Bisi Akande’s bombshell: Oyegun has wrecked APC - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Saturday, 7 April 2018

Bisi Akande’s bombshell: Oyegun has wrecked APC

Bisi Akande’s bombshell: Oyegun has wrecked APC

Chief Bisi Akande is a former governor of Osun state and a former National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

A close confidant of the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Akande in this interview conducted for Saturday Sun by KATELYN ANI-OGUNPITAN did not mince words but pointedly accused the military of conniving with terrorists to kill innocent Nigerians across the country in a bid to discredit President Muhammadu Buhari and ultimately chase him out of office.

“The military are fighting back, conniving with terrorists to kill innocent Nigerians. These military were supposed to be protecting us. They are doing so to discredit Buhari because he stopped corruption”, Akande stated.

But in a swift reaction to the allegation, Brigadier General John Agim, Director Defence Information, said “I do not believe that Bisi Akinde can say that because he should know that most of our Service Chiefs and commanders are from these areas ravaged by terrorism and insurgency, and they have put their lives on the line several times to end the madness.

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Politicians should stop playing politics with security. It is not true that military personnel will kill citizens that they are out to protect with their own lives for any reason.”

He also has harsh words for the Odigie-Oyegun led leadership of the APC. He accused the party chairman of wrecking the party. The party’s chairman, however refused to join issues with Akande for now as one of his aides told this paper they will be responding after the publication of this interview.

How much of reconciliation has the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Committee being able to achieve?

Honestly, I don’t have much information about that committee and I don’t discuss the committee’s progress with Bola Tinubu. But I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari set the Tinubu committee up to reconcile some members who might be aggrieved in one way or the other in the All Progressives Congress, APC. 

Buhari, as the President of Nigeria, is the leader of the APC, he doesn’t want APC to crash in his lifetime, he knew there were grievances and therefore, he looked for somebody with the extreme ability to bring the people together.

He knows Tinubu to be a friend of all segments of people that created the APC. He knows Tinubu to be a very good bridge builder and he made him the leader of those who should create peace in the party. I am happy about that, it is a sensible thing that President Buhari did. Beyond that, I don’t poke my nose on issues that are not of interest to me. (Laughs…).

I am here in my village for the Easter holiday (referring to his mansion in his home town at Ila Oragun, Osun State). I have been out of the country for some time now. In fact, immediately after Bola Tinubu was appointed to head that committee, I travelled out of the country for holiday.

So, I wouldn’t know what happened, after he was appointed, and I have not had time to sit down with him and say ‘Tinubu, how far have you gone’,  because I am not the one that appointed him and I don’t even think I will even have time to do such. So, I can’t tell you much about how successful or not-so-successful, the reconciliation has been so far.

There have been reports that there is a power struggle between the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Asiwaju  Bola Tinubu. This was proved when Tinubu accused Oyegun of, according to him ‘jeopardizing my presidential assignment’.

There can’t be a power struggle between Bola Tinubu and Oyegun. Oyegun’s chairmanship of the APC was the creation of Bola Tinubu. As at that time, Bola Tinubu told me that he wanted Oyegun in preference to Tom Ikimi, Timipre Sylva, and Jaja. I had to assist Tinubu to sell Oyegun, as the preferred candidate to the other top executives in the party. 

One morning, for hours, I sat down with Senator Bukola Saraki, Ali Modu-Sheriff, Rotimi Amaechi, Kashim Shetima and a few other leaders, as I tried to sell Oyegun, in preference to whatever candidate each of them may be supporting.

And it was with a condition that unless Oyegun was adopted by all of us, the south west will not attend the convention, which elected Oyegun. I was then the chairman of the party.

So what contention are you talking about?  Does Bola Tinubu want to be the chairman of APC? Look, the way people see it in the public is not the way it is in politics.  Tinubu is a friend to Oyegun, he started out how Oyegun became the chairman and all tendencies against Oyegun, Tinubu fought them until Oyegun was elected.

