*Says Makinde begged him with second term ticket, he rejected
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Senator Kola Balogun has hinted that he has no regrets leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) despite not securing second term ticket to the National Assembly.
Senator Balogun who dropped this hint on Saturday while featuring on Fresh FM 105.9FM live interview programme “South West Political Circuit” also said Gov Seyi Makinde begged him to come back to the PDP and picked the party’s Senatorial ticket after he left the party but that he rejected the offer
The APC Senator stressed that the governor offered him the ticket before the primary which produced Mogaji Joseph Tegbe as the PDP candidate for the election in Oyo South Senatorial District.
” What may not be known to most people, the general public, is that at a point after I left the party and there was this controversy on whether what he did was right or wrong, he actually sent for me to come back and take the ticket.That was before the primary that produced Joseph Tegbe (the PDP candidate for the Oyo South Senatorial District in the 2023 elections), ” he said
Senator Balogun added, ” Gov
Makinde actually sent someone to my wife- a lady- to please tell me to come back and take the ticket. I was in Abuja. My wife called me and said the governor said I should come and take the ticket. But I said I don’t want the ticket anymore. I said ‘no, he can keep his ticket. I am gone, goodbye’. So, that was what happened at that time”
” My life is not only about being a Senator. I have been something before I became a senator. By God’s grace, I will continue to be something after being a senator. I said what, that (going back for the ticket) means is that I will be subjected to public ridicule within a space of one month to be jumping from PDP to APC and back to PDP, all in the name of a senatorial ticket.”
He maintained that he had no regret leaving the PDP for the APC despite the fact that he failed to secured the ticket of his new party to seek a return to the National Assembly.
“I have no regrets leaving PDP. I will not do anything different, leaving for APC. What you may not know is that, that was the most unexpected thing to happen, not just by me but by a lot of PDP members, leaders and followers.
Speaking further, Senator Balogun stressed, “this was because the governor (Seyi Makinde) and I were really close. He was always telling whoever that cares to know that there was no vacancy in Oyo South Senatorial District”, saying, “but you know, politics is a long concentric circles of intrigues. 24 hours is a long time in politics. You think the deal is done, is sealed, but you wake up the next day, something else is happening.So, things happened that changed the colour of that arrangement,”
Senator Balogun stressed that a lot of PDP senators were upset with Governor Makinde about the decision to withdraw his second term ticket, saying, “Senator Gabriel Suswam told me he saw him somewhere and asked why he should do that.
“This is because when (Prince Uche) Secondus was the PDP National chairman, the National Assembly PDP Caucus and the National Working Committee, the state governors and senators are not usually friends.There is always this unhealthy rivalry between governors and Senators. But mine was different.
“Each time my colleagues were talking at such caucus meetings about their terrible experience with their governors, I was the only one that was saying my governor and I were close and we were truly close.
There was a day we, Senate Committee on the Army, came on an oversight to Oyo State, led by Senator Ali Ndume.We didn’t tell the governor that we were coming. Ndume said, ‘we are going to a PDP state, I don’t know if the governor will receive us’. I said, ‘why not?’
Senator Balogun added, ” I called the governor, he picked it and he said, ‘please come’ and he received us. They were surprised.One of my colleagues, Senator Hassan Gusau, the immediate past deputy governor of Zamfara State, now made a comment- before the camera. My governor, I want you and your senator to keep the relationship going because this is the first time I will see a governor and his senator working together’. He said this to him in the Governor’s Office.
“Our relationship was really very good. I was telling people there was no vacancy. But suddenly things changed.”