Former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba has described ex-Afenifere Secretary Senator Femi Okurounmu as “a frustrated, failed and unfulfilled politician”.
He said Okurounmu lied against him in his memoirs by labelling him as a traitor, double dealer and secret agents for the military during the June 12 struggle.
Osoba, who took exception to the senator’s claim that he betrayed the symbol of the struggle, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, threatened to go to court.
The former governor told reporters in Lagos that the relentless attacks against him by Okurounmu were borne out of envy and wickedness.
He said: “I will not descend into using uncouth, insulting and gutter languages like Senator Okurounmu did by referring to me as a traitor, a security agent and a double dealer. In spite of his sustained attacks on me in the last two weeks, I was unruffled and unmoved as a tested fighter and warrior”.
“On the day I launched my book, I showed series of pictures and one was me as boxer at the age of 10. I also titled my book, ‘Battlelines’, to show a lot of the blackmail that I suffered in both my professional and political life.
“As for Okurounmu, I will describe him as a frustrated, unfulfilled politician as well as a failure in his chosen profession. His relentless attacks on me are borne out of jealousy and the major factor is envy and wickedness.”
Osoba added: “Yoruba language is highly proverbial and Yoruba will describe Okurounmu’s situation as somebody suffering from proverb that says ‘Ija ilara kii tan boro, Anjuwon ko see wi l’ejo’ which means ‘when you are envious you carry that burden almost forever and an envious character cannot easily say the reason why he is envious, particularly God has been too kind and generous to the person he is envious of’. That is the situation between me and Okurounmu.”
Osoba refuted Okurounmu’s claim that he collaborated with the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, while claiming to be a member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
He said the departed heroes of the struggle are turning in their graves by the tissue of lies, pleading that their spirits should forgive the senator.
Osoba said: “My answer to that is I pray to God in heaven and our heroes, many who died in the course of the struggle, particularly those unsung, too many people that suffered that are unsung; but I will be specific with our leaders that wherever they are in heaven, I appeal to them to forgive Okurounmu at 80 because the insinuation that the military government was after me because I was an agent is false.
“Sergeant Rogers was categorical when he was cross-examined by Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a renowned authority in the Law of Evidence who was then the Attorney-General of Lagos State.
“He mentioned names of those of us who were marked down and they were instructed to assassinate.
“I appeal to the spirit of Kudirat Abiola, Alfred Rewane, the spirit of Bola Ige, who died in the hands of assassins, the spirit of Olu Onagoruwa, the spirit of those who were hit and a lot of them died in the cause, which include Papa Abraham Adesanya, my brother, good friend and soul mate Alex Ibru. I can go and mention names of those who were marked down by the evidence given in court.”
“I am still alive. If they were after me as a security collaborator and agent, then Okurounmu destroyed the spirit of these people, who died in the cause that all of us who were marked down as stated in the evidence recorded in court that we are all agents. May the spirit of those who died in the cause forgive Okurounmu. May their souls continue to rest in peace but what he has done is making all of them turn in their graves”.
Osoba also rejected Okurounmu’s claim that his governorship election in the Third Republic was funded by former military President Ibrahim Babangida.
He described Okurounmu as a poor student of history, adding that he needed no money from the military junta as the two registered political parties, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC) were fully funded by the military government.
He stressed: “I’m shocked and disappointed at the lack of knowledge and intellectualism displayed by Okurounmu, who claimed to be a PhD holder. If you are a student of history, the two party system, a little to the right and a little to the left in my time, were well and openly funded by the President Babangida’s government.”