Oyegun is the chairman of the party, Bola tinubu is the chairman of the reconciliation committee, if Oyegun jeopardized the system of the reconciliation efforts and Tinubu saw it and complained to the President, it is part of Bola Tinubu’s duty to report to the President.

It is the contention in informed quarters that the Tinubu Committee won’t be able to achieve much because Asiwaju is neck deep in the series of crises plaguing the APC…

Well, Bola Tinubu is an enigmatic character that is very difficult to describe; today, you can say he is an angry man and tomorrow, you can describe him as the happiest man. The day after, a fighter and the next day, you can say he is as peaceful as a dove.

He is a kind of person you cannot say is neck deep in crisis. He was the one that introduced the coming together of the first four into the party; Senator Bukola Saraki, Rotimi Amaechi and Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.

Those four people were the ones who started to create a merger even before the President Buhari’s CPC and ACN came to agree on a merger that brought everyone together. Tinubu was a friend to everybody before the merger, he is always in bed with Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, he is friendly with the former governor before Kwakwanso, he is a friend to so many people.

Sometimes, Bola Tinubu would come to me with all kinds of people I don’t know. He can fight with that friend today, the day after; you will see them eating together. So, to say that Bola Tinubu is neck deep in crises with the members of the party, I will not agree or testify to that claim.

Some would say that Bola Tinubu and Bukola Saraki are the worst of enemies but last week, the two of them were hobnobbing and meeting at several places. So, Bola Tinubu is very difficult to describe. Bola Tinubu is best suited for that job because he knows nearly everybody and befriends nearly everybody. For example, people are saying that Buhari and Tinubu are worst of enemies.

If they were, why did President Buhari have confidence in Tinubu and appointed him to handle the reconciliation? Even husband and wife, father and his children and even friends quarrel all the time. The way people see it outside is not the way it works in politics.

There is so much confusion surrounding the issue of tenure elongation for the Oyegun led party exco. What is your reading of this issue?

Tenure elongation is the worst corruption in the world. Anybody who is on a sit and doesn’t want to leave that sit in a political appointment must be a corrupt person. The worst act of corruption is tenure elongation. I don’t believe in tenure elongation.

Anybody arguing in favour of tenure elongation, if you look at that person very well, that person is involved in corruption. If he or she has not been caught, such a person would be caught one day.

I was once a national chairman, if I should say that I don’t want to go, why? What is in it? What is the pot of honey that is placed there that would not let me to go? I was once a governor, why shouldn’t I leave after my tenure? If you are so insulted and not confident enough to resign, you must be a corrupt person. Tenure elongation is a shameful thing.

How can you say you want to sit tight? I even understood that they were bribing people from all over the states to agree to this tenure elongation scheme. I also understood that the tenure ‘elongator’ said that if there is no tenure elongation, he would scatter the party. They will all get scattered, before they scatter the party. APC is the party of Nigerians, not few people can scatter it.

Tenure elongation is bad, it is killing our party, I am a member of the executive caucus of the APC, for almost a year and half, there has been no meeting of the national executive committee of the party. Politics means mobilization; mobilization at ward, local, state and at the federal level. Mobilization involves meetings, rallies, elections, congresses and things like that.

But when you are sitting down in one place mobilizing nothing and you want to remain there to continue to elongate your stay, the party, which is the platform that put you there, would die while such a person is still there. Only mobilizers can lead parties like the APC, not tenure ‘elongators!’

Talking about tenure elongation, it appears your party has settled for President Buhari as the presidential candidate for the 2019 election. Where is the ‘change’ in that kind of endorsement which forecloses a level playing field for other aspirants?

I don’t know about that, my party has never taken any decision. Some sycophants have been saying many things in favour of President Buhari. Buhari too, has never said anything. Buhari regrets that the major part of his presidency was taken away from him by sickness. He has been trying to pay back for all those period he has been absent and some of us are telling him to take it easy.

