Elders moaned. But eventually, Ondo state won as peace returned and a new life started.

As Ondo State is singing a new song today, the active players of the inglorious days of thick confusion are gathering. This time, they even need our thumbs to conclude what they have started. They are whitewashing us. Interestingly, the onlookers and the schemers are also on another side, praying to prey us all. They too, like the active perpetrators want our thumbs. Are the schemers/onlookers not worse than the active perpetrators? Everyman’s antecedents are before the people of Ondo state. Without doubt, the people will judge accordingly as we face the plebiscite.

Sunday Olugbenga Abire is Special Assistant on New Media to the Governor of Ondo State

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Abeni Aso-Oke

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