Being the text of a press conference by Mr. Wale Adedayo, former Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, at the International Press Centre, Ogba, Lagos on Monday, 9 February 2009.

My return to Nigeria from about seven days holiday last month in the U.K. was to assure those fretting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital that despite the evil meant for me, it is not my intention to work in tandem with others against their interest. Principle for some of us is a matter of life and death. We do not compromise. We do not change sides like wrappers. Whatever we believed in yesterday is what we believe today and will also believe tomorrow till God calls us home. We do not worship individuals or institutions. It is our conscience and cherished principles that matter in the discharge of quality service in the course of duty.

This press conference would not have been necessary, but for some allegations, which I considered very serious, that were made against my person yesterday, Sunday, 8 February 2009. Despite previous denials, the system in Abeokuta still believes the manufactured lies against me. This persisted almost all through last year forcing me to put in extra efforts to prove my loyalty, at least to the fact that it was a Public Relations assignment I was there to do and nothing else. But this does not appear to have worked. There are many allegations against me. Apart from printing and circulating leaflets on behalf of Senator Iyabo Obasanjo against the system, I have been severally accused of leaking information to persons opposed to the Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The late Dele Giwa was accused of gun running. About the only thing he did was to ask his counsel, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, to legally take the authorities to task over the false allegations. We know what happened afterwards. Let me acknowledge God’s faithfulness in the manner He proved Himself in rescuing me last month, specifically 10 January 2009. When certain forces seem so awesome and almost untouchable, writing petitions or getting extra security hands, as a friend suggested on Saturday, could prove fatal in a clime where power and money seem to be everything. My petition was to the Almighty and He proved Himself more than able as He had promised me since last year.

{sidebar id=3} Yesterday, a repeat of last year’s episodes was re-enacted despite the four meetings I attended between last month and today. Just like the one in Croydon, London, the three others in Shagamu and Abeokuta have me on record as stating categorically that I do not have any intention to work against my former principal. Not now. Not in the future. Yes, overtures were made to me even when I was abroad. I also made contacts with friends on the other side as it has always been my practice. But not once in any of these cases did I betray any confidence. Barely 48 hours ago, I even volunteered advice to my former principal about his current precarious situation. But ‘intelligence’ continue to pour into Abeokuta that Wale Adedayo has initiated a campaign of pull him down against the governor by aligning with those opposed to him from my new base in Lagos.

For the avoidance of doubt, I had a good working relationship with the Ogun State Governor while it lasted. Both as Director of Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ogun State and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, I put in my very best efforts using the talents God endowed me with. But as things began to take a new turn shortly after the 2007 elections, I signalled to be let off. It was not to be. Between that time and now, and despite all the designs against me, I did what needed to be done as a competent professional. It is nothing new that the relationship between a principal and Consultant breaks down. But either of the parties should be honourable enough to call it quits, which was what I did last week, despite the ziggy appointment announced with my name.

I had naively believed everything was over and we were on course towards a final settlement terms when another ‘intelligence’ text dropped into the phone from my former principal, asking me to make amends, “if true.” The ‘Intelligence Officer’ wrote: “First Weekly magazine is leading the ‘assault’. A meeting was held on Saturday in Abeokuta with Malik Ibitoye (Editor, First Weekly) presiding. It resolved to rally round the ex-CPS, that OGD has been unfair to him. Media attacks will be coordinated by the ex-CPS himself from Lagos. It will also involve sponsorship of attacks from known opposition, this is a camouflage. They will fail except if OGD has not been fair to Adedayo.”

Far be it from me to deny that Mr. Malik Ibitoye is a friend, just like many other colleagues. I know he can defend himself. But was he actually in Abeokuta last Saturday? His magazine being a weekly, would he not have been involved in the gruelling task of production? And Adedayo: Yes, I complained about certain treatments metted out to me in the three years and one month I spent in Abeokuta. It was not clandestine. I wrote it in black and white and sent it to my former principal, thereby intimating him of my desire to resign as a courtesy. Why should I now be hiding behind the one finger of a magazine to complain? If anyone is feeling guilty, why seek to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it? A number of newspapers and even TV stations have called me since the relocation to Lagos almost two weeks ago for interviews; I rejected all of them politely. Which media organisations will I now coordinate in “leading an assault” on the governor?

