Typical of the dirty politicking in Oyo State, campaign for the forthcoming elections has become messy with allegations and counter allegations now beamed on the health status of the state governor, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi and former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Ajimobi is the governorship candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) while Akala is of the opposition Labour party and Ajimobi’s immediate predecessor.
In what appears a double edge sword, Ajimobi’s aides had last month called for the medical examination of all the candidates in the forthcoming election, a call that other candidates ignored.
The call was predicated on the insinuations that both Akala and another former governor Senator Rashidi Ladoja who is the governorship candidate of the Accord Party were not medically fit for the office of the governor.
However, aides of the governor were said to have stirred the hornet’s nest last week when rumours went round the state that Akala collapsed and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Ajimobi’s aides were accused of being behind the spread of the rumour within the state.
But an aide to former governor Akala, Oludare Ogunlana quickly refuted it and described the rumour as untrue.
Ogunlana who is the Director of Public Affairs to the Labour Party, gubernatorial candidate was reacting to an online publication which carried the ‘fabricated lies’ which he described as one of the tactics of the APC-led administration to hold on to power beyond this year.
The medium had reported that Chief Alao-Akala collapsed in the early hours of Wednesday and thus delayed the National Executive Council meeting of LP for some hours.
Saying that the website (https://crownbam.wordpress.com/), which carried the story was linked to the campaign structure of the State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi of the APC who is seeking re-election, Ogunlana said that “a death wish for Chief Alao-Akala at this point is a true character of a desperado”.
He denied insinuations that his boss was battling any “undisclosed ailment”, saying: “we deliberately kept mute and refused to make comments on the foreign medical trips which the governor has embarked upon since the last couple of weeks”.
His words: “lies and deceits are the stock in trade of the APC. More than before, the people know that the APC-led administration in this state has failed. It is when all efforts to downplay the soaring popularity of Chief Alao-Akala failed that the “drowning APC administration resorted to cheap blackmail.
“People of Oyo State know who is battling with a prostate cancer to the extent that the tax-payers money was invested on private cancer testing center under the guise of medical NGO. Whereas, the state owned government hospitals were neglected and ill equipped,” he added.
He challenged the publisher of the new medium (CrownNews) to come out openly if the news was true, adding that “why didn’t other journalists who were at the venue get the news? The Nigerian Guild of Editors should look into the issue of unregistered news media which spread lies in order to please certain political for pecuniary interest.
He advised the electorate not to be swayed by the antics of those against the aspiration of the former governor, saying that “Alao-Akala can never be compared with the incumbent one because while Akala performed and had human feelings, the incumbent has elevated the sufferings of the people”.