The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State is enmeshed in allegations of bribery as members are accusing leaders of collecting money from some individuals to make the list of Commissioners in Gov Dapo Abiodun-led government.
Gov Abiodun is yet to form his cabinet since his administration came on board in May 2019.
However, there are indications that after a caucus meeting of the party recently, leaders were asked to submit names of nominees for Commissioners from the 20 local governments of the state.
This has brought about a lot of intrigues among Ogun APC members as they struggle to outsmart each other in clinching the available slots.
In Ijebu East, Hon. Tunde Oladunjoye, who is the Publicity Secretary for Ogun State APC Caretaker Committee, as well as other leaders of the party, was accused of collecting money from a nominee, Kehinde Oluwadare, before forwarding his name as the choice of the party from the Local Government.
But Oladunjoye said, “It is sheer bunkum to say some leaders were bribed to pick the Commissioner nominee for Ijebu East LG in the person of Kehinde Sunday Oluwadare, popularly called Nahum’snews gathered that three persons had earlier indicated interest from Ijebu East. They are: Dr. Tiamiyu and Mr. Niyi Ogunfadebo, both from Ijebu Ife Ward One, and Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare from Ijebu Ife Ward Two.
It was learnt that Mr Ogunfadebo and his team were not pleased with the choice of Oluwadare as the Commissioner nominee from Ijebu East.
There were allegations that some elders of the party were given N500,000, while some were promised monthly ‘returns’ by Oluwadare if he becomes the Commissioner from Ijebu East.
However, reacting to the allegations in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Monday, Oladunjoye said:
“The nominees were asked to write a formal application letter to the APC leadership in Ijebu East LG and to standardize and represent their CVs.
“On Wednesday, when three LGs (Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside) in the Federal Constituency met in Ijebu Ife, surprisingly, all the three LGs came with two nominees each and different number of delegates. First the issue of number of delegates was resolved as it was limited to five people per LG. Ijebu North was very vociferous, insisting that it had two state constituencies. The delegates from Ijebu North were told that we are equal local governments recognized by the Nigerian Constitution. So their ten delegates were reduced to five.
“As the meeting progressed, all the LGs were asked to take a break to go and reduce their commissioner nominees to one per LG. They all complied in line with the directives of the State Caucus meeting of the party held in Abeokuta on October 11, 2019.
“All factors considered, the Ijebu East delegates picked Kehinde Hacco over and above Mr. Ogunfadebo. I was not at the meeting, but I was ably represented by Hon. J. O. Okunuga, the immediate past Education Secretary of the LG.
“Among factors considered were educational qualifications, local and international exposure, past roles in the party and personal traits like carriage, comportment and temperament.
“It is, therefore, sickening for anyone or group of people to allege that some leaders were given money to arrive at such decision and were promised monthly funds. Very laughable.
“Unfortunately these allegations are coming from our LG alone. That speaks a lot on why our LG has remained where it was for about nine years now.
“The lawyers will say, you cannot approbate and reprobate. Will these baseless allegations have come up if it was Mr. Ogunfadebo that was picked? Why will you write application to a committee of elders, thereby submitting to its authority, and later said you are objecting to the composition after you realized you were not picked?
“Only one person can be picked for one slot. There was no way Ijebu East can send the names of two nominees.”
Also in his words, the much-debated Ijebu East commissioner nominee, Oluwadare debunked the allegations of bribery levelled against him, saying, “nothing of such transpired. I was not trained to offer any inducement to get political favour.”
His words: “My attention has been drawn to various online and offline circulations where I was alleged to have bribed our revered leaders in Ijebu East for the endorsement of my nomination for the post of Commissioner in Ogun State.
“Ordinarily, I would have disregarded the whole development but it is said that when a lie is often repeated, it can start having a semblance of truth. It is therefore expedient at this material time, to set the records straight and inform the general public, and particularly my constituent, that nothing of such transpired. I was not trained to offer any inducement to get political favour.
“I contested for the House of Representatives in the 2019 election. Despite not getting the party ticket, I didn’t leave the party or spoke ill of our revered leaders, rather I continued to serve the party more conscientiously than before. My nomination for the post of commissioner, which I accept with gratitude, is a confirmation of the love and my acceptance at the grassroots.
“In closing, I wish to impress it upon these detractors that in every contest there will always be a winner, but how we accept fate matters. I have been defeated before too, but I didn’t cry foul or drag the names of our respected leaders in the mud.
“My humble advice is for all of us to come together as one in the interest of our Local Government and in the development of Ogun State, under the leadership of our youth loving Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR.”