A former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has revealed how former President Olusegun Obasanjo truncated the ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to become the running mate to Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who was the APC presidential candidate in 2015.
Oyinlola explained that even though Obasanjo was the last person to throw his weight behind Buhari’s candidature, having opposed the re-election of the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, he was eventually prevailed upon to support the former military ruler.
In an interview with one of our correspondents, Oyinlola, who was once the military administrator of Lagos State, pointed out that there was already an agreement between Buhari and Tinubu before 2015 that they would be presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively, a deal he said was initially hidden from most party members.
This development, according to him, led to some uneasiness in the party as they feared that a Muslim-Muslim ticket could cost the APC victory in the election, given the near-equal population of Christians and Muslims in the country and the sensitivity that surrounds religion issues in the country.
Prior to the 2015 elections, political parties always ensured their presidential candidates and their running mates emerged from the two dominant religions, with the only exception being the MKO Abiola/Babagana Kingibe candidacy on the platform of the Social Democratic Party in the June 12, 1993 election.
Even though Abiola and Kingibe, who were the presidential candidate and running mate respectively, eventually won the election, it is regarded as a one-off scenario. The election was later annulled by the regime of the then dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida.
Meanwhile, speaking further, Oyinlola explained that if not for Obasanjo’s intervention, the APC would likely have gone ahead with the Muslim-Muslim ticket and the party could have found it difficult to displace the government in power, especially when all reservations that surfaced over the proposed Muslim-Muslim ticket had been dismissed.
He added, “The agreement was concealed from a good number of the party leaders until it surfaced after Buhari had got the ticket. Then the rumour came out and some us felt danger was looming with the idea of Muslim-Muslim ticket. To further add to our fears, General Buhari on one occasion said there was nothing wrong in the Muslim-Muslim presidential arrangement, saying after all he governed with Tunde Idiagbon.
“That statement made us to know it (the Muslim-Muslim idea) was a fact. On two occasions, Bola (Tinubu) mentioned it in my presence that they agreed. If you recall one trending video back then, where it was said that Buhari had jettisoned what they agreed on, that is the room he was sleeping when Buhari was looking for the post.
“We then told Baba (Obasanjo). We told him that taking power from an incumbent government was a tough task and we must not give room for excuse and miss the target. We told him they (Buhari and Tinubu) were thinking of a Muslim-Muslim ticket. That was when Baba (Obasanjo) said people should not take the sensibilities of Nigerians for granted.”
He said after Obasanjo’s intervention succeeded in changing the decision, some people started spreading the news that Obasanjo frustrated the plan to make Tinubu the vice-presidential candidate.
He added, “After that (Obasanjo’s intervention), they started saying it in my presence that Obasanjo frustrated the plan to get Tinubu on the ticket for 2015 but I always acted as if I didn’t hear them. We then had a stakeholders meeting where the issue of the running mate was discussed again.”
Oyinlola said a former governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, also cautioned against the Muslim-Muslim ticket, especially because the party needed all the votes it could get from different parts of the country.
He added, “At the meeting, ex-governor Goje, rose up and said in the northern part, there is negligible number of Christians. He said the APC would need every vote to upstage the incumbent, so nobody should toy with the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket and everybody concurred. I think it was even Bola (Tinubu) that suggested that the matter should be taken before some leaders to resolve. But we never saw anything like that again.”
Meanwhile, Tinubu had said at the 7th annual Bola Tinubu colloquium at Eko Hotel in Lagos on March 25, 2015, two days before the election, that he pulled out of the contest.
He had said, “They attacked General Buhari, saying he would not subject himself to a primary. He did and won it as our party held the most open and transparently honest convention ever held in Nigeria. They said I connived and conspired my way into the VP seat. They lied so easily that it was the price I extracted from General Buhari to support his bid. If not, I would destroy the party on the altar of my ambitions.
presidential election, Obasanjo was not disposed to supporting Buhari’s candidacy due to the issue of performance.
He, however, revealed that it took a delegation of prominent chieftains of the APC to visit the former President in his Ota home in Abeokuta, Ogun State, to appeal to him to support Buhari.
He identified the chieftains to include himself, former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; a former Governor of Lagos State, BolaTinubu and a former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who is a known ally of Buhari.
Oyinlola explained that even though Obasanjo was open to supporting anyone but Jonathan, having written him a letter to express his disappointment in his administration, he wasn’t convinced Buhari would be able to deliver, which influenced his reluctance.
Oyinlola said, “The last person to accept Buhari’s candidature was Obasanjo and I say that one with every emphasis because I was involved. Yes, Baba (Obasanjo) had fallen out with Jonathan. His projection then was ‘any option but Jonathan’. That was his stand.
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“Taking a look at those candidates from other parties, there was no other person we felt could handle the delicate governance of Nigeria better than Buhari among the contenders that time. That was why the choice of Buhari became the order.
