I had the opportunity of reading the online version of the Nation Newspaper of the 13th of September 2022, particularly the interview granted by the Minority Leader of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Rasheed Elegbeleye and I would not have had reasons to respond thereto but for some verbal diarrhea pored out against the leadership of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and my humble self. It is an adage in Yoruba land that “olowe mo owe e, eru ija lo un baa” (which literary mean that, it is the fear of a duel that would make a person against whom a proverb/idiom is directed to pretend as though it is not directed at him), it is therefore premised on this that I will respond to the uninformed utterances and dialectic defficiencies displayed by Hon. Rasheed Elegbeleye as contained in the reported interview.

To a discerning mind, it could be seen very clearly that Hon. Rasheed Elegbeleye has only become a paper weight in the politics of Akoko North East LGA and in Ondo State in general, and in a bid to seek relevance, he needs such access to the public through the press, but instead of him to talk about his achievements in office for the almost four years he has spent on the floor of the Ondo State House of Assembly, he decided to make our reverred leader and party chairman Senator Iyorchia Ayu his topic, though lacks the guts to discuss him in the body of his interview.

Taking the interview from the headline, one would have thought again that the lawmaker would answer questions that relate to the resolvable internal rangling within the PDP and possibly point out comments made by his supposed Ayu’s ‘children’ or suggest possible solutions to the PDP internal crisis, rather he went on a voyage of discovery alluding to the supposed successes of the failed APC government in Ondo State.

While it is expected of a lawmaker to know why he is elected into the parliament, the minority leader after spending nearly four years in the State Assembly still do not know why he was sent there. It beats my imagination, though I am not surprised, that Elegbeleye could only point to the empowerment programme he did where he distributed clippers, cutlasses and a few grinding machines to some people in the weeks near the PDP House of Assembly Primary election, he believed so well that Akoko North East LGA people are gluttons and politically naive and could be bribed to support him for another empty term, but the people rejected him and the only thing he could do to save his face now is to resort to cheap blackmail against the party leadership as exemplified in his interview where he said that the delegates’ list with which the PDP primaries were conducted was doctored. He should be told to wait for the outcome of his lawsuit rather than ranting in the media space.

I must state very clearly too and at this point that the essence of sending representatives to the House of Assembly by the people is for the people sent to participate actively in the drafting and making of good laws for the order, development, unity and progress of the State not for the purpose of fighting for plots of land in Akure (I not surprised when he vexed out his mind that his own plot was retrieved by the governor, because that was one of his selfish reasons for being in the State Assembly). A people’s representative must use his position and influence to attract development to his people, not to be seen and read in newspapers blaming the government for not giving them lands in the State capital or constituency allowance.

While it is not out of place to get constituency allowances from the government, same is not expected to be used to feed or satisfy selfish ends but to be channeled to developmental and profitable ventures and not as being done by Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye whose constituency projects, if any at all, is cutlasses, clippers and dressing mirrors to those he thought would vote for him for an undeserved 2nd term.

Akoko North East LGA is too rich intellectually to be led by a confused person and the PDP leaders in Akoko North East realized this early and that was the reason he was rejected by them. His allusion to the fact that his popularity helped him to defeat a former Speaker in 2019 was another lazy talk, when he knew it himself that the people were only interested in a change then, and the leaders he now blame for his failures were the same people that helped him sail and coast to victory when it was very clear that the general public had rejected APC in the LGA then. I can state it very clearly that my role in his emergence then could not be less than emphatic as I walked the nights in the company of very notable leaders in the LGA to put him where he is today, but he could say today that I am nobody, but mind you, the people have spoken through the PDP delegates and by God’s grace and with the support of the good people of Akoko North East LGA I shall give our people the robust and quality representation they deserve in Akure going forward.

Our people know those working for their progress, they have preferred a complete gentle man in me, they have preferred a loyal party person, they have preferred a well schooled and properly educated individual in me, they have preferred quality, and no doubt, they will cast the ballots right for me come 2023. He should be informed that the fact that the people rejected him should not make him spit fire like Sango, our people knew when he worked for Zenith Labour Party in 2020 against the interest of PDP, the party that brought him to office, he believed the people would have forgotten that he threw a party when the PDP lost the governorship case to APC 2020 at the Supreme Court in Ondo State, he forgot that our people have good memories and since he took them for a fool, they only paid him back.

In relation to his case in Court, I believed that Hon Rasheed Elegbeleye would have been told by now that he ought to have approached the Court within 14 days of the date of the primary election he contested with me which he only did some 18 days after. I hope he would have been told that pre-election matters are time bound. I hope that he would have been told that the court is not a father Christmas. I hope he would have been told that equity aids only the vigilant and not the confused or lazy ones. I hope he would have been told that he can not fool the people all the time. I hope he would have been told now that Akoko North East LGA is no longer within his reach. He should be told to go back to our people to beg for pardon as he has bitten the hands that fed him rather than throwing himself into oblivion as he has now chosen.

A word is enough for the wise.
I believe in the unity of my Party and come 2023, it shall be all round victory for the PDP.
Power to the People.
Hon. Lanre Akintola
PDP Candidate, Akoko North East State Constituency

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