Father of former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Chief Alani Bankole has revealed that the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel wanted another person as Alake of Egbaland.
Bankole, who is one of the kingmakers in Egbaland, said Daniel wanted the younger brother of the current monarch, Adeleke Gbadebo, above his brother, Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.
The astute politician revealed that the former governor tried every possible means to subvert the choice of the people and tried using the power of the governor to install his choice as monarch.
Bankole said this on Tuesday during the public presentation of his book titled ‘Alake of Egbaland: The Succession Dynamics’ in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The former acting national chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, said Daniel tried stopping the election when he knew his preferred candidate would lose the election and that he attempted stopping the announcement of the election result.
“Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo became Alake not with my effort alone. During the struggle, one of the contestants came to my house and told me that I was the only one blocking him and that everyone had agreed except Sarafa Isola and the deputy governor.
“On the eve of the election, I got an anonymous telephone call who told me that the governor and then commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs have decided to either scuttle what we wanted to do or make sure somebody else was chosen.
“I reported to Sarafa Isola who called the then commissioner, the commissioner confirmed to him that they were taking some steps to install another person but I told them none of them was from Egba and that they should leave the Egba sons to handle their affairs.
“On the first day we wanted to do the election, the then governor was outside the country; he ran to us in the palace around 12 midnight and that they have come to plead with us that the governor wasn’t around and wouldn’t want us to run into collision with the government, and we eventually listened to him,” he revealed.
He continued: “The truth was that the governor wanted somebody else and he didn’t hide it. After the election, the governor phoned me around 12 midnight accusing me of announcing the result of the election; and I told him I only announced the result of the election and not the choice of Alake and that he has the audacity to disagree or allow it.
“He went ahead to write in one of his books that the present Alake was not as popular as Adeleke, but most of you here are witness to what happened when the new Alake was announced and I have never seen such a tremendous support for Alake.”
He also revealed how he scuttled the plan by the then administration to announce the Alake-elect within seven days as against the provision of law which stipulated 14 days within which petitions are entertained.
According to him, the decision of the then administration was to
create a lacuna and good ground for other interested parties to fault the selection of the Alake-elect.
It would be recalled that Oba Gbadebo has continued to accuse the former governor of plans to remove him from the position.

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