The former Governor of Ogun State Chief Olusegun Osoba has taken a hard look on recent comments of elderstateman Chief Ayo Adebanjo and said : ” He has always been antagonistic to anybody who rose to governance within the progressives’ family.”
Chief Osoba speaking to journalists in Lagos said Adebanjo just criticized without any political value. “The point is that Adebanjo has never contested any election. I challenge him to test his popularity. He should pick anywhere in Ogun, let the two of us walk around.”
Chief Osoba going down the memory lane said Chief Adebanjo was antagonistic to the UPN governors when they reached out to the PRP governors in the Second Republic.
“He led the crusade against the governors and told Awolowo that the UPN governors had sold out. When Papa (Awolowo) got exasperated he called a meeting of the UPN leaders at Eko Hotel.
“I recall Chief Onabanjo speaking on behalf of the governors and telling Chief Awolowo that “all the people shouting are not more loyal to you than we are, that if the party must win at the federal level, the party must relate with others outside Western Region”.
“At the end, Chief Awolowo said the governors should continue with their association but they should report regularly to the National Executive Committee of the party.
“They then expanded their association to 12 governors. That was the group that led Awolowo into signing an agreement with Dr Azikiwe in Benin ahead of the 1983 presidential election which Awolowo actually won.
“Their reaching out was very helpful. It was that same progressive association that helped us when we moved to the Third Republic SDP that produced the late Chief MKO Abiola as presidential candidate.
“My argument is that Adebanjo has never been comfortable with any governor either in UPN or in AD. That is what is manifesting now in his attack on Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande and Niyi Adebayo who walked out on them in 2003. He bragged that he made us governors.
“Who among us did not have political experience before we became governors in 1999? Lam Adesina as Oyo governor was, as far back as 1979, a House of Reps member in the National Assembly dominated by the late Chief Abraham Adesanya and co.
“The late Chief Adefarati as Ondo governor was a Commissioner under Ajasin. Akande in Osun was deputy to the late Chief Bola Ige as old Oyo governor. So he is making a cheap statement by saying we are not consistent…..The point is that Adebanjo has never contested any election. I challenge him to test his popularity. He should pick anywhere in Ogun, let the two of us walk around. There is no village in Ogun State that I will not call out three or four families…….”
He said contrary to the insinuation by Afenifere chieftain Chief Adebanjo that he had sold out on the resolution of the national question, he had never relented in advocating for true federalism and devolution of power.
Osoba described Adebanjo as a dictator who will never acknowledge opposing views.
The former governor, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC), said the report on restructuring by the El-Rufai Committee had been affirmed by the leadership of the ruling party.
Critcising Adebanjo for lack of skills for dialogue and constructive debate and lobbying, he said:”We adopted the Restructuring Report. Buhari was present there. But, Adebanjo does not like the National Assembly that will work on it.”
He advised Adebanjo to desist from using insulting, abusive and antagonistic language, saying that it is destructive and provocative.
Osoba warned Adebanjo, that he would henceforth, return fire for fire.
Additional report from The Nation.