By Clifford Ndujihe & Dapo Akinrefon

IF leaders of the defunct All Peoples Party, APP, had played their side of the game, Chief Olu Falae would have won the 1999 presidential election, former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande has said.

Writing on chapter 20 of his 557-paged autobiography titled: “My Participations” Chief Akande, a former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said leaders of the APP made the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and APP Accord to fail after the 1999 general elections because they worked against the accord during the presidential poll.

Chief Olu Falae was the AD/APP joint presidential candidate in 1999 with Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi as his running mate.

Falae was from AD, while Shinkafi came from APP.

The APP national hierarchy side-stepped Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who won the party’s presidential primaries, and presented Shinkafi, as Vice-Presidential candidate, to the AD/APP Accord.

Going into the accord, AD had six states while APP had nine states. However, the APP chose to be the junior partner on account of the agreement to cede power to the South-West to assuage the zone over the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential poll won by late Chief MKO Abiola, a south-westerner.

Writing on what transpired, Akande said: ‘’For us in AD, 1999 was a threshold of hope and a period of disappointment. Our leader, Chief Ige, had failed in his attempt to become the President of Nigeria when he could not win the nomination at the de Rovan conclave of Afenifere. That ticket was given to Chief Olu Falae, a former Minister of Finance who had also served as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation under General Ibrahim Babangida that led to the fall of the naira as a symbol of our national resilience. Some Nigerians felt Falae too shared part of the blame for the disaster.

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‘’Falae lost to General Olusegun Obasanjo in the presidential election. Therefore, with no help from the Federal Government, presided over by the former military ruler, we had no other choice than to gird our loins and be ready to do our best.

‘’In the presidential contest of 1999, we, our party, formed an alliance with our old friends in the APP and Shinkafi became the vice presidential candidate to Chief Falae. However, the APP did not deliver on the alliance. They voted for their governors, senators and other elected officials, but left Falae to us alone during the presidential poll. Their people voted for Obasanjo and handed him the presidency on a platter of gold. The alliance collapsed shortly after the election despite the efforts of many prominent citizens including our own Chief Harry Akande, an international businessman who played a big role in the campaign of Falae.

‘’Harry Akande, the Chairman of the APP Board of Trustees, provided Falae with a private jet for his campaign. After the election, the scenario became, To your tents o Israel”  

VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

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