*What Tinubu, Mimiko did ahead of A’Court ruling – Report
By Kemi Kasumu
Politicians, many have argued, have no heaven. How true that is, only God Himself the owner of heavens, earths and all that are contained in-between both, know best. But what is clear is that the way politicians in Nigeria play politics, it doesn’t depict a people truly interested in seeking the consent of the people to use the resources of the people to improve the lives of the people. They sound more like seeking – by cunning way – the consent of the people to fulfill their personal aspirations and better the lots of their personal selves.
These were the comments of a popular public analysts, politician and constitutional lawyer, who Friday night, when asked to react to the ruling of Court of Appeal in Abuja on Ondo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidacy crisis and acrimony within the APC over Ondo, said the whole scenario had turned out to him like neither Tinubu nor Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko appear to him to mean business in making life better for the innocent Ondo State people.
He was reacting to a report in a national daily which saw Tinubu and Mimiko making advances on alternatives just because of the soul of Ondo. He then argued that the theory, “whether true or conjured,” that no permanent enemy or permanent friend in politics did not really go down well with reality, “as far as the need to use politics for the improvement and ensuring quality life for the people is concerned.” What the theory should really be is to say that no matter who the politician is, the general interest of making life better for the people should be permanent as against saying the “what is permanent in politics is politician’s interest,” he posited.
The politician and lawyer, who decided to speak to The DEFENDER as public analyst under condition of anonymity, wondered that those who joined in the struggle to send PDP out of power with the 2015 general elections came immediately after the election victory to retreat into their different political shells that they earlier decided to shelve permanently for a merger. He beefed that it later turned out that immediately after they won election, they left President Muhammadu Buhari alone to the struggle for restoration of commonsense to national governing system and rebuilding of Nigeria such that, from the standpoint of the election victory even before the 29 May 2015 inauguration, he said, they had gone into the oblivion as, according to him, they went straight into the struggle for 2019 when the new government they were meant to form had not even taken off. He was more worried that people like Tinubu and Abubakar Atiku are not found in the effort of this government to fix Nigeria as he said all they have been able to do is struggle for the control of President Muhammadu Buhari which, against their wishes, have turned out to be efforts in futility because a General Muhammadu Buhari that was jilted by a lieutenant (Ibrahim Babangida – his Chief of Army Staff) he so much trusted with power of the military at his first coming would now be wiser in power handling than both Tinubu and Atiku thought. Which is what the lawyer said had played out and which is the reason he said they were saying that Buhari had betrayed Tinubu.
Things like this he said worried him and that they must worry other sane Nigerian people.
His words: “Okay, tell me, what exactly has happened to Tinubu, with due respect, that has not happened before to any other politician? Yes, you wanted to have Ondo State to yourself within the political family that you jointly owned with other great Nigerians like President Muhammadu Buhari, Prince Tony Momoh, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and others. If you don’t have your way with that this time, you should know that you will have it the other time. Why then would you want to scatter the entire family simply because your ambition is not coming near achievable?
“Why do you want to struggle with a Presidency where you know quite well that it has interest in a place when you can’t condone it from anybody that you consider is under your political control? If you really understand the power that is resident in the person of the President of a country, you would tread with caution and enjoy the benefits of being part of the ruling government for the first time since the struggle started in 1999.
“If the Presidency decided to say it wanted to work hard in the coming political struggle to take over Ondo and Ekiti states, is that too much coming from a presidency that has suffered setback as a result of anti-government activities of governors of both states so that with different party – preferably party at the centre – now in power in those states, the change it intended for Nigerian states will reach out to those two states of Ondo and Ekiti without any opposition governor trying to block it playing politics with lives of the people?
“The question we should ask ourselves is, why is Ondo State a big issue to any politician if the general interest of the people is what he stands for? After all there was Edo State primaries of the ruling party and there are at least two leaders of the party nationally recognised from that state. Yes, there was the normal intra-party issue that would ordinarily follow any election primaries or any election, but all the leaders put their acts together and delivered the state to their party thereby making Adams Oshiomhole good for it as a lucky performing governor having been able to also hand over government to another governor certain would ensure continuity of the good work of rebuilding that he had started and done for eight uninterrupted years in Edo State. If the kind of work that Oshiomhole started in Edo State could continue for 16 years, there will be a complete brand new state ruled from Benin. Just like if the kind of work Buhari has been doing since almost one and half years now had been in place since the last 17 years that PDP had held sway in the country, we should have a brand new country by now.
