23rd June, 2010
Chairmen of the three local governments constituting the Ikeja Federal constituency of Lagos State, Nigera, have jointly condemned the verbal attack on their leader, cardinal James Odumbaku by their representative in the House of Representatives, Hon. Bayo Odulana.
Reacting separately to the interview granted the lawmaker by P.M.NEWS in which he described the Action Congress vice chairman, (Lagos West) as a â€œpolitical scavengerâ€ and somebody recklessly greedy for money, honourables Idowu Obasa, Wale Odunlami and Abiodun Faleke said Odulana went too far.
In his reaction, the chairman of Ikeja Local Government, Hon. Wale OdunlamiÂ aid if Hon. Odulana had problem with any of the leaders, it should have been an issue to be solved internally instead of being turned into a press war.
Says Odunlami: â€œWe political office holders have to follow our leadersâ€™ direction because they brought us to the offices we now occupy. It is only stupid people that will ignore their leaders when they get into office or disparage them.
â€œA river does not forget its source.It does not augur well to forget your leader and leadership has levels. Whatever you do to your leader today, is what those coming behind you would do to you in future. Thatâ€™s my stand.â€
He described cardinal Odunmbaku as a forthright leader, grassroots mobilizer, highly accommodating and a loyal political and spiritual party man.
Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area chairman, Hon Idowu Obasa said there was no fundamental or ideological basis for the crisis, explaining that it was a mere disagreement between two very powerful individuals who are flexing muscles.
He warned that if the misunderstanding persists it would affect their followers and by extension affect the fortunes of the party in next year’s elections. he revealed that he had personally mediated in the quarrel, sitting both of them down until 12 midnight on a particular day.
Hon. Obasa blamed the lingering crisis between the two leaders on some of their followers who because of their hidden agendas, would not want the quarrel resolved.
He debunked the report that the quarrel was based on House of Representative ambition by a current local government chairman, disclosing that the battle of wits had been on between Odunmbaku popularly called Baba Eto and Odulana alias Niganga for quite sometime now.
Hon. Obasa told P.M.NEWS that he took exception to name calling when two people are quarreling, saying â€œI donâ€™t think it is right to described ourselves as anything because we are quarrelling, we should not settle. We should watch what we say, because when the palaver is over, are we going to collect back what we have said?
â€œOdunmbaku is a selfless leader and I find him pleasant, Iâ€™m saying this bearing in mind also that Bayo Odulana is my good friend. What I canâ€™t understand is why they are quarreling. To me, it is more of an ego disagreement.â€
The man who is alleged to be at the centre of the crisis between the two powerful politicians, Hon. Abiodun Faleke, who is the chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development Area, said anybody who accused him of being the cause of the quarrel was being unfair to him.
He revealed that the crisis between Odunmbaku and Odulana dated back to the preparations for the 2003 Local Government election in Lagos State when Odulana alleged that Odunmbaku maligned and rejected his nominees for chairmanship and councillorship positions.
Faleke who also described Odulanaâ€™s verbal attack on Odunmbaku as uncharitable and reckless verbal diarrhea on a reputable party leader, said Odulana had long been battling the AC leader for supremacy at an Alliance for Democracy, AD, congress in Abuja several years ago and chieftaincy title of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Ile-Oluji two years ago.
â€œEngineer Rauf Aregbesola and Hon. Idowu Obasa had at different times intervened and tried to settle the rift, but Hon. Odulana was not satisfied with the resolutions, hence his decision to attack Baba Eto on the pages of newspapers.
â€œHonestly, Odulana overstepped his bounds to have called our leader a scavenger. Everybody knows the antecedents of Cardinal Odunmbaku as a man who served as relentlessly and even contributed immensely to Odulanaâ€™s election into the House of Representatives.
â€œThe problem started when Odulana got to the House of Representatives through the party machinery and started toÂ describe himself as the only certificated leader in Ikeja Federal Constituency, forgetting that Odunmbaku as the vice chairman of AC, Lagos West controls 28 local governments,â€ Faleke said.
He said what was the big deal aboutÂ the car gift he gave Cardinal Odunmbaku, adding that Odulana also got N1 million cash gift from the same man when he was contestingÂ for the House of Representatives in 2007.
The Action Congress, Ikeja Federal Constituency in its reaction through an advertorial signed by executives of the party in Ikeja Local Government, Ojodu and Onigbongbo Local Council Development areas titled â€œAdebayo Odulana and His Grandeur of Political Illusion,â€ described the lawmakerâ€™s verbal assault on Cardinal Odunmbaku as an act of ingratitude and denunciation.