Oyedele, an electrical engineer and close political ally of Buhari, was the preferred candidate of the President for the position of the National Secretary of the party.
The Executive Director of Engineering and Technical Services at the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) says key chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) plotted against the nomination of persons into key National Working Committee (NWC) positions by President Muhammadu Buhari during the party’s national convention on March 26.
SaharaReporters had reported that Oyedele, an electrical engineer and close political ally of Buhari, was the preferred candidate of the President for the position of the National Secretary of the party.
Ayodele was a member of the board of trustees of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the party formed by Buhari ahead of the 2011 general elections. The CPC later merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and others to form APC in 2013, eventually ousted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power in 2015.
However, in the South-West unity list released on the day of the convention, Iyiola Omisore was nominated as the National Secretary.
It was gathered that Omisore, who was the deputy to a former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, was nominated because of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Omisore, whom Akande once described using unprintable words, was said to have been instrumental to APC’s victory in the last governorship election in Osun State.
Omisore has once been accused of murdering a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige.
In 2016, he was also arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving N1.3 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Congratulating the new leadership in a statement seen by SaharaReporters, Oyedele said the President preferred persons of integrity including himself but was betrayed, confirming that Buhari was opposed to the emergence of Omisore and some others as executives of the ruling party.
He said, “I am congratulating the party, irrespective of the fact that I am not unmindful of the usurpation of the earlier preferences of Mr. President for certain candidates into the National Working Committee (NWC) and by extension the National Executive Committee (NEC).
“The preference had featured astute and complement persons of integrity including my humble self, for the office of the National Secretary of our great party.
“This list was however tinkered with in a frenetic horse-trading cum quid pro quo that seemed to betray the wishes of Mr. President. In demonstration of his sagacious and accommodating character as a leader, Mr President maintained stoic calmness over this, which eventually impacted on us all and resulted in our subsequent collective resolve to nonetheless let things be.
“Against this background, I particularly thank the Ondo State delegates and our South West colleagues for their support and faithful commitment to the elevation of Ondo State in our party affairs. I call on the good people of Ondo State, my teeming supporters, delegates from the country and all APC stakeholders to forgo all seeming disappointments and join hands with Senator Abdullahi Adamu leadership for the growth of our party.”
Bola Ige's Death
Ige died on December 23, 2001, following his assassination by yet-to-be-identified killers in his residence in Ibadan, Oyo State. The gruesome murder also led to the sudden death of Atinuke, his wife; and destabilised his family.
Bola Ige’s assassination was believed to have started with an altercation that happened at the palace of Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade Okunade during the conferment of chieftaincy title on some individuals. Ige was mobbed by an angry crowd as they stripped him of his necklace, and cap and destroyed his glasses.
The group was led by a certain ‘Fryo’, a known political thug loyal and devoted to Omisore. It was an obvious breach of his security and an attempt to eliminate him openly. A day after the assault, Omisore granted an abusive interview to Tempo magazine that was published the following week.
In the interview, he said "...Bola Ige came on (the) radio here to insult me and my family. That is his last one. He was beaten yesterday; the people of Ife beat him up and he was crying like a baby as they removed his cap and his glasses."
A week after the attack on Bola Ige at Ooni’s palace, he was killed in his home in Ibadan. Omisore alongside others were arrested and arraigned before an Oyo State High Court as the suspected killers of the former Attorney General of the Federation but were later released for lack of evidence.
Speaking on the character of Omisore, his then principal, Bisi Akande said, "He crept into my life like a silent malignant cancer. He came in full force. In a few months, I thought I knew him. I regret I did not know him in his true colours”.
"When I nominated him as my running mate, I had banked on him that he would be my successor and that I only needed to groom him properly for the daunting task of governance. As I was mentored by Chief Ige, I thought I had a duty to also mentor Omisore.
"I had planned to spend only one term in office and I believed that, with four years of proper exposure and mentorship, he would be ready. But Omisore was ready right from the start for something less noble. By the time we came to the government, all the pretences were off. I knew I was dealing with a wolf in wolf’s clothing. I was alarmed by his way of spending money," Akande had revealed.
Senator Omisore and some of his political associates including the former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, were the main suspects in the case of the dastardly killing of Ige.
He was arrested and prosecuted in Ibadan before the High court which eventually discharged and acquitted him and other suspects.
Also in 2016, Omisore was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for the N1.3 billion he allegedly received from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Despite the baggage, the former Osun deputy governor emerged as the National Secretary of the APC unopposed after Prof. Abideen Olaiya from Oyo State stepped down.
Oyedele and Adebayo Shittu, a former Minister of Communications, had earlier stepped down for Omisore.
Ahead of the APC National Convention, the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu claimed that the region’s leaders had micro-zoned the seats allotted to the region to different states, but the list suggests otherwise.
He had warned against a plot by leaders outside the South-West to truncate their arrangements for the seats reserved for the region.
“For emphasis, what we are going for is national vice-chairman with Kekemeke as our candidate and not national secretary. Those outside the South-West, who are attempting to micro-zone our offices for us in the South-West, are only creating unnecessary confusion and any such of their permutations outside the decision of stakeholders in the South-West should be ignored,” he alleged in a statement issued over the weekend.