He is unhappy that he has not covered more ground. The law says he should be there for four years and if he wants, he can seek re-election for another four years, and not beyond that. If he goes beyond that, he will become a tenure ‘elongator’. So, our party has not settled for anybody.

Will your party provide a level playing ground for other aspirants as well?

I don’t know what those who are leading the party want to provide for, but the law says that there should be a level playing ground. This is because those who are leading the party and don’t want to leave their position, one can’t predict whether they will provide a level playing field, you can predict their actions.

Anybody that wants to sit tight in a party, you can’t predict what they can do because that kind of attitude in itself, is the worst form of corruption. I prefer those who are stealing money to those kinds of people.

Look at Nkruma of Ghana that nearly finished Ghana, look at Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, if you go there now, it is a very poor country. When you see a leader sitting very tight, his people would be very poor and where you see the leader of a party sitting tight, that party would become moribund and dwarfed.

As one of the leaders of your party, are you satisfied with the style of President Buhari’s led government?

I am impressed by his style of leadership but his enemies are unhappy.

Who are those enemies?

Oh, some people didn’t want him to be there, so they set trap for him everywhere.  General Theophilus Danjuma just told us that the military are the ones killing people.

We have read about some military officers who kept money in a septic tank and we have also read about the military that stole billions of dollars and naira from Nigeria’s treasury. Now, if President Buhari came and stopped this stealing, you won’t be surprised if the military are behind these killings in order to make Buhari unpopular and throw him out of office.

Some influential political figures have also chastised the presidency for his inefficiency in tackling national issues through series of open letters. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to the President months ago, and his recent warning to Nigerians not to vote for Buhari in 2019, seem to fuel the rumour that President Buhari has fallen out of favour with powers that be in the country…

Obasanjo does not understand any politics beyond himself. Obasanjo’s politics is Obasanjo. The only thing Obasanjo understands best is Obasanjo.

Go and ask Obasanjo why he wrote that letter, or made that statement that Nigerians should not vote for Buhari. If he will tell you the truth, he must have been told off by President Buhari for something Obasanjo did. Go and ask Obasanjo, if he would tell you the truth.

I am sure that shortly before he wrote that letter, he must have been told off by President Buhari for something personal to Obasanjo. So, Obasanjo’s politics is Obasanjo and whatever he writes or says about anybody doesn’t carry weight, particularly among us his people, because we knew him for a long time.

Talking about the change mantra of the APC, the popular refrain among Nigerians is that they were hoodwinked into boarding the APC bus, which was heading nowhere. How do you react to this?

Yes, our party left windows for such campaigns of calumny against APC. When I was the national chairman of the party, I registered more than 12 million people, each with their telephone and PVC number so that we could know our voters.

We had a data that intimidated PDP to the extent that they arrested all our data boys and accused them of cloning. It has never happened in this country, that a party would register its members the way we did.

We had a data house full of computers; we had the data boys there. I bought two 100KVA generators so that one could be taking over from the other for electricity all the time in that place. Now, it has been abandoned by the present leadership of the party. This present leadership of the party cannot reach the common people.

When I was there, we could reach each of the twelve million voters on the internet but the present leadership doesn’t even know where the data office is. They don’t use it, they don’t know how to use it, and they don’t know how to reach us through the internet because they don’t know it.  Their belief is not in mass communication.

That gives room for the PDP thieves to be calling us thieves. It gives room for those who couldn’t govern us well for sixteen years to be saying that President Buhari is not doing well. The APC leadership is becoming agents in the hands of our enemies, so as to set traps for the President.

But you still haven’t answered the question of why you think Nigerians felt deceived by the APC’s change mantra…

Who are the Nigerians that are feeling such way? In politics, we have two sides to it; you either belong to the government’s party or you belong to the opposition…

I mean the common man on the street…. They complain of poor electricity situation, bad economy…

(Cuts) How would you know the situation of the electricity problem, are you a scientist? Listen; look at it this way, if you finish primary three successfully, common sense requires that you are to proceed to primary four.

