CHIEF Dapo Sarumi, former Minister of Information and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State has debunked the story that he is suffering from stroke.
Chief Sarumi, in an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly said it is the biggest lie of the year.
He said those peddling the rumour of his stroke ailment have a dirty mind and sinister motive for such a rumour.
He also confirmed to us that he was vying for the party’s ticket for Lagos West senatorial district. He said those peddling the rumour of his illness are those who are scared of his entry into the senatorial race.
He said that was how people wrote that he was 51. “I went to school right here in Nigeria. My classmates are still very much around,” he said.
“Even if I am 92, am I not qualified to contest? That means I am advanced in age and will be able to provide the wisdom that is necessary at that level of governance. “Go to United States Senate and see many of their senators who are 92 and above,” he said.
“The person who told you that I am sick lied in every way. Is he a doctor?”
“Even if I have stroke, how does that stop me from contesting? Is that one of the criteria or qualification to contest?”
He said the person who told us he was suffering from stroke was not at the meeting he held with party members at many of the places he visited to announce his interest in the senatorial race. If he was there and saw me speak, he wouldn’t be saying all these. He said what he was running for is the senate seat not 100 metres race or gymnastic that requires agility.
He said he has visited so many places in the last 15 days he declared his intention to run for senate.
“I was in Aso Rock Villa recently where I spoke with many prominent people. As you are speaking with me, do I sound like someone who is sick?”
Earlier, a source which claimed to be at the PDP secretariat, Agege, where the former minister declared his political ambition, told us he (Sarumi) was looking frail and was a shadow of his old self while addressing the party faithful. He said the old man was as a matter of fact aided into his vehicle when he was leaving the venue of the political meeting.
Chief Dapo Sarumi came into the national consciousness of Nigerians in the defunct Third Republic when he and his compatriot from Epe town, late Dr. Femi Agbalajobi contested for Lagos Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship ticket in 1991. Both were disqualified when none was willing to step down for the other and the acrimony between them was heating up the polity.
Again, between 1999 and 2003, he was a minister in the cabinet of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and his convoy was involved in an accident along Lagos-Epe Expressway which led to the death of a couple. This brought him to public opprobrium.
He later left PDP for ACN in 2007, only for him to go back to PDP again in 2011.
– TOLANI ABATTI