So Bola Bolawole is a wheeler-dealer, after all? By Segun Dipe


Dionysius of Halicarnassus once said: ‘Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.’ Unfortunately, Bola Bolawole, who anchors the column: On the Lord’s Day, in the Sunday Tribune, acts contrariwise, week in, week out.

I wish to observe that my right of reply to the Sunday Tribune column is being tampered with by Bolawole. I don’t need the permission of my principal before exercising it. Bolawole’s constant reference to Dr. John Kayode Fayemi as the author or instructor of my response to his, is therefore not necessary and I regard it as a deliberate mischief. I do not need anyone’s prodding before taking an umbrage at Bolawole or anyone’s unprovoked assault against the governor of my state, especially if such a person is a non-indigene and such disparaging is for filthy lucre.

Segun Dipe is my name. I am the author and I don’t hide behind any finger to do so.

Again, I do not know what Bolawole meant by saying that I headed Punch’s Business Desk for a spell, while some other people had taken it “to dizzying heights.” I here correct his wrong notion by mentioning that I was a substantive Business Editor of Punch for 4-5 years, with Gbemiga Ogunleye as my editor who I hallow till tomorrow. I was not sacked. I later resigned and I continue to remember my Punch days with fondness.

I regard other faux pas committed by Bolawole in the said column as either error of recall or selective amnesia. Even at that, I am happy that I am now forcing Bolawole to act defensively.

Honestly, I never knew the ex-Puncher as a wheeler-dealer until he said so himself in several words through his article published in Sunday Tribune of 7th July 2019. Bolawole actually opened a can of worms on himself.

I accept, without contesting, that my brother and Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode was “exceptionally professional” when Bolawole interacted with Fayemi in the first term of the governor. What Bolawole may need to explain, however, is what he meant by “exceptionally professional” and why he now feels Oyebode, who is still the governor’s CPS is no longer “exceptionally professional” in the second term. In doing so, Bolawole must recall what he told me about Oyebode in our discussion. Even if he doesn’t, people can guess.

Bolawole, in the article, said he chose to keep a distance from Fayemi until the election case was settled. May we ask him why? His statement “I cannot cry more than the bereaved” also begs for an answer, especially when everyone sees that he is still crying more than the bereaved long after the case has been settled.

Bolawole as wheeler-dealer:
In his write-up, Bolawole made a false claim that he “facilitated” a “Man of the Year” award for Fayemi during his first tenure. Shuo! How? As what?

In dabbling into punditry, Bolawole asked to know the difference between a Fayemi and a Fayose. Well, the answer is obvious. While Fayemi is naturally ascetic as characterised by his self-discipline, Fayose is a hedonist and voluptuary: a pleasure seeker. Your choice of who to associate with between the two is a pointer to who you truly are. Or has he forgotten he confessed to me that nothing ever go out from the Fayose-Eleka camp without his first going through and approving it? And has he stopped doing that?

Now, I need to expose Bolawole’s hypocrisy, corruption and larceny. His claim not to have been on Fayose’s pay roll is a blatant lie. Bolawole was on a monthly “honorarium” of N250,000 during Fayose’s era of bu je, bu danu. And he was given an apartment to stay in the government house as God-knows-what. Please discard the lie that he ever rebuffed Fayose. He dared not. To Bolawole, everything Fayose was doing was right and Fayose was his God-sent. He was with Fayose in his country home at Afao Ekiti, where they both wept bitterly when Fayemi was declared winner of the governorship election in 2018. Why not?

Bolawole described Fayemi as ambivalent on burning issues, but Fayose an open book. I guess he meant the reverse, otherwise it is unfortunate he holds such jaundiced view. Ekiti people they both served, and Fayemi is serving still, know who is Omo gidi and who is Omo langidi. Truth, they say, is transparent. Bolawole’s is opaque and this may be blamed on his not getting enough patronage from Fayemi as from Fayose.

Did Bolawole actually write that he was Fayose’s “eyes and ears” over the compensation at the Ikere dualisation and that he also supervised the Ilawe dual carriageway project? Did he carry out the assignments as an engineer, a project manager or a construction expert? These, certainly, are clear instances of purloining and corruption. I hope he can explain himself to the EFCC that he actually supervised the projects with which Fayose siphoned Ekiti State money. To me, he is an accomplice, who should be called for questioning.

Like I said, I need not dwell on Bolawole’s reference to his inglorious exit from Punch. It is sheer act of self-pity, and it is shameful. Nothing to add.

Bolawole kept calling himself a Pastor, yet he kept doctoring facts. I doubt much if the Editor of Sunday Tribune, Sina Oladehinde, ever told him that I expressed remorse when we spoke. Well, such never happened between the editor and I. Bolawole must have made it up. The word used by the Editor, I recall, was “rapprochement” and I go with that. Equally made up was that I apologised to him (Bolawole). I didn’t because I had no reason to. Rather, he showed remorse through his narratives about how he found himself on Fayose’s side, and part of his reasons for doing so was that Fayemi offended him by not treating him well in the past. It was for this reason that I made a promise to broker a meeting between him and the governor.

However, I am sorry to announce that the meeting has been called off, so Bolawole can continue in his misadventure of disparaging Fayemi unimpeded and he doesnt need to tone down his language anymore. After all, he is only wheeling and dealing.

Dipe, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi, writes from Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.


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