“That, coupled with the fact that he had been at the helm of affairs in the country before under the military, so he has that edge over all others. But Baba (Obasanjo) was the last to subscribe to the idea. I can tell you that it took a team of Saraki, Amosun, Bola Tinubu, Kashim, Imam and myself, that went and bombarded Baba (Obasanjo) at Ota around 7am before he succumbed to our pressure.
“That day, he said Buhari that he knew would try in the area of military matters, but outside that, Buhari knows next to nothing; not economy, not foreign affairs and he has been proven right.”
Buhari had on January 13, during the run-up to the 2015 presidential election, led over 30 chieftains of the APC to Obasanjo’s Abeokuta home.
Some of the chieftains who accompanied Buhari include Amosun, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (now Vice-President), Tinubu, the then APC chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Senator Bukola Saraki and the pioneer interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande.
Others are Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora (now Minister of State for Health), Otunba Niyi Adebayo (now Minister of Trade and Investment) and Sharon Ikeazor (now Minister of State for Environment).
Buhari who spoke at the meeting, described Obasanjo as a true leader who understood the problems of Nigeria. He also thanked the former President for appointing him as Minister of Petroleum which was his best appointment ever (as of then). He also begged Obasanjo to endorse him.
Buhari said, “Your Excellency, under whom I served the most lucrative appointment of the Minister of Petroleum Resources for three and a quarter years before he sent me on course. When I set about the programme of going round the states, somebody has the temerity to ask me that when I come to Ogun State, shall I call on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo?
“I don’t think I answered the man, I just looked the other way. I think that I should not come here (Abeokuta) in whatever capacity without calling to pay my respect. Sir, it’s a fact that you know more than all we know about the problem that we are in. But what we will do is Nigerians try to convince you to believe us that we are going to do better.
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“We expect your understanding and support, although you insist in remaining in PDP. I have reached a certain degree of frustration in my attempt for you to try to shift a bit but you have refused.”
Obasanjo later endorsed Buhari, and on February 16, 2015, he tore his PDP membership cards to shreds.
The former President, who had on December 11, 2013, written to Jonathan to express his disappointment in his administration, saying Nigeria was bleeding under him, later wrote Buhari twice, accusing him of ineptitude.
In his second letter, Obasanjo also advised Buhari against seeking re-election. “Nigeria is on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay,” Obasanjo said in one of the letters.
…knocks APC for reneging on restructuring Nigeria
Meanwhile, Oyinlola also revealed that he had regrets supporting Buhari. He noted that he realised the party deceived Nigerians with its restructuring agenda, saying this informed why he resigned as the chairman of the National Identity Management Commission on May 9, 2018.
He said, “In fact, the whole world has regret now. You see when he appointed me as the chairman of National Identity Management Commission on a part-time level, I didn’t feel that was what should be my take, given the efforts put in. But if you want to serve, you must be ready to serve in any position.
“I was not looking for money to build house or send anybody to school. That was why I accepted it. I quit that position when what we have discussed (what we made the manifesto of our party) was being denied, and that is restructuring.
“When Mr President said he does not know the meaning of restructuring and I know I was in all the moves with Afenifere and the South-West before his election. The principal reason these people (South-West) bought into the project was because of restructuring, only for Mr President to say he doesn’t know the meaning of restructuring again. I felt deceived and to show it, that was why I told him that he could keep his appointment.”
When asked if his defection from the PDP to APC and now back to the PDP was not a sign of inconsistency, Oyinlola said, “If you look at the circumstances that made me move, it cannot be considered inconsistency. I did not do anything wrong, they moved against me in the PDP and removed me. I went and joined the APC. What we agreed to do, which was restructuring, they reneged and I said I couldn’t be in the same party with such people.
“Restructuring was the major thing we sold to the South-West that made people to key into Buhari’s project. So, when Buhari said he does not know the meaning of restructuring, then I threw in my paper, I can’t be a chairman under you.”
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APC not missing ex-Osun gov, says APC
Meanwhile, in its reaction to Oyinlola’s statement that APC deceived Nigerians with its restructuring agenda, spokesperson for the ruling party, Yekini Nabena, who refused to address the issue, said Oyinlola left the party because he could not get what he was looking for.
He told one of our correspondents on the telephone, “Gone are the days when people think because they once held an office they are coming to a system and they want to take over the system. Gone are those days.
“He came into the APC and didn’t get what he was looking for and he left the party. What is the population of Osun State that they gave the party in the first place? If he is talking, he should talk for himself and not for other people. Others are happy with Mr President.
“So, if he is not happy based on his selfish interest, let it be. His (being) out of the party did not show any significance. Nobody is missing him. If you didn’t mention his name now, I never knew he was in the APC. He is very inconsequential
RAMADAN: OYHA Hopeful, Hon. Hammed Folorunso “Mido” Donates Foodstuffs, Cash To South East Constituency II
Oyo State House of Assembly Hopeful and member of the All Progressive Congress APC in Oyo State, Hon. Hammed Folorunso Tolulope, on Thursday donated foodstuffs and cash to his constituents in Ibadan South East 2.