However, if you didn’t enroll from primary one, you can’t get to primary six or secondary school. Before we came in, electricity used to be less than 2000 megawatts, today we are producing 7000 megawatts and you are saying that electricity is not good.

Don’t you know the population of Nigerians? If South Africa would require having about 40,000 megawatts of electricity and Nigeria is still on 7,000 megawatts and before we came in it was 2000, and you are still saying that electricity is bad?

Look, uninterrupted electricity supply can’t take place in one day? Can you get a university education in just one day? Can you expect President Buhari to turn everything around in four years? Is your hope only in four years? A nation is forever.

A group of people could come in and start doing it well and if you want to be sensible, you should say ‘oh, this man came and met 2000 megawatts of electricity and in two years in office, has increased it to 7000 megawatts and you are saying that electricity is still doing what? Still doing what? You want him to become a magician?

What about the failing economy?

They are both the same thing. What governs one, governs the other! You can’t plant cassava today and start making garri the same day. It has to germinate, and then you water it, and then harvest it before you can make garri. So, if you are one of Nigerians who are waiting for garri to be made the day cassava was planted, it means you belong to those who would not let this country to grow.

The economy can’t get to where you want it because there was already a recession when we came in, Nigeria was already finished when we came in and the Buhari-led government has just brought Nigeria out of recession. What recession means is that the whole thing is in the well and you are bringing it to the surface. Nigeria is just being brought to the surface by President Buhari.

Go and read the newspapers, these noises you journalists have been making, since five years ago the economy was worse than this. Nobody can make the economy to be perfect in two years.  No Angel from heaven can do it, particularly under this moribund constitution. This constitution we run cannot make anybody to perform well.

Where a party having about 75 percent of its members in the national assembly or in any assembly and they use these assemblies as a platform to deride the same party that got them into office, is that the kind of country you want things to grow? Nobody is thinking deep, all they do is earn salary and go home, and they expect Buhari to do everything within two to three years.

They heap blame on the president.  Teachers are taking bribe from parents, the police are taking bribes on the roadside and yet you are blaming everything on President Buhari?

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Your party promised to perform wonders if elected and now it is three years into government, the APC is still blaming the past administration…

(Cuts…) Definitely, one can make promises for a change but a change must have a beginning and believe me, things are changing. Go to the farmers, they will tell you that things are changing. In terms of power supply, I have told you how things have improved in that sector.

Things have been very bad; it can’t all be fixed in one or even ten years. Going by the way Buhari is going, if there is anybody who can do it better, in another twenty years, it can be good. It took PDP sixteen years to destroy this country; the military’s 39 years finished Nigeria.

But if Buhari has performed this good, how come Bill Gates rated him low on human empowerment?

Before Bill Gates was born, Nigeria has been spending on human beings. Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s free education policy started before Bill Gates was born. Free education has been operating in some parts of Nigeria before Bill Gates was born.

That is called spending on human capital. Before Bill Gates was born, everything Nigeria has been doing was to spend on human capital. The only difference is that while one side of Nigeria took that as very important, another side may not take it as important, like the north. 

You that you’re living in this country, don’t you see changes better in your family than your parent’s family? Maybe all of you belonging to your parents went to school, all of them belonging to your parent’s family may not have had the opportunity to go to school and you don’t see progress in that? That is building human capital.

Nigeria has been building human capital before Bill Gates was born but the rate at which we are doing it is not as widespread. Is that what you want Buhari to do in one year?  You have to sit down and ask yourself what human capital is, which position I belong, what is the position of human capital in my generation.

It is only unintelligent people that would say that Buhari promised change and we have not seen the change. How do you want to see it, other than the way it is being done? Electricity moved from 2000 to 7000 megawatts and yet, you have not seen any change? What do you want to see? You want Nigeria to become America the second day Buhari got to power? How will he get there?

