Odumbaku, dare debunk Tinubu’s ill-health tales


Cardinal James Odumbaku

CARDINAL James Omolaja Odumbaku, the Deputy Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State and Mr. Sunday Dare, the Media Adviser to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have debunked the rumour on the internet that Tinubu is seriously ill.

Cardinal Odumbaku at a press conference held at the party’s secretariat, Acme Road, Ogba, Lagos on Thursday, September 11, 2014, said he has just come back from London (the United Kingdom) where he went to take good care of his health and he met with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for two days before he returned to the country.

His words, “I would like you to know that I spent the last two days with our indefatigable and revered leader, Tinubu.  He is hale and hearty and very fit.”

He added, “He will soon be with us.  We discussed how to fashion out some strategies about how our party can excel in the coming general elections.”

Mr. Sunday Dare, on his own part, wrote on his Facebook wall thus, “I find the idle chatter on some online sites about the alleged ill-health of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu amusing.  That some idle minds have continued to perpetuate this absolute falsehoold to the point of the ridiculous is disgusting.  They deserve our prayers for wishing what is not for someone else.

“For the records, Tinubu is in great shape and his associates who see him and speak with him know this. I have been with him in the past three weeks and only returned to Nigeria on some assignments.  He is in London, helping APC spread the word about its mission of change. He will return to the country soon and those that wish him dead will be put to shame.”

On his Twitter handle, Mr. Sunday Dare posted this, “Asiwaju Tinubu is in great health.  The news online is fictitious, out-right falsehood.  A lie from the pit of hell.  The story injures journalism.”

Since Sunday, August 31, 2014, the internet has been awash with stories of Asiwaju Tinubu’s ill-health.

Some of the postings on the internet claimed that he had stroke and was flown abroad in an air-ambulance.

This, certainly was not the first time rumour of ill-health would be trailing the prominent politician.

In the last two or three years, each time he travelled abroad the social media came up with tales of ill-health.  Last year, when he actually went abroad for surgical operation on his knee, it was reported that he was suffering from Parkinson disease.

Meanwhile, Cardinal James Odumbaku has also debunked the story that he has fallen apart with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State.

At the same press conference where he debunked the ill-health tale, he also denounced the tale that he has fallen out of favour with Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola.  The clergy turned politician said there was no iota of truth in the rumour.  He said his relationship with Tinubu and Aregbesola is cosy as ever and that the rumour was an out-right figment of imagination of those looking for the downfall of APC.

His words, “Couple of weeks ago, I was not in good state of health and had to take time off. I know there had been a lot of rumours flying around.  I wish to reiterate that today I am a member of our great party and a member of the Governing Advisory Committee and still remain the Deputy State Chairman of APC, Lagos.”

He further disclosed that he led an army of prayer warriors to Ile-Ife, Oshogbo and Ede in Osun during the electioneering campaigns of Governor Aregbesola despite his health challenge.

Prior to Cardinal Odumbaku’s press conference, the rumour was that the politician was contemplating dumping APC for PDP because of his loss of relevance and influence in Lagos political landscape.

Cardinal Odumbaku did not enjoy much influence as he did before 2011 general elections.  Then he was the Acting Chairman of Mandate Group, the political association of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which was headed by Comrade Rauf Aregbesola, before he became the governor of Osun State.

Prior to the 2011 general elections, Cardinal Odumbaku was probably the most influential politician in Lagos State after Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Aregbesola.  Virtually all political office holders visit his Ojodu residence to seek his support and approval for their political ambitions and aspirations.  His residence on Budland Street, Ojodu, Lagos was a Mecca of sort to political office holders in Lagos.

But after the general elections of 2011, his political influence began to wane due to some complaints against him by those he promised political office or position that he did not fulfill and the fact that the party hierarchy in the state no longer give him much responsibility to perform.

ENCOMIUM Weekly also gathered his position in Mandate Group was taken away from him and given to Dr. Muiz Adeyemi Banire.

Today, his residence has been deserted by political office holders and/or seekers.

These are some of the reasons why he was said to have muted the idea of dumping APC for PDP.

ENCOMIUM Weekly also gathered that this also explains his non-contribution to the re-election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the Saturday, August 9, 2014 governorship election in Osun State.


–               TOLANI ABATTI



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