By Temitope Runsewe
Paul Joseph Goebbels, a German Nazi politician, was the Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. According to his Wikipedia page, he was one of Adolf Hitler’s closest and most devoted associates, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent anti-Semitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.
In one of his many affirmations against the governed and the Jews, Goebbels advocated consistent peddling of lies against the opposition and perceived enemies. He opined that whenever occasion demands that lies be unleashed, such should be done mercilessly.
Recently, our family, the Olatunde Runsewe Dynasty of Ibadan Land, was targeted for the Joseph Goebbels’s kind of attacks by the opponents of our in-law, His Excellency, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, the Governor of Ondo State, over some legitimate business transactions which our corporate entity, the Dutum Group of Companies, has with the government of Ondo State.
As a family and company, we understand that this is the era of electioneering and sloganeering when lies, slander, slur and virulent misinformation are mercilessly spread across the blogosphere by political actors without respect for truth, decency and civility hence, we would have ignored the latest fallacies and misleading notions sponsored against our esteemed family by those against the re-election bid of Governor Akeredolu.
However, as posited by Goebbels, a lie repeatedly told may be considered truth, if not conscientiously and thoroughly thrashed. Therefore, for the sake of the unsuspecting members of the public who may have been hoodwinked by the recent falsehood against our revered family, we consider it sacrosanct and imperative to release this rebuttal to set the record straight:
- Our son, Engr. Olakunle Runsewe is married to Yejide, daughter of Governor Akeredolu, SAN, and the marriage preceded the emergence of His Excellency.
- The Dutum Group of Companies was established in 1989 by our patriarch, Engr. Olatunde Runsewe, with a vision to be one of the best five indigenous construction companies in Nigeria.
- As a family that values good name above gold and riches, we confirm that our corporate brand, the Dutum Company Limited, has executed, and still executing some contracts for the government of Ondo State. We state clearly, too, without going into details, that Dutum Croup of Companies had been executing contracts for Ondo State Government long before Akeredolu became Governor in February 2017.
- On the Ile Oluji Township Road Contract, we will like to state very clearly that the contract was awarded for the sum of N800million, and not N6.8billion erroneously being brandished on the internet by some unscrupulous persons. Therefore, there is no N25billion contract being executed by the Dutum Construction anywhere in Ondo State. The Ile Oluji road construction is 91% completed with N630million paid to our firm thus far. We also want to make it known that out of about 30 road constructions ongoing in Ondo State, only the Ile Oluji township road was awarded to Dutum Company Limited and we stand to be corrected.
- On the allegation that Streford Limited, owned by one of us, Olakunle was awarded the contract to renovate the Governor’s Office and Government House in Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, we want to say without any form of contradiction that the claim was blatant mendacity. Streford was never awarded any contract for renovation of government house neither was the firm involved on any installation of elevator in Alagbaka.
- On the allegation that the sum of N10million is being paid to Olakunle monthly for the renovation of the newly acquired elevator in the Governor’s Office at Alagbaka, we state explicitly that the said elevator, according to our findings, is a brand new one and no renovation and maintenance would be needed on it for now ,thus, the monthly payment of N10million to Olakunle is a lie from the pit of hell. Olakunle is not involved in any installation of lift neither has he been involved in any maintenance of lift in Alagbaka.
- On the Direct Labour Contract from the Ministry of Land and Housing allegedly awarded to Olakunle, our simple reaction to it is that it is an unfounded lie. You may recall that the vendor of these untruthful stories once told the public that the Runsewe Family is the Auditor of Covid-19 response fund of the Ondo State Government via SIAO Partners, which was found to be another falsehood.
- Governor Akeredolu is currently constructing roads in all the 18 local government areas of Ondo State. Intelligence reports have it that the wicked propaganda being consistently unleashed against our family is due to the fact that the state government did not mobilize government contractors to share money to some political actors who are used to being given kick-backs in the past hence their disdain towards the Akeredolu clan and his in-law, the Runsewes.
- As a family with impeccable integrity, we do not compromise quality in all our dealings. Our corporate brand, Dutum Croup of Companies, is known for quality and excellent service delivery which has made us to be trailblazing for more than three decades in the construction industry. We have executed jobs for the federal and many state governments and too numerous to mention private organizations in Nigeria. Anyone who wishes to know more about our history and our feats can visit our website, www.dutumgroup.com
- Once again, we urge the general public to ignore all the lies being peddled by political urchins and meddlesome interlopers paid to destroy our heard-earned integrity for pecuniary gains. Our Patriarch, Engr. Olatunde Runsewe, is renowned worldwide for honesty and sincerity of purpose, virtues he impacted in all his children. We say with all sense of responsibility that our patriarch will never indulge in any acts capable of tarnishing his image.
- Lastly, as a family, we have a bad news for the masquerading marauders: The Runsewes are soldily behind the reelection bidof Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The achievements of the Akeredolu administration in the areas of road infrastructures, business development, jobs creation, industrialisation and Information Technology must be consolidated upon in the interest of the Younger generation who desire a new direction in line with the tenets of 21st century.
God bless Ondo State.
Temitope Runsewe is the Managing Director of Dutum Group of Companies and the Scion of the Olatunde Runsewe Dynasty.