Sir, you kept hammering on improved electricity supply, which Nigerians, I believe, would strongly disagree with you but in good conscience, what is the tangible achievement of the APC led federal government in the last three years?

The ones I have pointed to you are more than an achievement. Three days ago, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, told us that in all the days of PDP, they spent about N137 billion on capital development and shared the rest among themselves.

Within the last three years, Buhari has spent over N400 billion on same thing, is that not an achievement?  It takes a long time to fix something that has already been ruined and totally wrecked in this country. It would take Nigeria more than 25 years to get to where you are expecting it to be, as the foundation has already been destroyed by the PDP.

You were in this country when they were destroying it by stealing and looting the country blind. They were being arrested all over the world for money laundering and we put an end to their looting. That is an achievement. We have done a lot; this country is already beginning to germinate into growth.

Before it was nonexistent because nothing was being grown. Unless you prepare the ground, the germination would be taken over by weeds. That is what we are doing; you can’t do it over night because it takes time.  If we have an impatient public and change this government, you will die in poverty.

Are you indirectly endorsing the President for a second term?

Oh, I love Buhari, his administration will do an excellent job. It is for Buhari to say that he wants a second term and when he says so, we will look at it, if it is worth it, we will consider him.  But one thing that Buhari has achieved, which is an excellent thing that no other leader has ever done, is that as a person, he is very honest and credible.

It doesn’t mean that he will do everything by himself. He may have been surrounded by crooks; I don’t know those who are working for him; some he appointed, some were appointed by people he appointed… you can’t blame the fault of those people on him.

The president always praises himself that his administration has successfully rid the country of corruption.  Recently, according to the latest corruption perception index released by Transparency International, it ranked Nigeria as 148 least corrupt countries, out of 180 countries in the world…

You are a journalist, in other countries; journalists would have taken the Transparency International’s report of ten to seven years ago and compare it to the last three years and see which year was the worst in terms of corruption. Nigeria has been neck deep in corruption.

Transparency International would always say that Nigeria is corrupt, a journalist that is worth his name would take the data of 10 years back and say okay, what are the details of the corruption, six years ago, what were the details? You just don’t take this one in isolation and say because Transparent International said so, and you are asking me if they were right or wrong in writing such. 

You shouldn’t have asked me that question at all. Did the Transparency International say Nigeria was not corrupt 10 years ago? They report every year, why is that of this year an exception? You know all these things are intertwined, one leads into the other.

I don’t know what they look at, I don’t know what their data is but I know that corruption has reduced to a great extent in Nigeria from what it was three years ago. The truth is that Buhari can’t kill corruption in just one day, it will take time.

Let’s talk about the security situation in the country…

Before Danjuma made that statement, the military took, within six weeks, $2.1 billion from the Central Bank raw! And they shared it among themselves. When that is stopped, definitely you will have enemies. When you want to take stolen money from a thief, they will fight you back. The military are fighting back, conniving with terrorists to kill innocent Nigerians.

These military were supposed to be protecting us. They are doing so to discredit Buhari because he stopped corruption. What I would suggest is that the federal government must intensify the training of the police. Anyone who wants security should go and hire the police from that training school so that they all have the same training from the same security agents.

If the state wants police, let them go and hire from there. If the federal government wants police, let them go and hire from that training school. If the local government wants police, let them go and hire from there too.

And if I want police to protect me, I will go there to hire, it is not the Inspector general will send whoever he likes to me, and it is not the inspector general that will protect my life. There should be a one uniformed training for all police in Nigeria. They would be trained in law, energy, and in all processes. Whoever wants the police protection would go there and hire.

In this area, I can bring all the neighborhood together and say oh, in other to protect us, let us go and hire some  policemen  and we would station them at the gate that enters this neighborhood. These police would have acquired the same training with the ones that the federal government hires.

