By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Suleiman Yusuf Lasun, has alleged that All Progressive Congress (APC) made senator Ovie Omo-Agege the Deputy Senate President to compensate him for doing a hatchet job for the party in the Osun governorship primaries in 2018.
Hon. Lasun, who is contesting the 2022 governorship election in Osun State, revealed this while picking his nomination and expression of interest forms at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja, where he told journàlists that APC used Omo-Agege to conduct indirect primaries with which he was rigged out in the election.
The former Speaker alleged that for four hours, Omo-Agege was in his village perfecting plans to rig the election, even as he recalled how the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, who was originally mandated to conduct the primary, pulled out of the responsibility, having discovered and informed the party of how popular he (Lasun) was in the State.
He claimed that it was when Abdulazeez refused to come to Osun and do the bidding of the party that Omo-Agege emerged from nowhere to become the chairman of the APC primary election Committee in Osun, where he rigged the election and got compensation to become the Deputy Senate President.
Speaking further, Lasun said the incumbent Governor of Osun, Gboyega Oyetola, did not win the 2018 governorship election in the State, but he was manipulated to become the Governor of the State.
The ex lawmaker however warned that nobody born of a woman can repeat what they did to him in 2018, adding that such a person will have his or her generation to blame, as the people will resist such moves. He pointed out that he is not a violent person and does not carry thugs, but will apply legitimate means to resist any such rigging.
He said “In 2018, when the opportunity to run for the governorship election presented itself, I came into the race. Though at that time there was a serious gang up against me at the party level within the state. A serious gang up, well orchestrated, well coordinated. Because of the person I am, I don’t believe in jumping ship. I have had the opportunity to move from APC to another party, but that is not me. I knew the whole thing was tilted against me, but I never bothered.
“If not for my campaign, because I came out very early for my campaign in 2017, APC was dead in Osun. Dead to the extent that it was not possible for APC to win that governorship election unless it was given to someone like me.
“Because of the strength of my campaign and my strength as an individual and the clarity of purpose that they know if the man becomes the governor of the state, he would be able to deliver. I have all these things in my possession.
“Let me remind Nigerians today that whether it is a direct or indirect primary, the confusion started in Osun state in 2018, with the sole aim of rigging Lasun Yusuff out of the governorship election. I am that important in APC.
“But because of the kind of person I am, I knew this, people called me all over the country, so they wanted me not to take part in that governorship election. They told me whatever money I was spending or I must have spent was going to go to waste because the election was going to be rigged. In party politics, if you are not prepared to lose at times, then you are not a politician. That means you are only fighting for positions for selfish reasons.
“I knew the election was going to be rigged because the platform was already prepared. And let me tell you this, the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, was the chairman of that Committee. On the day of primary, Yari did not go to Osun, that is left for you journalists to go and find out why he did not go.
“But let me give you a glimpse of what actually happened. The man knew I was popular. The man was instructed to go and do a particular thing, but he told them, I have run an investigation and I have discovered that the Deputy Speaker is popular. If you want us to come and achieve this, it might be difficult.
“That was one of the reasons that the man didn’t come. The job was undertaken by the current distinguished Senator, Deputy Senate President (Ovie Omo-Agege). He became the Chairman overnight. And I want to say, if he likes, he can contradict this. One of the reasons why he is Deputy Senate President today was that he was compensated for that job.
“Omo-Agege was in my home town for four hours on the day of that primary and he actually conducted three Wards primary out of six Wards of my home town and he signed three results. 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 wanted to start writing petitions.”
He also said “But on Thursday when they met at the party secretariat, I warned them, I said if you rig me out of this primary election, I can assure you that you are not going to win the governorship. They thought I was a small boy and they thought I was just blabbing or just a mere threat.
“But my friends, you are a witness to what happened when the election eventually held. Did they win? They didn’t because there is no way they can rig. Because of Aregbesola and some of us, his friends came together in 2004 and we fought the battle to claim that state for the Progressives.”On the possibility of being rigged out again in 2022, the former Deputy Speaker said “Nobody born of a woman will do what they did to me in 2018 again.”