On Wednesday, Saturday’s by-election for Osun West Senatorial entertained a war of words as former governor Rauf Aregbesola lambasted Dr Deji Adeleke, saying the death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke has affected the mentality.
“I heard that Deji Adeleke said he is fighting with me. How can he be fighting with me? The death of his brother has affected his mentality,” he said.
The former minister spoke in Ede during a mega rally by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for its candidate in the July 8 bye-election for Osun West Senatorial District, said the senatorial seat does not belong to any family.
Aregbesola debunked the claim that he collected money from Deji Adeleke some years ago, saying, “I want to state that I have not received any favour from him and did not at any time collect money from him. Rather, it is them (Adeleke family) that have collected money from me.
The angry Aregbesola, who spoke in Yoruba, said: “It is Deji Adeleke that has gotten favours from me. Many years after he built his university, Adeleke University in Ede, he could not obtain a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) from the previous government.”
He said, “Deji Adeleke does not have the financial capacity to bail out Osun out of its financial challenges even before now, not to talk about lending us money to pay workers’ salaries. If anything at all, it is their family that sought and got favours from the Osun State Government under my watch.”
“It is to the glory of God that they got the Certificate of Occupancy of their university from our government. Why didn’t those who are their new friends give them a C of O of that university? If Deji Adeleke has so much money, why is he begging me to waive the payable tax of his university? Why can’t he just pay?
“I am bold enough to say this over and over again because I have never sought assistance from any of Adeleke’s family, even during the lifetime of Senator Isiaka Adeleke; nothing as such occurred. Though, my relationship with the late Adeleke was cordial and beyond politics because we have known each other even before Osun politics because our residences are adjacent to each other in Lagos State.
“He was a good brother and a friend to me while alive, but during this dire economic period, I never approached him for any financial assistance, not to talk of obtaining cash from his brother.”
Arguing that the senatorial seat does not belong to any party, he said, “If it is the exclusive right of a family, then Osun people should be serving the children of late Chief Bola Ige.
Late M.K.O Abiola died for democracy, and in that light, his son, Kola Abiola, should be made the president of Nigeria. Things don’t work that way.”
Aregbesola noted that “the patriarch of the Adeleke family and father of Deji Adeleke, late Raji Adeleke, was a progressive and Senator Isiaka Adeleke was a progressive politician before his death. It was Deji Adeleke that brought conservative politics into Ede.”