Ondo APC Unity Group: Altruism or personal interest?

According to Aristotle, “At his best man is the noblest of all animals. Separated by law and justice, he is the worst. Anybody can become angry -that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within anybody’s power and it is not easy. Therefore, and for posterity sake, it would not be out of place to put this in the public domain for objective assessment; otherwise, a tyrant would have been made to put an appearance of an uncommon devotion to religion believing that he has the gods on his side.”

The above postulation is apt as it is instructive. It is a potent foundation for humanity, human relations and compassion- the bedrock of conscience. In unpretentious manner too, brief as same appears, the quote has the commanding efficacy of thoughtfulness and thoroughness; tolerance and perseverance; love and gratitude. It is indeed, a beacon in its own right.

A quiet slant into the perfidious path of the common enemies (within the All Progressives Congress, APC) of the Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), presents a brazen malevolence.

The APC Unity Group, led by former deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi (a.k.a Jasper), has created a niche for itself in all but the positive motives. No doubt, Olanusi sounds not too hidden. He was born at Supare Akoko, a town in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State. He attended Ansarudeen Grammar School, Ikole Ekiti, Ekiti State where he obtained the West African School Certificate.

On completion of his secondary education, he was employed as a teacher at Modern School, Ogbagi, Ondo State but left the school to join the services of the Lagos State Ministry of Transport. Alhaji Olanusi did not go beyond his secondary education; and his attestation to that is profound but swollen in mischief. He once said: “My greatest regret in life is that I am not a graduate. It is a fact that I do not have a degree certificate from any university within or outside Nigeria. However, I don’t have an inferiority complex.”

Olanusi’s political career has gone through the mill of partisanship, no doubt. He was a member of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) before he joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) but, curiously, he was a foundation member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was, at a time, the Ondo State chairman of the PDP. By another turn of event, on February 24, 2009, he was sworn in as the deputy governor of the state on the platform of the Labour Party and was re-elected on the same platform in October 2012. Finally, he expectedly defected to the APC, abandoning his then principal, Governor Olusegun Mimiko. That summarises his political journey so far.

Nonetheless, Olanusi’s strange comfort in conflict is legendary. He had to his credit the toga of a conflict hub against three former governors in Ondo State. All the same, the issues in question in respect of the current crisis between Olanusi’s Unity Group and the Ondo State governor daily melt into the cabin of personal interest.

The Unity Group, no doubt, is a collection of governorship aspirants, including inexorably perennial ones, who adherently find shield under a personal-interest-driven grouse held against Akeredolu by Olanusi. This can be traced to the third day after the swearing-in of Governor Akeredolu as the helmsman of the state on February 27, 2017. Olanusi had presented to the fresh governor a mandatory (not a suggestive) list of names to be inaugurated as members of the state Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board for the Hajj processes for that year.

Olanusi had presented his personal alfa, Alhaji Yunis Alola, as chairman of the board, among other names. Akeredolu, after his initial objection, grudgingly accepted without a promise to do as Olanusi had perniciously desired. At a later date, an assertive governor had announced the Board, and to the consternation of Olanusi, none of those he had presented as of ‘right’, made the Board. This development infuriated Olanusi and all attempts to pacify him that the governor’s action was not to slight him but was the result of wider consultations with Muslims in the state were not acceptable to the crisis entrepreneur.

When Olanusi subsequently won the case against his impeachment by the House of Assembly, he approached the governor for payment of all his rights which he calculated and put at over N400 million. Without much argument, Akeredolu pleaded with him to allow a committee to look into the judgment. This committee consisted of the Attorney General of the state and other reputable government officials.

However, the committee recommended that the former deputy governor’s entitlements could only be by rights and not privileges. Hence, he was said to be entitled to the sum of N30, 117,757.02, which was paid to him at once through his Wema Bank Account Number 0230728992.

Rather than expressing gratitude, Olanusi flared up and resorted to blackmailing the governor. The governor then advised that he should seek a court interpretation of the judgment as it affects the money due to him. He headed back to court for interpretation where he was advised to collect the sum offered him as the judgment did not provide for monetary compensation.

After collecting the sum of N30 million, Olanusi privately met Governor Akeredolu where he threatened to deal decisively with him the way he had dealt with three former governors of the state. But Olanusi’s fury met the full anger of the Owo-born legal luminary turned politician, Akeredolu, who insisted that he would not pay anything more to Olanusi.

While the feud lingered, stakeholders within the party stepped into the matter for peace to reign between the two leaders. That brought about a political solution, via the setting up of a committee headed by the deputy governor, Honourable Agboola Ajayi and where it was resolved that additional N70 million be paid to Alhaji Olanusi, exgratia. This was paid in two instalments of N35 million each to the same account, via FCMB and Union Bank drafts (34571947 and 00000054) dated 16/05/18 and 25/05/18, respectively. The total sum paid to Olanusi thus came to N100 million.