 God knows I’ve kept my side of the bargain to keep the peace and let God expose the hidden things of the night of 10 January 2009.  If there is ANY offence I have committed, I want to believe it was throwing myself 100% without looking back into my assignments. But I do not think that should be a sin to a God fearing principal because the Bible enjoins us to do exactly that. So, why wish me evil, when it was the good of the system I was always after throughout my stay there?

I do not want to go the way of Dele Giwa, because I know the capacity there. I also do not want to lose any member of my immediate family over something I know nothing about. It is very important that the system view this press conference as a last resort of in my previous futile attempts to convince them that I remain a honourable professional with intergrity.

 

Wale Adedayo,

Idioro, Mushin,

Lagos, Nigeria.

 Saturday, 10 January 2009: Robbery or assassination attempt?

1.)    In the morning of Saturday, 17 January 2009, while I was at a Cybercafe located on City Road, Cardiff, U.K., an email came from my boss asking for a meeting in his Croydon, London, private home that day. I replied it has to be the second day.

2.)    The following day, which was a Sunday, I was there, having being cleared by God to do so. He apparently came in a hurry, because despite telling me that he had an appointment with his Doctor for a check up two days later, on Tuesday, he was to contradict himself shortly, saying the Doctor was not in town and that he might need to return to the UK later that week.

3.)    His subtle insistence that the attack on me was a robbery also revealed some less than brilliant flashes of expert lying when he told me there that I should have called his security aides, most of who are my friends immediately the incident happened. This was after he had seen my mien when he said the Police had confirmed it was a robbery.

4.)    Why did I say my boss lied? The first person I called as the gunmen were pursuing me was right with him at the time of my call. The governor denied knowledge of such a call. Unfortunately, he did not travel with any security aide, not even the ADC, except a male and female PA. When he saw my countenance, he said he had always wanted to replace the security aide in question being an SSS person that may not be loyal to him. He claimed the same guy did the same thing when Mrs Titilayo Oseni was removed as the House of Assembly Speaker, saying the days of the SSS guy’s with him were numbered.

5.)    As God would have it, he put a call through to the guy in Nigeria. The security aide did not only confirm my distress call, but also said it was in the presence of his other colleagues as he put the phone on speaker. He now looked thoroughly embarrassed. My question to my former boss? Why was an alarm not raised to get the Police to the scene? Why was serious instruction not given to investigate? No answer, except  a persistent blame on me that I should not have mentioned to anybody that a state government vehicle was involved.

6.)    This is the first time I’ll be telling anybody I went back to the scene of the attack about 40 minutes to one hour later. Why? I was very angry. I went straight to Abeokuta to pick a very senior OPC comrade who volunteered for the assignment. Both of us went after the gunmen trying to trace them. On getting to the spot in Ilishan, with the exception of a small crowd of town people that gathered in hush tones beside the road, it was as if nothing happened there.

7.)    The following morning, even the anti-robbery team from Ikenne Police Station could not recover any spent shell from the scene and there was no sign of blood on the ground despite the long distance we covered on foot.

8.)    I understand that at a Press Conference called to explain their side of what happened, a driver confirmed one dead. I know for a fact three of the six men were severely injured and the injuries would require treatment in any high brow specialist hospital, either in Nigeria or abroad, because they had head and neck injuries. Why was serious instruction not given for them to be traced?

9.)    It is interesting that at a settlement meeting brokered by a friend last Monday in Shagamu, what some close associates of the governor were saying was that the I need to travel out fast as the ‘robbers’ will definitely be angry and may want to retaliate. I watched in amazement as my former boss echoed this juvenile argument. Why not give serious instruction to fish them out if they were indeed armed robbers? As the chief security officer of the state, why should a very close aide of yours run away from ‘armed robbers’ when all you have to do is to show them that they can attack anybody, but not anyone close to you!!! I was shocked. But I did not betray any emotion.

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King Jr

You may also like

Read Next