By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
National Financial Secretary of National Rescue Movement (NRM), Reverend Emmanuel Olorunmagba has reaffirmed the stance that anyone in the party who claims they have endorsed All Progressives Congress (APC’s) gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo, for the Kogi State November 11 governorship election has scammed him big time!
The affirmation came in reaction to a response of Mallam Bala Abdulgafar Dirisu, whom he referred to as “the mere governorship ticket placeholder, who erroneously assumed that he has acquired the status of a Kogi State gubernatorial candidate for National Rescue Movement (NRM).”
Idrisu Bala of National Rescue Movement (NRM) on Saturday July 29, 2023, convened a press conference at Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Lokoja Kogi State with some people he claimed to be from five different political parties, announcing that they have adopted the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, Usman Ododo on behalf of their party.
But in a reaction, Reverend Emmanuel Olorunmagba who is NRM chieftain of Kogi State extraction, debunked the claim, asserting that the was not part of any so called endorsement for Ododo, as nether the national nor state executive ever discussed such endorsement.
Then Idrisu Bala responded, titling it, “Reverend Olorunmagba can’t Speak For NRM, We Stand By Endorsement Of Ododo.” Again, Olorunmagba insists that the so called endorsement remains a scam that there was no time and at any level, did NRM ever discuss the endorsement of Ododo, let alone agreeing to endorse him.
He further said that the response by Bala Idrisu, is not only full of lies and deceitful manipulation, but also laden with concocted name calling in his (Idrisu’s) usual manner.
“For he finds it difficult to sustain intelligent discussion that exposes his errors, without retorting to threats and name calling.
“However, I will not descend with him into the mud, but will address the lies and the deceptive manipulations he loaded his response with.
“And this will be the commencement of opening of cans of worm to the so called endorsement, to categorically reassert that it was a big scam.”
The NRM chieftain said it is laughable that Bala Idrisu said Rev Emmanuel Olorunmagba cannot speak for NRM as he is not the spokesman of the party. Yet the same Idrisu in the said statement, claimed to be speaking for NRM, warning his fellow member of the National Working Committee of the party.
“He even went to the extent of claiming to have endorsed a candidate from another party on behalf of NRM.
“The pertinent questions begging for answers remain, is Bala Idrisu now the spokesman of NRM? Or did Mr. Sola Afuye who is the substantive National Publicity Secretary of the party mandate him to speak on his behalf? Or is Bala now the National Chairman of the party or BoT chairman to have
arrogated such “all-in-all power” to himself? The answer is capital NO!
“Secondly, Mallam Bala Abdulgafar Dirisu was only a mere placeholder to quickly fill the gubernatorial space just to beat the deadline of INEC submission, so that if the party later gets a credible governorship candidate, he will be replaced based on the decision of the National Working Committee of the party through an NMC meeting. But funny enough, he started feeling like authentic governorship candidate of the party and without any kind of meeting with other members of the National Working Committee and without even consulting with the NWC he went to Lokoja to claim to have endorsed APC gubernatorial candidate, Usman Ododo, on behalf of the party.
“Again, I ask, is Bala Idrisu now the all in all of the 47 members of the National Working Committee of the party? We know that the answer is capital NO! It’s of note that even Kogi State Executive Committee was not carried along. Our investigations reveal that he only did the backyard business with just two people who erroneously assume they are the “all in all in NRM”. Yet he falsely claimed that it was the decision of the party.
Bala Idrisu was said to have, deceptively claimed as follows, “Before the Kogi State chapter of the NRM endorsed, Ododo, all the party members met and the decision was unanimous. Our resolution was forwarded to the national secretariat of our party which finally gave it’s blessings.”
“The statement above by Idrisu is total falsehood. The fact is, there was no meeting where such was discussed. Even the Kogi State Executive Committee was not carried along. In fact, most of the members of the National Working Committee as well as state executive only read of it for the first time when the news of the so called endorsement got to social media; apart from the three of them doing the backyard business.
“I put it to Mallam Bala Abdulgafar Dirisu that either at national or state level, he should give the date of the so called meeting he claimed. Present an evidence of the notice of the purported meeting. List the names of those present at the so called meeting (since there must be a quorum for a meeting to hold). Where is the venue of the meeting and who took the minute of the imaginary meeting? According to our constitution, these are the requirements before a meeting can hold.
“The fact remains and I reaffirm that, there was no meeting of NRM where such so called endorsement was discussed let alone agreed upon.
“Thirdly, Idrisu referred to a current and substantive National Financial Secretary of the party NRM as “the estranged National Financial Secretary of the National Rescue Movement (NRM)”. Well, if there is anyone in doubt he/she can check the profile of the party national officers directly from INEC website then you will see clearly, boldly and unambiguously that Reverend Emmanuel Olorunmagba is listed as the National Financial Secretary. So I don’t need to dwell on this. As it’s obvious that he (Bala Idrisu) doesn’t even know the meaning of the word, ‘estranged’ he used, he might have heard it somewhere and decided to borrow the word.
“Fourthly, on the claim of Idrisu that, “Olorunmagba is not residing in Kogi State. He is mostly in Kaduna State and knows nothing about Kogi politics.” The question to him (Bala Idrisu) is that, as he Idrisu is also resident in Abuja, does he assume that Abuja is now the capital of Kogi State, or is Abuja where Bala Idrisu is living now part of Kogi State?
“The truth is that Idrisu is an Abuja politician and I am more on ground in Kogi State than he is, as I do travel to Kogi State periodically, more than him and get involved more in Kogi State politics.
“And to further expose how he has not been on ground in Kogi State, in the last election held on 25 February, 2023. Idrisu contested Senate position for Kogi West compromising seven (7) Local government areas, while I contested for House of Representatives Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency, comprising two local government areas. The total votes I got in the two local government areas were more than the total votes he got in all of the seven local government areas he contested, put together. The records are there for anyone to verify. Then who is more at home now when it comes to Kogi State politics?”
Rev. Emmanuel added that it’s time to start opening the can of worms over the scam played out and tagged endorsement.
“Initially, I didn’t want to open the can of worms, but since Bala is pushing and dragging the issue, I will start opening them. For each response to him, I will open one.
“In stage-managing the so called endorsement, Bala Idrisu and his partners in their usual ‘arrangee’ characteristics, had to deceitfully arrange for someone to come to claim to be representing Boot Party, and that he is from Kogi State. And the fact is that the person so arranged, is not even a member of Boot Party and he is not from Kogi State. Funny enough, at the end of the so called endorsement, from the money said to have been given to them for the so called endorsement, the share of the money that supposed to be for Boot Party resulted in serious fight. The person who was used to claim to be representing Boot Party was reported to have insisted that since he took such risk, he should get a loin share of the money for Boot Party. But Idrisu and his partners felt otherwise and wanted to collect all the money for Boot Party and just drop peanuts for the person they used. The fight was said to be so serious, to the extent that Bala Idrisu and his people had to frame them up to DSS to arrest those who felt they should not be used and dumped; as they refused to release the money to Bala and co, due to the argument on the sharing formula. They were said to have been arrested and that they had to bail themselves from DSS net.
“This can be clearly confirmed from the DSS office in Lokoja, Kogi State,” he said.
The Kogi born NRM chieftain stressed that he decided to give the above scenario to show Bala Idrisu and two others in NRM, “that we are well furnished with adequate information of the scam called endorsement. And more of this kind will still be exposed in my subsequent response as long as they continue to drag the issue.
“I believe that the National Publicity Secretary of our party, NRM in person of Mr. Sola Afuye who I know will always stand on the side of the truth, will also address this issue as time goes on,” he concluded.