While thinking all was now well with Alhaji Olanusi, Akeredolu and the good people of Ondo State with this gesture, most members of the APC became more confused as regards what probably can be the endless grouse of Olanusi against Governor Akeredolu.

Now, what does Baba Olanusi want? Does he want to be the governor of the state? Or what is the problem between him and Akeredolu? Perhaps stakeholders can inquire from him if there are other underlying reasons for his unjust gang up against the governor of our dear state. Contextually, is it proper for any governor, regardless of the type of conflict, to suffer from the same individual without any just cause? Should the personal interest of such individual, regardless of his status be made to override the collective interest of our dear state?

Rather than being subjected to unjust vituperations, Governor Akeredolu should be applauded and appreciated. Beyond the payment of the sum of N100 million to Olanusi, his current position as the chairman of Benin-Owena River Basin Authority was at the instance of Akeredolu. This demands gratitude from Alhaji Olanusi. Olanusi’s unholy allies will find this piece useful, if only to stratify between their collective conscience and the unjust confoundment they have subjected themselves without knowing the benefit of the depth of the slide Olanusi had taken them for long.

Olanusi should not be pilloried because he deserves everyone’s pity. His unsuspecting allies could, at best, find solace in Francis Bacon’s treatise that, “The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins. The function of prayer is not to influence God; rather, it is to change the nature of the one who prays.”


  • Oyewamide is Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.



Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

Clarence Peters Invited For Questioning Over Dancer, Kodak’s Death
Popular video director, Clarence Peters, Tribune Online gathered, has been invited for questioning by the Lagos State Police Command, over the death of dancer, Love Divine, popularly known as Kodak, who was electrocuted in his studio. Kodak, who is a popular dancer within the Nigerian music scene, allegedly died of… Read full story

MONDAY LINES: Death And Dying Emirs
DYING is nothing; choosing the right time to die, if we can, means a whole lot. This coronavirus season is a very wrong time to go – undisturbed. You die now, you leave importunate questions blowing in the air. The Emir of Kaura-Namoda in Zamfara State died on Sunday morning. Was he a victim of COVID-19, the current… Read full story

EDITORIAL: The Kano Mass Deaths
AMID the ongoing efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the country, a strange cloud has enveloped Kano State. In the last three weeks, the state has witnessed massive deaths of people in very controversial circumstances. The deaths first became public knowledge following the release of a video clip… Read full story

JAMB Remits N3.5 Billion To FG For 2020
THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has made an interim remittance of N3.5 billion to the Federal Government consolidated account for 2020. This is in addition to more than N3.5 billion paid to candidates as reduction of cost of ePIN as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari… Read full story

CBN, Bankers’ Committee Suspend Lay-Offs In Banks
A special meeting of the Bankers’ Committee was convened on Saturday, to further review the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian banking industry a statement from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed on Sunday… Read full story

Court Shuts Church Indefinitely In Abuja Over Lockdown Violation, As Pastor, Others Evade Arrest
A mobile court sitting in Jabi, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Sunday, ordered for an indefinite closure of The Shekinah Glory Church, located opposite the popular Citec Estate, Jabi, for violating lockdown… Read full story

COVID-19: 50 Almajiris From Kano Brought To Kaduna Tested Positive ― El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that 15 more almajiris that were brought from Kano to Kaduna have tested positive for COVID-19. This was even as he confirmed that the number of almajiris tested… Read full story

Remdesivir: What The NAFDAC DG Said
In a report entitled “COVID-19: We are not likely to use Ebola drug for patients — NAFDAC” published in the Sunday Tribune edition, we quoted the Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, as saying that remdesivir, the drug approved by… Read full story

Abducted Twins Of Oyo Cleric, Akeugbagold, Released After £100,000 Ransom Negotiation
After eight days of dwelling in the bush with their abductors, the twins of former Chairman of the Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim wing), Taofeek Akeugbagold were released at about 5.30 am on Sunday. The twins were picked near the bush at around Mufutau Laninhun College of Education area on the Lagos-Ibadan… Read full story

Leading With Presence — 2
COVID-19 has changed the world and the way we do things. The changes it has brought upon humanity will be our new norm for some time to come. It is as if it was what the world needed to remind us that the only constant thing about life is change. Social distancing means we make less physical contacts… Read full story

Things That Won’t Change Post COVID-19 (Part 3)
This is the third piece I am penning on this life-changing subject that has started helping a lot of people in Nigeria and beyond. So far, I have written on three non-negotiable values that will not change post COVID-19: vision, loyalty and confidentiality. The fourth value I am writing on is that of assiduousness and… Read full story

Reflections On The Post-Coronavirus International Economic Order
THE novel coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest global economic shock since the 1929 Wall Street Crash. In fact, its ramifications might be even bigger, given that, unlike the 1929 crash, our world is today an integrated global marketplace… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More