Aremo Olusegun Osoba
An ex-governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba has disclosed that during the 2003 governorship elections, he was “rigged out of office”.
Speaking in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at the book launch and the 60th birthday of his former Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Kayode Odunaro, on Wednesday January 19, Osoba said he received an intelligence report about the alleged rigging and he was advised to back out of the poll, but he insisted on going ahead in the contest.
The veteran journalist who contested the election on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) but lost to Otunba Gbenga Daniel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also revealed that he shared N140million to electorate on the eve of the election even after receiving the last-minute reports from security agents.
He also said that he refused to challenge the outcome of the election at the tribunal, despite the evidence at his disposal because he wanted to put the experience behind him.
“The 2003 election, I put it behind me many years ago. 2003 is bygone whatever happened although, in his (Odunaro) book he concluded that I refused to go to court, yes I did not, because the evidence was too much and he alluded to some of the evidence, but let’s forget about all that, it has gone, it is gone and the Ogun state people have had the chance to compare and contrast and they have given their conclusions and that is private to everybody.
“Nobody expected that the election would go the way it went, but I knew it will go the way it went because Prof. Adu of FUNAAB who was the returning officer had the figure already prepared.
“Some of the security people had given me the figure of the result that they were going to announce and I knew, he was referring to me spending money and some people taking my money to sleep in hotels, pocketed the money, I knew because in politics you must learn to engage in wasteful spending and you must learn to buy all kinds of lies, that is all part of politics.
“I knew that the election was concluded; I was warned, the electoral officer from Cross River had told me after the Presidential election that, ‘Chief don’t contest the governorship, it is concluded’, but I said no.
“We shared N140million on the eve of the election and I knew it was a wasted money, but I shared it because if didn’t share it, they will say if I had not given them the money, they would have won.”