A former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, has said the attack on him by one of the leaders of Afenifere, Senator Femi Okurounmu, was due to envy.
Osoba was responding to a media interview in which Okurounmu described him as a double agent and one of the Yoruba leaders who betrayed the late MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Osoba described Okurounmu as a frustrated and unfulfilled politician who also failed in his chosen profession.
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, unmoved as a tested fighter and warrior.
“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 out of jealousy and the major factor is envy and wickedness.
“Yoruba language is highly proverbial and Yoruba will describe Okurounmu’s situation as somebody suffering from a proverb that says, ‘when you are envious, you carry that burden almost forever and an envious character cannot easily say the reason why he is envious, particularly if God has been too kind and generous to the person he is envious of’. That is the situation between me and Okurounmu.”
Also speaking on Okurounmu’s claim that he collaborated with the government of the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, while claiming to be a member of the National Democratic Coalition, Osoba appealed to the spirits of all those who died in the June 12, 1993 struggle to forgive Okurounmu.
He said the statement would make leaders of Afenifere who paid the supreme price for the struggle to turn in their graves.
“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 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,” he added.
On the allegation that his governorship election in the botched Third Republic was funded by the then military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, Osoba, who described Okurounmu as a poor student of history, said he needed no money from the then military junta as the two registered political parties, Social Democratic Party and National Republican Convention were fully funded by the military government.