Home Latest News Tinubu’s N25M Gift Tears Lam Adesina’s Followers Apart

Tinubu’s N25M Gift Tears Lam Adesina’s Followers Apart

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Alhaji Fatai Ibuikunle, former Personal Assistant to the late Lam Adesina, led the delegation of Lamists that visited Tinubu in Lagos, selecting 11 others. They collected Tinubu’s N25m without informing the others, particularly those who contested. On their return to Ibadan, they endorsed Adelabu on Tuesday.

There is trouble in the camp of the political followers of the late Lam Adesina, popularly called Lamists/Unity Forum, following Bola Tinubu’s N25million gift to some of its members to secure their endorsement of Bayo Adelabu, the Oyo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

After last year’s contentious primaries of the Oyo State APC, some followers of Adesina, the Oyo State Governor between 1999 and 2003, defected to the African Democratic Congress (ADC), to further pursue their political ambitions.

Those of them who contested the February 23 elections under the ADC — 14 house of representatives and three senatorial candidates — all ended up on the losing side. With APC performing poorly in that election and fearing that Saturday’s governorship election will not be as straightforward as previously thought, Tinubu, the National Leader of APC, invited the Lamists to Lagos in a last-ditch to get them to back Adelabu. SaharaReporters undertands they were given a sum of N25million.

Alhaji Fatai Ibuikunle, former Personal Assistant to the late Lam Adesina, led the delegation of Lamists that visited Tinubu in Lagos, selecting 11 others. They collected Tinubu’s N25m without informing the others, particularly those who contested. On their return to Ibadan, they endorsed Adelabu on Tuesday.

In a statement announcing the endorsement, Ibikunle said the group “bowed to pressure from the national leadership of the APC and resolved to team up with their former party to ensure victory for Chief Adebayo Adelabu in this Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state”.

“In an emergency meeting held on Tuesday at a private location in Ibadan, leaders and members of the Forum unanimously considered the reports of a delegation which had earlier met with Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and agreed to unite for the sake of peace and progress of the pacesetters state,” he further said.

“According to the leader of the delegation which recently had an interface with Tinubu in Lagos home, all the issues that led to the schisms within the Oyo APC were presented and treated accordingly while far reaching agreement were reached by both parties with a view to facilitating victory for the APC gubernatorial candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Saturday.”

Irked by the “ignominious development”, the other Lamists, mainly the 14 reps and three senatorial candidates of the ADC met at the Lam Adesina Hall in Felele, Ibadan, on Wednesday to dissociate themselves from the defection of the other group to the APC.

The group, predominantly populated by political ambassadors drawn from various political parties, condemned “the surreptitious conduct and purported endorsement of the gubernatorial candidate of the APC by some few individuals masquerading as adherents of the late former Governor”. 

In a communique issued after the meeting, seen by SaharaReporters, they said, among others: “Lam Adesina’s political family remains an indivisible one. 

“Lamists/Unity Forum have nothing to do with All Progressives Congress, APC, with its sheer disdainful conduct to rubbish and obliterate the legacy of the late former Governor.

“We have not endorsed any gubernatorial candidate as we are still consulting far and near. This is to make sure that opinions of all members of Lamists/Unity Forum as well as of those who contested the National Assembly elections are sought before arriving at a conclusion on who to support.”

They also maintained that they were “NOT rejoining the APC” because the reasons they left the party had not been addressed. They also said their membership of the ADC remains valid, and that Senator Olufemi Solagbode Lanlehin remains the leader of the group.

“Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu, Hon. Adedapo Lam Adesina, Hon. Sumbo Olugbemi, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun and a host of others remain members of the ADC as long the national leadership of APC refuse to do the needful in addressing the injustice that characterized the conduct of the last congress in Oyo State,” the group added.

On Monday, SaharaReporters had reported how APC’s woeful outing in Ajimobi’s senatorial district prompted protests from party leaders, with Tinubu now personally overseeing the campaigns in a desperate bid to prevent a potential surrendering of the governorship to Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Incensed by the report, Tinubu — according to a statement by Tunde Rahman from his media office — described it as “beyond a lie… a vindictive attempt to sow discord because the writer is angered by the APC’s success in the presidential election”. 

Surprisingly, for two straight days after issuing the statement, Ajimobi has not been “in the forefront” of the governorship campaign in Oke-Ogun, comprising 10 local governments. On Tuesday and Wednesday, for example, Adelabu campaigned in Oke-Ogun, comprising 10 local governments, without Ajimobi.

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