Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), while speaking at the palace of Ataoja of Osogbo, Jimoh Olanipekun, reportedly said that he is richer than Osun State.
He added that he has no plan as being insinuated of installing a puppet in Osun to suck its treasury dry ahead of the forthcoming Governorship Election in the state.
Tinubu is no doubt the most influential politician in the South-West. He was apparently accused of trying to install a puppet in Osun like in other South-West states for his selfish gains.
He however noted that such allegations were unfounded because some of the states in the region do not even have enough money from which a person of his status could steal from.
The candidate of the APC in the state, Gboyega Oyetola, will on September 22, contest the governorship election against his main rival, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Tinubu was in Osun State over the weekend for the APC campaign ahead of the election. The former Lagos State Governor visited the palace of the Osun traditional ruler to present the candidate of the APC to him.
“We would have asked Rauf (Aregbesola) to continue, because he is doing well. But we chose to look at another of your illustrious sons, Gboyega Oyetola, and handed him over to you. He is trustworthy. He may be quiet and gentle but the wisdom he displays; he’s an encyclopedia of finance.
“He will not collect bribe nor steal your money. If he is after money, let him stay in Lagos. For, you don’t have the magnitude of wealth that can tempt him in Osun.
“I am not being abusive and I will not look into the eyes of Kabiyesi (the King) to say this. People may be saying that Jagaban, Asiwaju has appointed someone to help him plunder Osun’s funds, and all, and I ask them: ‘How much exactly do you (Osun State) even have?’
“Kabiyesi I don’t want to say this in front of you but, Osun is not as rich as I am, that one would steal. I only want to help this state.”
According to Tinubu, he is only supporting Oyetola because he desires to facilitate the development of the state through employment generation, infrastructural development, establishment of industries and economic growth.
“But to engender good things in this state, to help you people, to employ your children, to help create jobs. Those are the opportunities that foster growth and development. When we see a brilliant son of the soil, then we encourage him to go back home and facilitate development, to help his people.
“Everybody’s prayer is that a son should take back home the bounties of living abroad. That’s the position in which God has installed you. May your children bring home bounties from their sojourn abroad. That’s the position we have placed Oyetola: the one who brings favours from abroad.
“We trained Rauf (Aregbesola) in Lagos, he didn’t disappoint us. He didn’t disappoint you too nor did he soil your name. Oyetola that we have brought before you is also your son, we raised him for you.”
Tinubu however clarifies his statement following outrage and protests by residents of the Osun State.
According to Tunde Rahman, Tinubu’s media adviser, opposition parties decided to take advantage of the APC leader’s remarks.
“This was intended to create bad blood among Asiwaju Tinubu, the highly respected Ataoja and the good people of Osogbo whom the APC leader holds in very high esteem.”
“For the avoidance of doubts, however, Asiwaju Tinubu did not disparage the people Osogbo in his remarks at the palace.”
“What the APC leader said is that in vying for Osun governorship, the party’s candidate, Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, is motivated by service and not by any selfish consideration.”
“He said for Alhaji Oyetola, using the governorship, if elected, as an avenue for primitive wealth accumulation is the least of his considerations for the office. He recalls that Alhaji Oyetola is an insurance guru who has been in the corporate world for over 30 years now. He founded and raised his company to the enviable level that it is today.”
He noted that the APC leader highly regards the Ataoja of Osogbo and in no way meant any disrespect against him nor the respectable throne.
“He will also not do or say anything to lower the esteem of the people of Osogbo. The report giving the impression that he disparaged them is concocted and should be totally ignored.”