Obasanjo, Fayose Rift mar Oyinlola’s Party

AN array of guests in beautiful dresses, nice music, sumptuous meals and the cool breeze of an agrarian town.

That was the setting Sunday in Okuku, Osun State expansive home of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who lost his job on November 26, following a Court of Appeal verdict, which stated that Rauf Aregbesola of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was the validly elected governor.

But the colourful reception suddenly had a tinge of displeasure, with former Governor of Ekiti State Ayo Fayose’s arrival at about 2.41p.m.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was seated among dignitaries, such as former military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Governors Gbenga Daniel (Ogun) and Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo), accused Fayose of not greeting him.

A source at the party told The Nation: “After he had greeted the guests, except Obasanjo, Fayose’s attention was drawn to Obasanjo. But the former governor said he was not prepared to greet him.”

Obasanjo was quoted as saying: “Don’t mind him. I know he may not greet me, he must be a …”

But Fayose reportedly fired back, telling Obasanjo: “Respect yourself. You’re a … as well. You have nothing to defend here. You are not in a position to harass anybody.

“You’ve done enough damage. I’m not looking for contract or contact; I’m not a member of PDP and I’m not planning to return to the party.”

Fayose is of the Labour Party (LP).

Another source at the party, who pleaded not to be named, said: “While the special guests were in the private lounge for banters and lunch, ex-Governor Fayose came in with his wife.

“But while the couple were entering, Obasanjo was said to have muttered some words that ‘you (Fayose) are not a good boy’ and Fayose considered the derision offensive.

“The ex-governor reacted by screaming that he would not take nonsense from anybody.

“Fayose, who lost his cool, told Obasanjo: “You always use people and dump them; you are nothing. It is your fault. If not for you, all of us will not be where we are today in the Southwest.

“The atmosphere became charged, with Fayose shouting at Obasanjo: “E no go better for you.”

“Following intervention from eminent Nigerians and Oyinlola, Fayose stormed out of the private lounge to the open compound to sit.

“But he had hardly sat outside when he continued to scream. Oyinlola became helpless.

“Oyinlola, who was the only one who left the dinning room, begged Fayose, saying: ‘Don’t do this to me on a day like this; don’t spoil my day please.’

The source, however, claimed that Fayose’s behaviour left Obasanjo devastated.

He added: “Baba has never been this embarrassed in his life in a zone he believes he has conquered for the PDP.

“All Obasanjo could say was ‘don’t mind that boy’, but Fayose’s behaviour cast a pall of gloom on the thanksgiving for Oyinlola.”

Contacted last night, Fayose confirmed that he had an open disagreement with the ex-President.

The Presidency was said last night to have got a report on the incident.

A source said: “If necessary, security agencies may invite Fayose on what actually transpired in Okuku. The status of a former President of Nigeria is highly revered. That is why security agencies may look into the incident.”

Yet another source said Fayose described Obasanjo as the main cause of the tragedy that has befallen the Southwest PDP.

Fayose was said to have accused the former President of destroying the legacies held dear by the Yoruba race.

The former governor was quoted as saying: “You don’t deserve my greeting. I don’t greet people like you. I am not here as a PDP member. I am here as a personal friend of Prince Oyinlola. I am here not because I want to return to the PDP. When the honey was there, I turned it down. Why should you confront me for not greeting you? I am in Labour Party. I am not looking for work from you. Even, I don’t know what you mean, because you are no more the President.”

Fayose confirmed the altercation on the phone last night. He said Obasanjo insulted him by using some unprintable words on him. “I told Obasanjo that he is no more the President. I told him I am not ready to return to the PDP and that those who destroyed the party in Ekiti should go and repair it,” he told The Nation.

A service at St. Michael Anglican Church preceded the reception. It was well attended.

Also at the reception were Chief Tunde Osunrinde, member, Board of PDP, Southwest chairman of the party, Chief Tajudeen Oladipo and other dignitaries.

Source: The Nation

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