Tope Aluko, a former secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, who revealed how former President Goodluck Jonathan gave the governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, several millions of dollars and military support to help rig the 2014 governorship election in the state, has reconciled with the governor.
Lere Olayinka, the chief press secretary to Mr Fayose told PREMIUM TIMES that the former allies settled their differences after Mr Aluko made a “surprised appearance” at Eko Hotel, Lagos to see the governor.
“Sources at the meeting said Aluko begged for forgiveness, prostrating and rolling on the ground for several minutes,” Mr Olayinka told PREMIUM TIMES via, instant messaging app, WhatsApp.
“Aluko’s return to Fayose was facilitated by former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Dele Olugbemi. After the closed-door meeting, both Fayose and Aluko talked to the press.
“After the press interview, a highly sober Aluko was said to have wept profusely. At a point, he was said to have held the legs of one of Fayose’s associate and wept,” he added.
Speaking on a political programme, Politics Today, on Channels Television, in February Mr. Aluko narrated how the state’s chapter of the party convinced Mr. Jonathan to part with a huge sum of money and direct the military and other security agencies to cooperate with the PDP and ensure the party wins the election at all cost.
“Before the primaries, we had this believe that because Jonathan was coming out for second term and because we are going to be the first election in the south-west, at a meeting, we told him (former President Goodluck Jonathan) that north-east, north-west and north-central may not be too sure for him because the Hausas are clamouring for presidency and that you now have south-east and South-south, you must manage the South-west”.
“It was on the basis of that that we told him that he must manage South-west.
“Because of his interest, even before winning the primaries, we did so many security reports to tell Mr President then that he must make sure that we manage South-west zone and it was because of that that he gave us the head of security agencies,” Mr Aluko said.
The PDP chieftain was also quoted as telling reporters in Abuja that Mr. Jonathan actually gave Mr. Fayose $37 million (N4.7 bn) which was used to rig the election.
Mr. Aluko on Sunday said the then Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, and that of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, were made to give attention to the election because “we know that APC was everywhere in the southwest and we must naturally capture part of southwest if we want to balance what our brothers in the north were likely to bring on.”
He also revealed that there was an agreement to take out some members of the APC to ensure that they do not give adequate support to their members.
“There was a strike team, a mixture of the SSS, military, the mobile police… that is about all.
“We had a meeting at Aso Rock on security and funds. We were given security and funds.
He listed the persons at the meeting to include Mr. Jonathan; the then national chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, Governor Fayose; and himself (Aluko).
“At the meeting President Jonathan agreed that if he needed Ekiti, he would support us to ensure that we delivered.
“At the second meeting we had Obanikoro, Jelili, Omisore… It was a combination of Osun and Ekiti people and they were discussing how we were going to move to take the South-west.
“Before the primaries, His Excellency, Ayodele Fayose, said that we can only win using the military,” he said.
Mr Aluko who was the chief witness of PDP at the election petition tribunal also confessed to have lied under oath.
Mr. Aluko, who was reported to be the Chief Returning Officer for the PDP in that controversial election, was quoted as saying he was forced to come forward with the revelations because Mr. Fayose betrayed him and derailed from the original plan they had for the development of Ekiti state.
Mr. Aluko told reporters that Mr. Jonathan initially gave Mr. Fayose a first tranche of $2 million in March 2014 for the primary election.
He said cash was collected at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja and was taken to Mr. Fayose’s private home in Abuja before it was moved to Ekiti.
“Immediately after the primary election, we collected another $35 million from Jonathan on June 17, 2014. The money was brought to us by the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
“We all assembled at the front office of Spotless Hotel, Ado Ekiti, owned by Fayose. Thereafter, the cash was taken to a Bureau De Change in Onitsha where it was converted to N4.7 billion”, Aluko added.
Below is the transcript and link to the video of the interview with journalists after the reconciliation meeting:
Fayose: In politics, there will be issues and we have to resolve issues. For him to be here with me shows that there is peace.
(Aluko cuts in): There is peace
Fayose: there is a step forward beyond what he told you. Aluko came to see after all the incidents before now.
For him to be here shows that there is peace
Question: Are you at peace with him?
Fayose: Let me tell you, I am the father of the State. For whatever has happened I am the father and I should be seen as the father. I should see it as one of those things and accommodate everybody. If I leave him to the whole world, who will be there for him? Nobody. I am his father, I am his brother, whatever the past has held for all of us, I am still his father.
Question: Have you forgiven him?
Fayose: Well, you see, whether you are talking of forgiveness, Aluko remains my boy, my son. Like I said, whatever has happened, whatever he has said in public, there is time to move forward in life.
Question: are you giving conditions?
Aluko: No, No ooo. There is no condition.
You talk about betrayers in your interview…
Aluko: That what?
Question: That you were betrayed…
Aluko: But then, am I not standing beside him (Fayose) now?
Question: Have now rallied round to get what you want?
Aluko: No, this is not about position. This is about peace. This is about misunderstanding. This is about talking together. This is about family coming in, this is about well-meaning Nigerians stepping in and that is what we have achieved.
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