The former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf, has alleged that his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), did not win the 2018 gubernatorial election that produced Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
In fact, he is also alleging that the party primary that produced Oyetola was rigged against him by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who was subsequently rewarded with his present plum job.
But Omo-Agege has opted not to join issues with Lasun. His spokesman, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, said in Abuja: “The former Deputy Speaker is entitled to his opinion on what transpired. The Office of the Deputy Senate President will not join issues with him.”
Lasun has indicated interest in re-contesting the gubernatorial seat in Osun next year. On why he is contesting against Oyetola, the Osun born politician said: “I will not criticise anybody there now but I will talk on what I will do. To start with, where I did my Secondary School Certificate in 1979, 42 years ago, with a Division One (result), and as a government scholar, about six months ago that School has not been presenting candidates for either WAEC or NECO. So, I know this, I am a grassroot man. That’s one of the few things I am going to change. I am a big time farmer, I am going there to give it a face lift. As a trained engineer, I am a developmental economist, in four years I will create an economy for Osun, I know I can do that.”
The former Federal lawmaker, who lost the APC primary election to Governor Oyetola in 2018, told journalists : “Let me remind Nigerians today that surrounding whether direct or indirect primaries in All Progressives Congress, the confusion started in Osun state in 2018 with the sole aim to rig Lasun Yusuf out of the governorship primary election. But because of the kind of person I am, I knew this and people called me all over the country that I should not take part in that primary election.
“Let me tell you all these, the former governor of Zamfara state Abdulaziz Yari, was the chairman of that primary election committee. On the day of the primary Yari did not come to Osun. That’s left for you journalists to find out why he did not come; but let me give you a glimpse, the man knew I was popular but he was instructed to go and do a particular thing but he told them that he has ran an investigation and discovered that the Deputy Speaker was popular. That’s why Yari did not come to Osun during APC primary election in 2018.
“The job was undertaken by the current distinguished Senator, His Excellency Deputy Senate President. He became the Chairman of the Committee over the night, and I want to say, if he likes he can controvert this that one of the reasons Omo-Agege is the Deputy Senate President today was that he was compensated for that job.
“Omo-Agege was in my hometown for four hours on the day of that primary election, he actually conducted three ward primary out of six wards of my hometown and he signed three results in my hometown on the day of the said primary. So if I had wanted to go to court what happened in Zamfara would have happened in Osun state, but I never went to school because I want to start writing petitions to court, my life has always been if you think you have power to cheat me, go ahead and cheat me but sometimes someday we will meet again, and that’s why I never allowed Osun to go the way of Zamfara state.
“But on Thursday (before the election) when they met us at the party secretariat I warned them. I said if you rig me out of this election I can assure you that you are not going to win the governorship election. They thought I was a small boy and that I was just blabbing or just a mere threat. But my friends, you are witnesses to what happened when the election was eventually held, did they win? They didn’t because there is no way they can win.”
Confronted on his allegation that APC did not win in 2018 Osun governorship election, the former Deputy Speaker stood his ground.
“The allegation is not weighty, I have proof,” he said.
Recall that after the Osun election, it was declared inconclusive, but in the rerun elections that followed, Governor Oyetola triumphed miraculously, even though the Peoples Democratic Party candidate (PDP) was ahead before the rerun.
On former Governor Aregbesola, he said, “Aregbesola and some of us his friends came together in 2004 and we fought the battle to claim that state for the Progressives. On this note I salute Aregbesola’s courage because for that period of time he led from the front but that is a story for another day, the story for today is that I bought the form and I am contesting for Osun state governorship seat in 2022 and nobody born of a woman will do what they did to me in 2018 again.”
Reacting to comments by Osun West Senatorial District leaders that nobody should contest against governor Oyetola, former Deputy Speaker Lasun said “the leaders of APC who issued such statement have the right to do so.”