Hon. Sulaimon Yusuf Lasun, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has raised the alarm over alleged threat to his life by unknown persons based on his interest in the 2018 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
Lasun said his biggest fear arises from the death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who was one of the few politicians with visible interest in the race before his death.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Lasun said he has been receiving threat text messages since he made known his intention to contest the governorship election in the state.
Represented at the press conference by his Special Adviser on Constituency Matters, Dr. Aderemi Ajala, Lasun said since he declared his interest in the governorship race, he had received several threat messages.
He said one of such threats was from a leader of his party, the All Progressives Congress, in the state, warning him and Adeleke to suspend their governorship ambition.
He said he has had to cancel attending the birthday of a political leader of the APC in Ikirun area of the state on January 27, 2017 following a text message threatening his life.
The threat message read: “Sir, it’s very unfair for you to want to attend Baba Owoseni’s birthday ceremony tomorrow. If you insist to come and anything comes against you, you have to bear it. My advice is that you should not come.”
The threat was investigated by the Department of State Services, which discovered that the person who sent the message was directed to do so by a top government official in the state.
Lasun also cited another occasion when another top government official in the state mobilized thugs in the first week of April to stop him from the construction of Eid’s perimeter fence at the praying ground along Ibokun Road in Osogbo.
It was in this regard that Lasun expressed the position that he hopes he is not eliminated in “such a mysterious way as it had happened in the case of Senator Isiaka Adeleke”.
The text of the press statement, titled: “The life of Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussff, is in danger,” reads in full:
Preamble: Gentle men of the press, I welcome you all to this press conference. Thanks for honoring our invitation.
Introduction: Following the election of Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Abuja on June 9th 2015 and his subsequent intention to run for the governorship of Osun State in 2018, we have received a number of threats that have put his life in danger. While all these threats are public information, we are however surprised at the statement credited to some members of Osun caucus in the House of Representatives including Hon. Jibola Famurewa,Hon. Mojeed ALABI, Hon. Gaffar Amere, Hon. Ayo Omidiran and Hon. Olufemi Fakeye. In the press statement made after the tributes on Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke was made at the plenary on the floor of the House, that the expression of fear of danger on the life of Rt. Hon, Lasun Yussuff was built on emotion. The following public utterances and actions associated with Prince Gboyega Famoodun and others in the Government of Osun State serve as evidences of endangering the life of Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff and prove that our concern is outside the context of emotion.
On Monday 31, October 2016, Prince Gboyega Famoodun, under the pretext that he was acting on behalf of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State sternly warned by way of threat that Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke and Hon. Lasun Yussuff should suspend their governorship ambition. He further stated in that paper using the coverage of APC to express his personal hatred against both Lasun Yussuff and Isiaka Adeleke that the party will discipline both late Isiaka Adeleke and Lasun Yussuff if they refused to stop their ambition. While there was and still no record to date of APC party meeting to decide such, we clearly knew that the threat was a personal purport of Prince Gboyega Famoodun and not of the APC party. We respect our party- APC as a noble party and appreciate its teaming supporters at the grassroot.
In furtherance to his threat, on 20th February 2017, Gboyega Famoodun again said on a programme tagged “Political Updates” on Rave FM station in Osogbo anchored by Mr Dayo Oderinu that “Lasun Yussuff is on his own”.
In another edition of the programme held about four weeks later featuring Mr. Azeez Adesiji, an acclaimed Vice Chairman of our party APC in Osun State, Azeez Adeniji said that “Lasun is a prodigal son”. This was to further the personal threat of danger which Prince Famoodun had earlier set against Lasun Yussuff.
Around December 2016, the Tricycle Association in Osun State accosted Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff to appreciate his gesture in donating 106 tricycles to his party members in APC in Osun State, being part of his empowerment programmes. It was this that motivated the association. The Association further requested for grants of money to administer among themselves as loans to boost their enterprises. Lasun Yussuff agreed to facilitate the monetary request and the association was enthused and offered Lasun Yussuff to be their patron. Lasun Yussuff agreed. Three days before the ceremony, the chairman of the Association Mr. Ibrahim Adewale Folorunso sought to see Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff, but not fulfilled. He however met Comrade Waheed Adediran and Mr. Wale Daodu from Osogbo, who facilitated their visit to Lasun Yussuff. Ibrahim Adewale informed Wale Daodu and Waheed Adediran that one Mr. Gbenga Akano, a former political appointee in Osun State under the government of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has met them and asked them to inform Lasun Yussuff not to appear at the function, and that if Lasun Yussuff appeared, the programme would be disrupted.
On 27th January 2017, one of the veteran Progressive leaders and politicians in Ikirun Pa Ganiyu Owoseni Lawal had his 90th birthday in Ikirun. Specifically Lasun Yussuff was invited to the programme by the celebrant. Lasun Yussuff visited the celebrant a day before the celebration in Ikirun, and Pa Lawal hosted Lasun Yussuff in one of the celebrant’s wives’ bedrooms. Lasun Yussuff also promised to attend the ceremony on the following day. But to our surprise at around 9pm that evening a text message was sent to Lasun Yussuff private phone number as follows: “Sir, It’s very unfair for you to want to attend Baba Owoseni’s birthday ceremony tomorrow. If you insist to come and anything comes against you, you have to bear it. My advice is that you should not come.” This threat was reported to the Directorate of State Service (DSS) Osun State Command, who investigated the source of the threat. The DSS found that one Mr. Abimbowo (A.K.A Ijanja) was the sender. Mr. Abimbowo was arrested. During his interrogation he confessed that one Mr. Wale Afolabi, a former commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Osun State under the government of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola ordered him to send the text. DSS invited Mr. Wale Afolabi for interrogation, while Mr Abimbowo was detained for two weeks in the custody of DSS during the investigation as others that were involved in the threat to the life of Lasun Yussuff were at large.
Around first week of April 2017, Osogbo Muslim Community led by Alhaji Moroof Idi- ako (Mufashiru of Osogbo land), Alhaji Suleiman (Baba Kekere of Osogbo Land, Alhaji Muniru Adebayo and others visited Lasun Yussuff to appreciate the ongoing developmental projects, which he facilitated in Osogbo. In their discussions they further requested that Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff should assist them in building the perimeter fence around the new Osogbo Eid along Ibokun road. Lasun Yussuff agreed to their request. On resumption to the site, One Dr. Bashiru Ajibola, a former Commissioner on Special Duty in the government of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola moblised thugs and hoodlums to the site, claiming that he acted on the order of the government of Osun State to stop Lasun Yussuff from the construction of the Eid’s perimeter fence.
In conclusion, the above public instances and actions are pointers to the fact that the life of Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff is in danger. We believe perfectly in God, and we do not want any death to occur to anyone in such a mysterious way it had happened in the case of Senator Isiaka Adeleke (May his soul rest in perfect peace). We therefore refused to join issue with anyone, but as more dangerous situation arises, we are going to inform the public.
Thank you all for listening.