“But to some politicians, because their personal interests are placed above the interest of the nation and good of good people of Nigeria, it matters not to them whose ox is gored so long they are able to have their way. That is why what is going on in Ondo State is painful to me.
“I expect that if Segun Abraham was sponsored by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the presidency sponsored Rotimi Akeredolu and at the end of the struggle the baton fell in the hand of Akeredolu, Asiwaju Tinubu should have ended the wrangling just at that point to enable their collective party move on especially in a situation where you want to prove to the people why they should vote the party ruling them, PDP, out of government. But alas, we saw that where some of the contestants moved out of APC to SDP because they lost out at the primaries, some others moved to AD. More unfortunate to know that one of the decamp aspirants who decamped is said to be sponsored by a man who supposedly is national leader of the APC. It is sad. More saddening is when one gets to know that the same leader has now relocated from Nigeria to a country in the west knowing full well that a very important election requiring their collective efforts to win is around the corner,” said the analyst, who refused to speak more.
What Tinubu, Mimiko did ahead of A’Court ruling
In the meantime, it was reported ahead of the ruling of Court of Appeal on PDP governorship candidate in Ondo State that leading candidates in the tussle for Ondo State governorship had intensified horse trading and power-sharing to shore up support for their aspirations, less than 10 days to the electoral contest.
A national daily in Nigeria had reported Friday that due to the bad blood and acrimony that trailed the emergence of the governorship candidates of the main parties — the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — the contest had become characterised by high level intrigues.
Aggrieved incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, was reported to be holding talks with the candidate of the APC, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.
Mimiko and his preferred choice, Prof. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), have been having a running legal battle with businessman Jimoh Ibrahim over the ticket of the PDP.
The report had it that Mimiko had reportedly told the PDP supporters not to join the Alliance for Democracy (AD) if the legal fireworks did not favour Jegede before the November 26 governorship election. It was learnt that in order to firm up the arrangement, Mimiko held a preliminary meeting with the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday.
The meeting, which, it was further learned, had the APC candidate, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in attendance, took place at the Akure Airport.
A source close to the Ondo State governor, The DEFENDER gathered, said that although no firm commitment was reached, Mimiko assured the duo of Okorocha and Akeredolu that if after the court processes Jegede did not fly, he would deploy his forces to back the APC candidate.
The Mimiko source reportedly said: “It is true they met but not as people are speculating that Mr. Governor has already committed himself to the Akeredolu project. We are still confident we will win the mandate back. But if at the end of the day because of lack of time it happens that Jegede cannot fly, we have been told what to do.
“The governor and even those of us supporting Jegede believe that it is an insult for Tinubu to come from Lagos and install Iroko’s successor. It is an aberration we will fight, so rather than allow that, Iroko will be the one to swing support for Akeredolu to win because Ondo State belongs to us.”
On the other hand, the APC National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, is said to be rooting for Chief Olusola Oke, the candidate of the AD, following the edging out of his preferred candidate in the party primary, Chief Segun Abraham.
Oke had, like Abraham, lost out in the same exercise but opted for the Action Alliance (AA) before he moved to the AD allegedly on the directive of Tinubu.
There were strong indications that Tinubu had sealed a power sharing deal with Oke. Among the terms of the deal was that for bankrolling Oke, the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, would nominate the secretary to the state government.
Among other things, the power sharing deal involves the distribution of cabinet slots and other strategic positions if Oke wins. But there was a caveat: the APC leaders must mobilise enough resources and voters to first ensure the victory of the AD candidate.
Although details of the power sharing deal were still kept secret, a source close to the deal disclosed that Oke had agreed to concede some positions to the APC national leader and Aregbesola.
They include: Secretary to the State Government (SSG), chairmanship of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Commissioners for Finance, Works, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Health and headship of the Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue. Others include six caretaker committee chairmanship positions, that is, two per senatorial district as well as four special advisers.
The source, according to The DEFENDER’s investigations, said: “You know that the circumstances that led us to the AD are very peculiar. At first, we wanted Action Alliance but when the national leader suggested that we need to test the ground with AD in lieu of the zone’s interest ahead of 2016, we had no choice than accept the AD proposal.
“But what I just told you is not abnormal in politics especially when you view it from the prism of the need to cut down the APC candidate. I can assure you that the arrangement will work perfectly well and we will have no problem about that.”