A socio-political group, Better Oyo Movement, BOM, has berated Niyi Akintola, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, for what it described as his penchant for lying at every opportune time things don’t go his way, describing the legal titan as a confused fellow; flippant with words, unworthy of any serious person’s attention and a suspect democrat – PDP at night, APC in the morning.
Reacting to Akintola’s outburst during his participation on a radio programme on Saturday, 27 August, 2022, BOM faulted Akintola’s submission that Senator Teslim Folarin, 2023 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was not sellable, the group labelled Akintola a bad loser, whose democratic credentials were in doubt.
In a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Femi Fakunle and Secretary, Engr. Tunji Hammed, the group queried: “Imagine a senior advocate opening his mouth to say what is not? Who is sellable between a senator elected three times and someone, who save from being assisted to be a state lawmaker, has consistently failed to clinch any elective position decades after? To add salt to injury, his poor man management ability led to his removal as deputy speaker by his colleagues.
“Everyone knows Teslim Folarin and Niyi Akintola are not in the same category politically, even he (Akintola) knows that. For sake of clarity, at every election Folarin has contested, he has always presented himself for primaries, unlike Akintola who stridently seeks endorsements, probably due to his advertised temperament. Historically, we recall it was late Ibadan political strongman, Lamidi Adedibu who propped him up, on account of affection for his tribal marks. That aside, Akintola should tell the whole world if he has ever used his personal funds to prosecute any election. He should tell the people how he won and talk about the results. He should tell people how he became deputy speaker.
The group noted that unlike Akintola, a theoretical politician and armchair critic; one who becomes visible at the outset of every election, but fades away soon after, Senator Teslim Folarin is a time tested politician and statesman, who spent years gathering valuable civil service experience in the UK, including management roles at the Department of Trade in London before returning to Nigeria in 2002. Folarin, BOM recalls, performed his obligatory youth service in Kaduna before joining politics thereafter.
Wondering why someone of Akintola’s status would lie to curry undeserved sympathy, the group contented that the same Bayo Adelabu, who he now paints in glowing colours, in an amateurish bid to score points against Folarin, was the same he teamed up with Seyi Makinde to defeat in the 2019 election. Who then is deceiving who, the group asked?
BOM invited the public to remember that because Barrister Akintola, at all cost, wanted Governor Ajimobi to endorse him, he even offered to represent APC in court, pro bono, against members of the then breakaway faction, Unity Forum in 2019, maintaining that whenever Akintola speaks, listeners must be extra careful, as he would roll back like a pack of used rugs, to retract same shamelessly.
“We put it to Akintola that the statement that he is still in the APC is patently untrue and the height of silly deceit. For unsuspecting members of the public, we like to inform that Niyi Akintola, SAN is no longer a member of the Oyo APC. Asking those who allege so to produce his PDP membership card is akin to clapping with one hand; it is grossly debasing. Immediately Akintola failed to get Asiwaju Tinubu to support his never-ending guber bid, he personally spoke to Engr. Joseph Tegbe and Seyi Makinde on the need to co-opt his people into the PDP. We challenge Akintola to swear publicly with the Bible that he has not joined the PDP and has not negotiated appointments for his people.
“In fact, we currently have it on good authority that one of the reasons for Akintola’s new-found dalliance with Governor Makinde and the Oyo PDP, boils down to his attempt to get Mr. Governor’s buy-in into his wife’s interest in the pending vacancy in the position of the Oyo State Chief Judge. Much as we know that the respected Justice is a woman of impeccable character and unblemished integrity, eminently qualified for the plum job, we’re appalled at her husband’s selfish politicisation of a process which hitherto should be merit-based,” BOM lamented.
Going further, the group accused Akintola of always acting the spoiler anytime things don’t go his way, recalling that was the same way he acted when the late former governor, Abiola Ajimobi preferred Adebayo Adelabu over him in the 2019 election, indeed noting there was nothing he didn’t do to prevent Adelabu’s emergence.
“Thank God he has opened up that the governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare told him that Senator Teslim Folarin would not win the 2023 election. Now we know, through their personal positions, who the enemies within are. However, much as we would not want to react, we only wish to advise people to be wary of what they discuss with Niyi Akintola, SAN. Not known for speaking with caution, Akintola isn’t the right person to interact with privately, he’ll spew all in the public.
“We also thank God he opened up that he and his supporters have dumped the APC and are now supporting PDP for reasons we’ve itemized above, we can’t but wish him and his co-travellers on a journey to political oblivion, all the best,” BOM concluded.