I think you see the point? The moment you do that, and you stop the inspector general from protecting the thieves and leaving those of us who are not thieves open to the armed robbers and kidnappers , there would be thieves in Nigeria. But the law of Nigeria never permits Buhari to do that. We have a bad law; the constitution is a bad constitution.

Bring the angels from heaven to come and rule Nigeria, that constitution would change the angel and he would not be able to rule well. What I am saying in essence is that we should not pile all the problems that are plaguing this country on who is in power. When he is doing well, measure the scale and let the world know where he is doing well.

Still on security issues, the situation that led to the kidnap and return of the Dapchi school girls in Yobe is still sketchy. While some political figures in the PDP have said that information being released not adding up…

(Cuts…) Don’t ask me anything about the PDP. They are now in trouble. The ‘and you too’ syndrome has swallowed PDP. They would say ‘we are thieves o! But and you too, when we come back, we will steal more o’. That is the PDP sing-song now. Don’t tell me what PDP says, tell me what the reality is.

When the Chibok girls were taken, for three months, the PDP government didn’t believe that the girls were actually kidnapped.  When the Dapchi school girls were taken, within a month, they were brought back. There is no political undertone to it, only those who have no brain would say that the how they were taken and released did not add up.

Were there no killings before Buhari came into power? Where there no kidnapping before this administration took over power? Was the Chibok girls not kidnapped before Buhari became president? If you are the leader, how will you protect that place?  This house, I have fences around it.

If there are no fences, thieves would come here, who would handle them?  Until Nigeria builds walls on its boundary, so that intruders from other African neighboring countries will not come and be killing us. Until we amend this bad constitution, Nigeria will never know any peace.

The first and foremost important task of any government is security of lives and property. The APC government at the centre is rated as having failed woefully. What exactly commends this administration for a second term of office?

It is only the stupid and ignorant people that would say that. What is happening now that has never been happened before? It is only that the noise has increased. In 2014, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped in his farm but the herdsmen and Jonathan was in power then. They say the spate in recent times are being done by the military, danjuma said so.

They are the ones that started corruption and looting in this country and buhari is trying to stop the looting, that is why they are killing people to spoil Buhari’s name. There have been herdsmen killing before Buhari came in; there were kidnap of children and school girls in the north east before Buhari came in.

The Chibok girls were about three hundred plus in numbers, while that of Dapchi was just about a hundred, is that an increase or a decrease? Tell me what increase means, because you can’t use the word ‘increase’ without adding figures into it.

Why hasn’t the Federal Government declared the killer herdsmen as terrorists like they did the IPOB members because the spate of killings in Benue, Taraba and even recently, Enugu is alarming…

That is a question for the government, I am not in government.

Nigerians are wondering why the president is very slow in dealing with the killer herdsmen….

Keeping quiet?

He hasn’t made a strong statement on the herdsmen situation.

So making statement is the answer to the problem?  I will tell him when next I meet him that he should be making statements. Planning is done in secret not in the newspapers.

He is working on it and until it manifests, you won’t know but if he should be making statements that should convince Nigerians that he is working, when next I meet him, I would say to him ‘Buhari, start making statements o! They don’t care whether you get it right or not, just start making statements.

When three hundred Chibok girls were kidnapped, and a hundred was kidnapped in Dapchi, they are saying there is an increase in insecurity’. , I will tell him all these. A retired soldier told us that soldiers are the ones killing Nigerians.

The soldiers introduced corruption into Nigeria and the PDP took it over. People are killing because Buhari is stopping them from killing, what can we do about it? I am quoting human beings, you are quoting people, I am giving you figures, and you are not providing figures when you said increase.

That means you are part those Nigerians that are talking without reasoning, it is sad.  You can’t be the mouthpiece of Nigerians who are not thinking, and you can’t be the mouth of the opposition that led us into this messy situation and want to continue to be there and then used that to ask questions.

