FOLARIN, A CURSE TO OYO STATE - AKALA
For attempting to reclaim the Oyo Central Senatorial District seat, Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, yesterday incurred the wrath of Govenor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, who described him as a curse to the state.
Jumoke Akinjide had earlier won the senatorial primary election conducted on January 11, having defeated three other contestants, that included the former military administrator of Lagos State, General Raji Rasaki (retd.), Mr. Gbenga Olaofe and Dr. Gbola Adetunji, but the national secretariat of the party later ordered a rerun last Friday in which Folarin was allegedly declared the winner.
Akinjide had cried foul about the order for a rerun, accusing Folarin of using his influence in the Presidency to impose himself against the wishes of the people in Oyo Central. But in dramatic turn of event, the National Working Committe of the party, on Saturday, confirmed Akinjide as the winner of the primary and the senatorial candidate for the April election.
Speaking on Sunday after receiving Akinjide, who had gone to Abuja to pick the party's nomination form, Akala, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja, declared that the eight years of Folarin in the National Assembly was a waste and that the state had not derived any benefit since he became a senator.
The governor further added that Folarin had betrayed his root and that his present predicament was the beginning of his misfortune.
Reacting to the governor's comment, Folarin advised the him to go back to school as such comment must have emanated from an uninformed mind. 'That comment clearly showed the backwardness of his mind. I am sure he might have thought of material benefit rather than tangible benefit expected of a lawmaker,' he said.
'Besides, all the people that have benefitted from me will not go to Akala or his deputy to tell them but the governor must tell us in almost five years of his administration in the state, what has the generality of the people benefitted, except the looting and unprecedented corruption.'
Akinjide, in her reaction to the verdict of NWC of the party, said it was a victory for democracy and justice, stressing that the party had displayed internal democracy by conducting primaries to all posts successfully.
'We have seen imposition in majority of the parties, the situation in Oyo Central was corrected by the NWC. The party has demostrated that nobody can impose himself on the people, power is derived from the people.
On the congratulatory message sent to her by Folarin, she said Folarin was never an aspirant into the Oyo Central Senatorial District primary election conducted by the PDP leadership and could never have congratulated her.
She added that as far as she knows ,she contested the election with Rasaki,Olaofe and Adetunji and that all of them have since congratulated her after accepting the result of the election ' but Folarin who was never an aspirant in the election but attempted to use his influence with the Presidency to change the verdict of the people, so the question of him congratulating me does not arise atall'.
Her words: 'This is a moment of history,we have to be factual so that history can be recorded, the truth of the matter was that Folarin was never an aspirant into the Oyo Central Senatorial District election.In the January election, four people contested with me and those were the aspirants screened by the screening committee of the PDP. The party attempted a rerun, because of the influence of Folarin in the presidency but the truth has prevailed'.
She boasted that nobody can defeat her in the coming election, saying 'I have the support of my people in Oyo Central, Governor Akala and the entire PDP executive in the state are behind me. Her father Chief Richard Akinjide, the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice while also speaking thanked God for the successful resolution of the crisis which resorted in the confirmation of his daughter as the PDP Senatorial candidate.
He also thanked Governor Akala who he said stood firm for the truth, democracy and justice while the crisis lasted
He said : 'I thank God, the PDP leadership and the Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Alao-Akala who has been very supportive and all the leaders of the PDP who have displayed integrity and justice throughout.