The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 governorship election in Oyo State, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, has said he neither directly nor indirectly negotiated with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bayo Adelabu, to give his support to the latter in the election.
Lanlehin was reacting to the statement by Adelabu who said he was the first candidate considered for support by the coalition partners but that disagreement over what percentage of government to give them stalled the negotiation.
But in a rebuttal personally signed by him, Lanlehin denied negotiating with Adelabu, adding that it was Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who approached him to support Adelabu for the election.
“While I would ordinarily have preferred not to issue any rejoinder to his comments, my integrity, character and fidelity to truth and good conscience, will not agree that I let such slide, especially as the comments are capable of misinforming and misrepresenting the issues in the eyes and minds of the good people of Oyo State.
“I did not negotiate with Chief Bayo Adelabu, either directly or indirectly. In fact, it was Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State governor, who approached me on his behalf, but I respectfully turned him down, without much ado.
“Despite ongoing coalition talks at that time, I still gave audience to Governor Fayemi, a man for whom l have a great deal of respect, and who I’d had a wonderful relationship with, right from our days in NADECO. I respectfully turned down his passionate plea that I aligned with Bayo Adelabu and the APC.
“Despite my progressive roots, which Governor Fayemi alluded to in that meeting, l explained to him my reasons for turning him, and indeed, Adelabu down. The crux of our discussion then was that every politics is local and that it was in the best interest of Oyo State at that time of its history, that I coalesced with Seyi Makinde, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to win the gubernatorial election.
“I wish to conclude that despite the advertised failings of post-victory agreements, I sincerely do not have any regrets for being an active participant in the coalition that brought in Makinde, as it was honestly, the best decision, in those circumstances, and sincerely, in the interest of Oyo State,” Lanlehin said.