You should sit down and sort it and say well, Nigerians are saying this, is it true there is an increase, and if truly there are, convince me. It took forever for the Chibok girls to return, while it took this government just two months to rescue the Dapchi girls. So tell me, which government is doing better?

If the process was so simple, why haven’t the Federal Government used that same tactic to rescue the remaining Chibok girls still in the Boko Haram’s custody?

They are doing it, you can’t do it overnight, it takes time. They have distributed the girls all over Africa, it requires negotiations with the international community; with the country that are holding them. 

We can’t just go to their countries and take them out, we must talk to their govt and it also depends on the efficiency of the country you are talking to that would yield the result that we want.

We can’t blame that on this country. People don’t go to the east any more before Buhari came into power. And now that he is in power, you are saying that kidnapping has increased. Is it not everybody in the east that is a kidnapper? Give me numbers, so I can be able to answer your question.

Don’t generalize, we inherited things that were bad and are making it better. We can’t do it overnight, we are doing it gradually. The public must not be confused not to be patient otherwise; those who destroyed it initially and want to come back will make Nigeria to cease to exist.

Why should the South West listen to you and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, regarding the political direction they should head for in 2019, given the scale of poverty ravaging the whole of Yoruba land?

We are going to look at the situation of things and also change our narratives.  The poverty in Yoruba land was not as high as it was ten years ago.  We know what poverty means in Yoruba land, we have seen it before, we were born into it. There was poverty in Yoruba land forty years ago and hundred years ago.

My great grandfather sold and bought slaves, which was poverty. We know that poverty has reduced a lot in Yoruba land but the pressure–because Yoruba land is good–the pressure from the east and north, even from the foreign countries are increasing with the number of people that are sharing what we have.

That is why it appears that we are becoming poorer. All our states are filled with people from other areas; it is a matter of gradual rearrangement. We are looking at all these things; we will change our narratives and then send a different message to our people.

Have the Yoruba reached a consensus about who should be their leader?

There are Yoruba leaders and each with their own belief. It has never happened that the Yoruba had a leader. When Chief Obafemi Awolowo was taken as Yoruba leader, he quickly reminded us that it will not be so, until when partisan politics come in, it can’t be so when the military were in power.

It was when the military left that partisan politics came in and when the partisan politics came, Awolowo led his own flock, while  Akinjide and Akinloye led their own flocks and we met at the poll. So, there can’t be one Yoruba leader, as there can’t be an Igbo or Hausa leader. Except that the Hausa institutionalized it, maybe the sultan is their own leader.

Some people would describe Tinubu as their Yoruba leader…

He is one of the Yoruba leaders, and leadership depends on your role. His role is not measurable.

Are you saying this because Tinubu is your closest ally? Other prominent Yoruba people may disagree with you…

He is just my friend, nothing more. Everyone is free to have their own opinion about Tinubu and I have mine. I don’t care which opinion anybody would have but it is for the people to listen and measure my opinion against other people’s opinion about Tinubu and say which opinion is right.

There is no single Yoruba leader. As there is no single Igbo or Hausa leader, but there are Yoruba leaders and each leader will be assessed according to how they performed. Bola Tinubu is one of the Yoruba leaders and a very important leader at that because he was celebrated in Lagos last week.

Lagos is now becoming one of the best economic centers in the world, not in Africa. And it is about the best economic centre in Africa. Everybody is saying that Tinubu laid the foundation, so for that alone; he is the leader of leaders.

Is he looking at contesting?

If the law permits him, why not?  Although we have not discussed that yet but the law permits him, if he wishes to.

There are speculations that Senator Bukola Saraki is also showing interest to run, what is your opinion?

Bukola Saraki is my friend, he has not told me anything, people are just speculating and I don’t listen to ‘people say’. When he tells me, I will know which advice to give him. Tinubu has not also told me anything.

Buhari is the president today and he has the right to remain president until the end of his term. If he wants to be president again, he would tell us and we will consider him along with others who may also want to be president and we will use the rules of our party to do what is needful.

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