Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:15 pm
Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
Former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole caused pandemonium in a section of Abeokuta today, when he threw some some crisp naira notes at scores of motorcyclists, also known as Okada riders, who had swarmed around his vehicle to greet him. Bankole’s gesture led to a scramble.
A witness of the incident reported that Bankole, whose posters for the governorship post under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have flooded most towns in the State was driving into the state capital, when his convoy ran into a traffic bottleneck at the Kuto roundabout.
“we stood by the park around Kuto roundabout waiting for a cab. Suddenly, we saw a convoy coming from NNPC way and heading towards where we were. It was the slight gridlock that occurred around that area that made us to know that it was the former Speaker. We heard the blaring of siren but never thought he was the one because since he returned from Abuja, about three and half years ago, he has been going quietly around the town until lately, when his rumour of contesting and posters came out.
“At that spot, he was in his usual black SUV and he put on his traditional attires, white guinea with white cap to match. When his own car got to where many Okada riders were standing, he wound down the glasses and when some of the boys sighted him, they started shouting praising him, asking him to ‘drop’ something. Some of the Okada boys ran in front of his convoy and instead of giving those boys their own share from the national cake with him, he decided to cause chaos
around the place by throwing the money out, which caused pandemonium as the people scrambled for it.
“It was a funny thing because I never expected such from him. He can now drive and throw money all around, all because of the coming elections. Was he not the one that was once wound up all his vehicles, padlocked all his gates with soldiers and policemen keeping sentry at the gate, along with dogs. Now that he needs the people again, he is now deceiving them with N100 notes. Has he forgotten that here is not Ekiti, where they believe in stomach infrastructure. Until 2015, we shall see,”, he said.
Most of the Okada riders said that they collected what rightly belonged to them that was in his custody.
“if you see a mad man’s legs, bros, you know go chop am. Which sensible person fit give you his own money. They are not serious, election dey come now, he dey throw money to us. Can you imagine the embarrassment? Some of our boys at the park who know him just saw him when he was trapped in the go slow here and they went to him to salute him, maybe e fit drop something for them.
“Instead make him settle those boys jeje and go him way, he wan show say na im dey inside vehicle and he started throwing money to the people. Who asked for him money. Well, na our own share wey e don dey keep, n aim we dey collect sha…I get N200 from the struggle,” one of the Okada boys, who identified himself as Emmanuel said.
A woman, who was caught in the drama expressed disappointment in the former Speaker’s action.
According to the woman, who preferred to be identified as Mama Tubosun, she said, “I nearly collapsed with what just happened now. We were here waiting to join cab, suddenly, I saw these Okada boys running and shouting, I thought something is happening. While we were trying to run inside the Metro bus park for safety, somebody just said, he has thrown it towards this side. My brother, when I heard that, I nearly collapsed because I thought it was bomb they were
referring to until I saw the boys pouncing on themselves scrambling for something.
“Afterwards, I was told that it was the former Speaker that just passed by with siren, I even, thought that it was the governor, because of the long vehicles in the convoy and I was told that it was money he was throwing at the people which I mistook for bomb. If one is hypertensive, my brother, would such person not not have died by now? We
understand them, that is how the politicians are doing. I am not a politician and will never be. What this man did today is a very embarrassing action. Does he think we are so hungry to that extent. Is it N100 or N200 that people should be fighting for? Is that our problem? I learnt someone was wounded. It is a shame on some of our people, they are hungry fellow, I weep for this country,” the woman added.
Bankole alongside other nine aspirants are jostling for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ogun State and political observers are of the opinion that if he was given the ticket, the party may pull a surprise in the governorship election in February 2015.
Other PDP governorship aspirants in Ogun State are: Abayomi Majekodunmi, Jelili Kayode Amusan, Isiaq Abiodun Akinlade, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, Engr. Anthony Ojesina, Prince Yanju Lipede, Omooba Segun Adewale, Rafiu Ogunleye and Remilekun Bakare, who defected from APC, Osoba camp to PDP recently.