Hammed, while handing over the bags of rice and cash worth of N200,000 to the leaders of the party said the move was to ease people’s plight as they perform the Ramadan fast.
According to him, the gesture will also strengthen and support them to devote more time in prayers for peace and stability in Ibadan South East, Oyo State, and Nigeria at large.
He used the occasion to reiterate his continuous presence and availability to contribute his quota to the Constituency.
The Public Relation Officer for Ibadan South East 2, Hon Femi Awogboro said It’s really a good one seeing youth coming out to show interest in politics “It is a good one to vie for a post, I believe we’ll be seeing as much as many youth coming up to contest as Mido is during presently now.”
The Chairman Ibadan South East ward 10, Alhaji Teniola in his speech ccongratulated party members for the caliber of personality that visited them.
“We have been hoping to seeing a vibrant, committed and a ready youth like this thank God Mido is coming to our aid, we are very happy to receive you today in our midst and we promise to support you to achieve your ambition come 2023, and God almighty will surely make it come to past.
“I want to assure you that all the wards chairmen in South East 2 are behind and we strongly support your ambition” he said.
In attendance were; Hon Jedi Akintola chairman ward 8, Wasiu Adeyemo chairman Ward 9, Abdul Rasheed Agarawu Chairman ward 12, Babyemi oladele chairman Ward11, Honorable Anbali and many other.
Mayowa Ayobami: An Attorney With Years of Multidimensional Legal Experience
Mayowa Ayobami: An Attorney With Years of Multidimensional Legal Experience
The legal profession is an occupation which requires so much from any sane mind who wants to thread the path as it goes beyond what its practitioners stand to gain. It’s important in securing the rights of the entire civil society and ensuring effective implementation of the human rights function of the state in relation to the activities of various bodies.
With the above, any qualified practitioner must have undergone some demanding training in learning the law which enables him act for members of the society by way of enforcing the law or representing someone in defence against the enforcement of such law.
Mr. Mayowa Ayobami is a vivid portray of what upright legal-practitioners do with regards to making the legal profession serves as an instrument to better improve the conditions of the civil society.
Mr. Mayowa is a known Senior Counsel at Tokunbo Orimobi LP, where he supervises and provides overall strategic direction for the firm’s Finance, Corporate and Commercial Law practice group.
Over the past thirteen (13) years, Mr. Mayowa has gathered multi-dimensional legal experience across key sectors of the Nigerian economy; and has been described as a highly effective attorney who is able to work closely with relevant stakeholders, including board members and C-level executives of clients, senior government officials and regulatory agencies.
He has advised several local, international and cross-border clients on compliance aspects of Nigerian industrial relations and employment law.
With particular regard to M&A and Corporate Restructuring transactions, Mr. Mayowa was part of the legal team that advised a U.K. oil and gas company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in connection with the acquisition of the oil and gas assets of international oil and gas conglomerate.
In recognition of the outstanding work on behalf of the Acquirer, the transaction won the IFLR Restructuring Deal of the Year Award at the IFLR Africa Awards 2020, held in October 2020. In April 2021, he was included in the year 2021 WhoisWho Legal Nominations List for M&A and Governance and Capital Markets in Nigeria.
Mr. Mayowa is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He is a Member of the Employment and Labour Lawyers Association of Nigeria; and a Securities and Exchange Commission-accredited capital market consultant, authorised to discharge the functions of a Compliance Officer.
BREAKING: FG Extends NIN-SIM Verification to June 30 as NIN Enrolment Reaches 54 Million
The Federal Government has approved the extension of the deadline for National Identity Number (NIN)-Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) data verification to the 30th of June, 2021.
The extension was as a result of the virtual meeting chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, and attended by following officials- Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Dambatta and the Director-General/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr. Aliyu Azeez.
The postponement of the deadline was also based on the request by stakeholders for an extension till 30th of June, 2021 in order to make it easier for all citizens and legal residents to register.
Significant progress has been made in the NIN-SIM verification process. For example, almost 54 million people have obtained their NIN and this can translate to up to 190 million mobile numbers, since empirical evidence suggests that each unique NIN maps to three to four phone lines.
The much-awaited Android enrolment system is now ready for deployment and this has the potential to significantly accelerate the speed and ease of enrolments.
Furthermore, the telecom providers and other enrolment agents have also opened several centres across the country to make it easier for eligible citizens and residents to obtain and link their NINs.
It is noteworthy that Sections 27 and 29 of the National Identity Management Commission Act 2007 provides for the mandatory use of NIN for accessing several government services. This is similar to the use of Social Security Number and National Insurance Number for accessing services in the United States of America and the United Kingdom respectively.
The Federal Government has approved the extension as part of its effort to make it easier for its citizens and residents to obtain the NIN and it is important to take advantage of the extension.
Dr. Pantami wishes to thank Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise.
He again reiterated government’s commitment to continually taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.
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