*Yoruba didn’t benefit from Obasanjo –Adebanjo
By Dapo Akinrefon
FORMER governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba faulted claims made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo of not nurturing a Third Term agenda saying that he (Obasanjo) agitated for it.
Osoba, who was chairman at the launch of a book titled: ‘Watch the watcher: A book of remembrance of the Obasanjo years by Yinka Odumakin’, also accused Obasanjo of allegedly rigging out Alliance for Democracy governors in the 2003 governorship elections.
The former governor also disagreed with some aspects of the book ‘My Watch’ authored by Obasanjo said he (Obasanjo) approached leadership of the AD to solicit for their support in 2003.
His words: “The Watcher (Obasanjo) wrote a book which Wole Soyinka has given his verdict. I am also going to give my verdict when I write my book.
That he (Obasanjo) does not know about the pact with the AD governors is far from the fact. To correct him, it was July 2002, he (Obasanjo) came the graduation at Unilag, we met at the office of the old Head of State. It was there that he almost went on his knees that we, the AD governors, should support his second term ambition.
“We (AD governors) told him that we were not the founding fathers of AD. We told Abraham Adesanya but he said he would never go to Abuja. He later agreed that he would meet us at the presidential lodge.
Abraham Adesanya never met him at Abuja but at the slightest notice Obasanjo came to Abuja. Adesanya told him (Obasanjo) that he heard he was going to ambush us (AD governors). Present that day was Bishop Gbonigi, the Awujale and Cornelius.”
Osoba, who has decamped to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) explained that “I am shocked and surprised that he wrote in his book where he said he knew nothing about the Third Term Agenda which he said God would have given him if he had asked God.”
Commenting on the book (Watch the watcher) he said “It is an event to put the records straight. Many aspects of the book written by President Olusegun Obasanjo needs correction. He was at the centre of all the negotiations to broker a political agreement between Alliance for Democracy and the Peoples Democratic Party in 2003. For him to say he knew nothing about it, I totally disagree with him because the finaly meeting with him was attended by highly placed Nigerians, a highly placed royal father, the Awujale, Pa Adesanya, Bishop Gbonigi, Bishop Ladigbolu, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, all the governors and a host of others.”
Speaking further, he said “for him (Obasanjo) to say that he knew nothing about the arrangement between AD for which he aborted and rigged the election is totally incorrect. The book he wrote, is too voluminous, I don’t want to comment on other aspects because it is a very heavy book to read.”
Yoruba didn’t benefit from Obasanjo –Adebanjo
Also speaking, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo argued the South-West did not benefit from the eight year administration of the former president.
He said “for eight years, I challenge anybody to come and show what we (Yoruba) got when Obasanjo was at the helm of affairs.”
While he chided the former president, Adebanjo said “for Obasanjo, Nigeria never existed before he came to power. He has only one adviser, Matthew Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo.”
“Obasanjo believed he is not corrupt. But before he left office, he changed the constitution of the party so that he can become the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT). Obasanjo has no conscience,” he said.
It’s a provocative book of memories–Prof Dara
On his part, the book reviewer, Professor G.G. Dara said “it is expected that the book will trigger more debates.”
Dara said “the author was motivated to write the book to challenge exaggerated claims of heroic grandeur and accomplishments made by the former President.”
Notable personalities present include Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko represented by Mr Shola Ibiseni; Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Jelili Adeshiyan; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; FERMA chairman, Engineer Jide Adeniji, Professor GG Dara, Labour Party scribe, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Colonel Tony Nyiam (rtd), Col Bello Fadile, Mr Akin Osuntokun and Lagos PDP chairman, Tunji Shelle among others.