ABEOKUTA – A former governor of Ogun state and leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aremo Olusegun Osoba has disclosed that, he was rigged out of office while seeking for re-election in 2003.
Osoba, a governor under Alliance for Democracy (AD) between 1999-2003, lost out to former Governor Gbenga Daniel in 2003 governorship election.
Speaking on Wednesday, at a book launch of former Media Adviser to Hon. Dimeji Bankole, former Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Kayode Odunaro in Abeokuta, Osoba claimed that, the election results that denied him his second term in office as a democratic governor was manipulated by the electoral umpire, INEC.
He added that, security reports from security details attached to the returning officer and a former Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Israel Adu indicated that, the figure for the governorship election has been submitted to INEC immediately after the Presidential election.
“I can assure you that, the 2003 elections I have put that behind me many years. I refused to go to court because the evidence was too much. The Ogun state people have had the chance to compare and contrast and made their conclusion.
“I knew the election will go the way it went. Because Prof. Adu of FUNAAB who was the returning officer has the prepared figure. Some of his security people are giving me the figure of result they were going to announce and I knew he was referring to me of spending money.
“In politics you must learn to spend lavishly and buy all kind of lies. That is part of politics. I knew the election had been concluded. The electoral officer in Cross River told me not to recontest the governorship election after the Presidential election, but I insisted in contesting.”
Osoba who was full of praises for his former Chief Press Secretary for writing the book, “Colours Of Perception” said the book remains a valuable asset to the practice of journalism in Nigeria.
The book reviewer, a renowed columnist, Mr. Festus Adedayo noted that the book is beyond an autobiography but historical rendition of the administration in Ogun state for the twilight of military rule in Nigeria.
Mr. Adedayo added that, the book remains the best companion for journalists seeking the path to tread to become successful in their career.
Also speaking, the book author, Chief Kayode Odunaro who equally celebrated his 60th birthday with the book launch said he was motivated by interactions with young graduates and journalists in their search for jobs and news respectively.
Odunaro maintained that, the book focuses on his contribution to public service under the military regime and democratic rule at state and federal level.