A fresh twist crept into the reconciliation between Governor Ayodele Fayose and a former Secretary of the Ekiti Peoples Democratic Party, Tope Aluko, on Tuesday, when the latter denied reconciling with Fayose.
This came barely 48 hours after Fayose and Aluko jointly addressed journalists at the VIP section of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, on Sunday.
Last year, Aluko alleged that Fayose, with support from former President Goodluck Jonathan, rigged the governorship election held on June 21, 2014.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Lagos, Aluko, however, alleged that he was under duress when he addressed journalists in company with Fayose.
He added that the event was stage-managed by Fayose and some PDP chieftains to look like a reconciliation.
He said, “I received a call from two senior members of the party. One of them is a serving senator and the other is a former governor. I was told to come to the Eko Hotel to meet with them and I went in company with my wife.
“We were halfway into the discussion, which they tagged as a ‘Peace parley’. It should be noted that no reference was made to the 2014 (Ekiti) governorship election and the aftermath, including my revelation to the public about the way the election was rigged in favour of Ayo Fayose.
“I was shocked to see Governor Fayose walk into the meeting at this point. I won’t want to bore you with the drama and the face-off that ensued between me and Governor Fayose at the meeting.
“It is worthy of note that it was at this point that my wife barged into the meeting to inform me that she noticed the presence of pressmen downstairs, saying, ‘there is a problem’, but Fayose interrupted her and said, ‘Madam, there is no problem’.
Aluko said he stood by all the allegations he had earlier made about former President Goodluck Jonathan assisting Fayose to rig the 2014 Ekiti governorship election with the provision of security operatives and funds.
He also said he played along after sensing that his life might be in danger, but he refused to disclose the source of danger.
Aluko declined to mention the names of the PDP chieftains, whom he said invited him to the hotel.
He added, “My wife insisted and said she overheard them saying that they were called back through an SMS from Governor Fayose, saying ‘come back because T. K. Aluko is around’.
“At that point, I became enraged and decided to leave the place but I noticed Governor Fayose rushing after me downstairs in a Gestapo manner. My wife was already fidgeting and was almost crying, and suddenly, I could not find her around me.
“Immediately, I realised that I needed to obey to Governor Fayose’s instruction of facing the press because of the safety of my family.
“One fact remains clear, at no time did I, Temitope Aluko, refute anything I had earlier said before Nigerians and the whole world about the manipulations that characterised the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
“You will also notice the several counter allegations by Fayose and his media team that none of them has refuted all I have said, rather, the attack has been on the messenger and not the message.”
Apologising to Nigerians for being naïve, Aluko said, “I will like to apologise to all Nigerians that, perhaps, accepting the invitation was a tactical error.
“However, I wouldn’t have accepted to attend the meeting in the first place if I had known that Ayo Fayose would be in attendance. I only chose to attend in order to honour the party leaders’ invitation.
“Finally, I need to emphasise that all that transpired at the Eko Hotel on that fateful day was an organised propaganda to stain my image and malign my integrity.”
But a statement from the Special Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the state government would not dignify Aluko with a response.
Olayinka also described Aluko as ‘a perjurer and an unstable character, who speaks from both sides of his mouth’.
He said, “As far as we are concerned, the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, which would be willing to accommodate even Judas Iscariot or the notorious armed robber, Lawrence Anini, (if he were to be alive), could keep Temitope Aluko in its fold – that is their business.
“We don’t want a Judas in the PDP and anywhere near the government and that has been made clear.”