The former factional Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dele Olugbemi has trashed claims by the former Secretary to the State’s PDP, Dr. Tope Aluko that the governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose stage-managed the reconciliation between both parties.
Dele Olugbemi further revealed the part he played in the reconciliation adding that he took Dr. Tope Aluko to see the Governor on Sunday where Aluko prostrated three times be going for forgiveness.
Olugbemi, in a statement expressed his shock and surprise that Aluko addressed the press and claimed to have spoken to journalists under duress.
Dr. Tope Aluko, reacting to the claim said: “It is all lies. It is part of the plot to sustain the propaganda against me. Olugbemi is an appointee of the governor in the State Universal Basic Education Board. So, he is doing the bidding of his master.
“I only saw him when he barged into the meeting with the governor. I didn’t have any discussion with him and couldn’t have gone with him to the meeting. He is only being used.”
Olugbemi however replied saying his involvement in the issue was because he wanted peace to reign. He urged Aluko to desist from denying the reconciliation adding that he, Aluko could not deny re-affirming that Fayose remained “his mentor, leader and father.”
Olugbemi explained that: “The existing cordial relationship between Aluko and myself brought us to a discussion that eventually led to last Sunday, April 3, 2016 meeting. Even when the governor told him to sit down, he prostrated and I also prostrated along with him to beg the governor for total forgiveness.
“The governor asked Aluko four questions: whether he knew the implication of his coming to him; why he behaved in that manner; how old he was; and whether he wanted the reconciliation to be total or partial and he (Aluko) replied that he knew the consequence of coming to him and that if he did not want total reconciliation, he would not come to see the governor.
“At this point, Aluko stood up again, saying my mentor, my leader, my egbon ; I am your boy; you know, I am your boy. Whatever step I have taken before now, forgive me. Aluko and I prostrated again.”
Olugbemi also opened up on how the meeting came to be, he said: “Before we agreed to meet in Lagos, I first suggested that the meeting should take place in the Ekiti State Government House after the wedding of the niece of Governor Fayose but Aluko said he was not too comfortable with the arrangement because of the fear that he might be arrested.
“I reassured him that the intention of the meeting was not to arrest, embarrass or humiliate him but to reconcile hm with Governor Fayose, whom he called his mentor.
“In the morning of Sunday April 3, we agreed to meet in Lagos and I left Ekiti for Lagos. I got to Lagos at noon; I lodged in a hotel at Magodo Area of Lagos.
“At 1 pm, Aluko called me to confirm my hotel room number and I gave it to him. Aluko called me back and promised to be with me within 20 minutes. Fifteen minutes later, he called me again, and I told him that I was cutting my hair at a salon in Magodo. He asked me to come out of the salon and we met. He came in a blue Ford Jeep together with his woman.
“I joined them in the car and we drove to my hotel room where Aluko stayed with me till 2 pm. He later instructed me to call the governor to ascertain the time and place of the meeting.”
He noted that the governor didn’t pick up his call but he later called the Chief of Staff to the Governor, he proceeded: “The Chief of Staff told me to call either the ADC or the CSO to the governor for further directive. The CSO told us that the meeting will take place at the Governor’s House, a residence in Magodo, at 7.30pm.
“I told Aluko but he was not too comfortable with the venue of the meeting. He said if the meeting was about reconciliation, it should hold elsewhere and not at the governor’s residence. I pleaded with the governor that the meeting should hold elsewhere as demanded by Tope Aluko, which the governor obliged. All these I was doing because I wanted the crisis to be totally resolved.
“Immediately we were told of a new venue for the meeting, Aluko left my hotel room for Victoria Island and promised to come back at 7pm. At 7.45pm, Aluko came back to meet me at my Magodo hotel. At 9pm, I called the governor to inform him of Aluko’s arrival. The governor asked if I was sure Aluko was with me and I said yes.
“The governor told us to come to Eko Hotel and his friend will welcome us and that he would join us later. We drove in Aluko’s car, myself, a woman, a driver and my personal assistant.
“We got to the Eko Hotel at 9.50pm. We were taken to the hotel’s waiting room. Myself, Aluko, the ADC and a governor’s friend entered the same lift to the fourth floor of the hotel.
“Inside the hotel room, we prayed and I opened the floor for discussion, as agreed by Aluko. In my submission, I pleaded with the governor to forgive and forget about the previous comments and allegations made by Aluko against him since he is a father to us all. Aluko interjected and said that I should allow him to lead the talk.
“The governor told him to stop fooling himself at 50 and if he allowed himself to be used by the All Progressives Congress at 50, what legacy will he leave for his children? The governor told him that there were going to be reactions to the meeting by the APC. He therefore advised Aluko to switch-off his phones and rest for at least two weeks to avoid counter allegations. The governor said that the APC would fire back at Aluko because of the money he had received from the party to malign him.”