Idiat Babalola, an aide to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun, who was attacked at the burial of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke on Monday, has declared that she was unfairly attacked over unfounded rumours that she wants to be Deputy Governor after the current tenure of the governor.
Speaking on Wednesday, Babalola claimed that the late Adeleke, the senator who represented Osun west, was her mentor, wondering why she was attacked at his funeral.
Some aggrieved youths, on Monday, attacked Babalola who was one of the guests at the funeral of the politician who died on Sunday that it took the intervention of the police and efforts of Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun state governor, to save her from the riotous youths.
Reacting to the incident, Babalola, who served in the last cabinet as Special Adviser to the Governor on Federal Matters, said she sensed trouble when some of the hoodlums started to make utterances which suggested that her rumoured deputy governorship ambition was to checkmate the governorship ambition of the late Senator, who had openly declared his intention to succeed Governor Aregbesola.
She insisted that her attackers could not have been acting over anything against Governor Aregbesola but simply on the local politics of Ede, where she also hails from just as the late Senator Adeleke revealing that she was at the burial in company with her father, Chief SOB Babalola, a prominent industrialist who is also a friend to the late father of the late Senator Adeleke.
“I am a proud daughter of Ede and Uncle Isiaka has been a mentor and we never had any disagreement till the news of his death was broken to me while in Lagos on Sunday morning. I was heartbroken and immediately cut all my other engagements and came down to Ede from Lagos,” she said.
“We worked together with Uncle for the re-election of Governor Aregbesola in 2014 and for his own election into the Senate in 2015.
“Those who masterminded the attacks on me are people with poor understanding of the relationship between us and who act based on their own political permutations only.
“Not long after we sat down for the prayers, I sensed some hoodlums saying some things like I wanting to be deputy governor while Uncle (Senator Adeleke) has declared his ambition to be governor from the same Ede,” she said.
“I heard them talking about the new caretaker committee members being more of my loyalists than those of Senator Adeleke. And before we knew it, they grew more daring and unruly and brought down the canopy on the dignitaries present. It was the most unruly and irresponsible act I have seen in our land in history.
“That cannot be the best way to honour the memory of Uncle Adeleke. Senator Adeleke was a man of his people; a lover of peace and a political associate of Governor Aregbesola. Senator Adeleke could not have countenanced such misconduct in his lifetime.
Babalola expressed appreciation to Amosun whom she said despite being a governor, tackled the irate youth and prevented them from causing further harm.