Kolawole Johnson, who just resigned as the Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State, spoke with LEKE AKEREDOLU on Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s alleged plan to impose a governorship candidate on the party.
Why did you resign as the LP Chairman?
This question reminds me of 2014 when we decided to stay back to ensure the party was not buried by the same people that are battling for its soul today. The answer then was that it was principle and that has not changed today. Principle! I have read different versions of report that gave reasons for my resignation. Some partly correct while some are mischief per excellence. A revered friend sent me one and I replied. He was furious because he knew what transpired, he was aware of the drama for weeks before it finally ended with my letter. He expected me to be angry but I kept smiling because I knew I have done my best to the satisfaction of my conscience, my faith and my creeds. I expect sound minds to read between the lines. The reason is well spelt out. I said and you can quote again: “It is with a sense of strong character which determines moral purpose and set of things we choose or avoid, that I tender my resignation letter today”. The elders will say, ‘Kaka ki Kiniun se akapo ekun, wan yaa se ode won lotooto ni. I leave you to interpret that. I have raised my voice in the public space to speak on certain matters, will I turn back to say they were no longer so? No! You must have some measure of respect for your words. Perhaps you know, it is expected of you at some levels to see more, hear more but talk less. So, I will not go into some details in order not to give room for some folks to think we are pained. No, I am actually glad with my head high that I stood for what I believe to the end. I am proud of that. Though many stakeholders are actually angry at my decision to quit, but I had to at that point. It was becoming too deadly and wisdom is profitable to direct. I don’t know if you were at the venue of that stakeholders meeting on Saturday, July 30. They never and can never accuse me of betrayal.
But, it was rumoured that your executive at the state level was sacked. how true is this?
Let me laugh in Spanish. That is to show how pained they are. I informed the national body of my decision to resign and dropped my letter few days after. My letter was duly received by the national secretariat on the 28th of July. The photocopies of the letter are here for you. Can you see the date? Well, I am not surprised because you know where you got that version of innuendoes. Are you expecting anything better? When governors’ aides start writing releases for another political party, then, you shouldn’t be surprised. When some of you called to ask why I was not at the stakeholders’ meeting of July 30, I informed them of my resignation and sent the letter to them but added a caveat that it is only for proofs and nothing more. Dissolving the body long after my exit should not be a surprise anyway. I, Kolawole, resigned willingly. If stomach ulcer (
Etanu ), will not allow some folks to take in that peacefully, I forgive them wholeheartedly.
Governor Mimiko was alleged to be plotting to impose a candidate on the party, ahead of governorship poll. Is this true?
Let me remind you that I was not present at that particular meeting. Infact my absence was responsible for its abrupt end. I would resigned some few days before the meeting and I was trying as much as possible to ensure my exit does not lead to crisis so I had to maintain an expressible silence. Of course, those expressing that fear know what they’re talking about and I am sure your people would have gotten more information about it from them. I learnt one of the elders in the meeting alleged that the fellow to be used resigned that same week or thereabout. Now, let me take you back to the interview I granted some months ago. I said and I quote “ I don’t know their definition of anti-party. You belong to a party openly. yet, you are still fighting dirty to plant yourself in another party claiming you want to have a fall back option.” I threatened to even write the PDP to report the anti-party activities. So, the people at the stakeholders meeting are aware of all of these and more. Perhaps some of them have been spoken to for possible support for a certain individual who was in the governor’s cabinet but working to run under Labour Party. But, nobody would doubt the fact that I would have resisted that vehemently as the sitting chairman. Like a revered elder told me that he would rather work for the number one than staying with a second option that will mess him up. Infact, the drama that led to my exit was not without the intrigue of their plot. it’s all about the game.
However, let me be clear, having that option in the face of the lingering crisis in their party is not a crime but the way they are going about it is inhuman. I hope they know that the master trapper can also be entrapped.
see more :