A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Femi Babalola popularly known as ‘JOGOR’ who heads the reconciliation Committee set up by former Governor Ayodele Fayose has said that his disagreement with Governor Seyi Makinde has nothing to do with contract adding that the crisis rocking the party in the South-West is almost over as Stakeholders in the party are working to resolve the issues at stake.
Babalola said this today while fielding questions on BOTTOM LINE – a political programme on IBR 9.5fm Ibadan. The programme is anchored by Aanuoluwapo Omorinde and monitored by News Men
Reacting to insinuations that he fell apart with Governor Seyi Makinde because the latter did not patronize him he said “I just laugh when I people say all these things. Success has many fathers and friends. Among those friends are good friends, among those friends are bad friends and among those friends are sycophants. When you are successful, many people come around you and you begin to hear diferent stories and one of the stories you hear is becareful of this person, oh, he can take-over government from you. Oh! He will do this, oh! he asked you to do this and when you start listening to rumours, it leads to so many other things. There are people who have pride, I have pride and I can’t fall below my standard so, its not likely that you engage people on street talks”. “If anybody hears anything and he cannot put it on the table and you discuss it and issues are not resolved and rumours thrive, then you leave and walk away. Ihave heard a lot of things. The Governor and I have a frosty relationship now but that does not mean we cannot relate. If we do not agree on governance issues that does not mean he cannot invite me for a party or me invite him”.
Speaking further he said ” my project at the federal level is bigger than the entire Oyo State budget. Kano-Maiduguri dualization project that my company is handling alone is over two hundred billion, the Sagamu-Ikorodu road that we are handling is one eighty billion so, what is it? When people talk, I just look at them and laugh. Its just that I have chosen to live in Ibadan and the day we took that decision, I have known I am going to take banters. Some people still ask me what I am doing in Ibadan but we have chosen to build this State”.
On the insinuation that he made fortune during the administration of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, he said ‘I am going to say it on air now and if anybody likes, let them bring out the fact. Through out the four years of Governor Alao-Akala, my Company was probably involved with three projects and I can put it on record that those three projects, if you put them together, they are not up to one”.
“The projects we were given were given by the local governments and these projects because of my love for the party, I distributed the job among seven other Consulting firms. Its on record, its there and the total sum of the Contract was three hundred and fifty million naira. So divide 350 by firms, how much will that be? The other project we did was the Kolapo Ishola Housing Estate given to three Contractors and it was a nine hundred million naira project given to three big Contractors in the State. The third one was the hospital project given to my Consulting firm. We were not the Contractor nor the Supplier and despite that, I distributed the contract to eight consulting firms. At the end of the day, what came to my Company was nort even up to twenty million naira’. I remember someone in the administration of late former Governor Ajimobi said Femi, why was name everywhere? We went through all the records and discovered that your name appeared just once.”
Babalola who narrated how he turned down many offers as a Politician including the opportunity to become a Commissioner at the tender age of thirty said Ayodele Fayose is not in any contest with Governor Makinde but stressed that the question of who leads the party in the South West is not a Constitutional issue. “Will the Chairman of my local government said he is my leader because he holds a position? Will the Councillor in my Ward describe himself as my Leader because he is the highest political Office holder? We need to get this thing right. Even former Governor Oyinlola wondered if he could have called himself the Leader of late SM Afolabi”.
“But you see, it was former President Olusegun Obasanjo that introduced this system of a President being the Leader of a party and the Governor leading a party at the State level. But you cannot blame him considering his background as a General. During the UPN days as a Student, I know order flows to Dodan Barracks from Baba Akinloye”.
On why he teamed up with Fayose, he said he felt insulted that he was not invited to the South West Zonal meeting held in Ibadan. “Imagine Diran Odeyemi, a member of the national working Committee was not invited too”.
He however stated that the crisis will be resolved within the next four months.