by Lekan Olanrewaju
“We had ‘amala’ and vegetable soup with hot pepper in Abiola’s house.”
In a new interview with The Sun, former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has spoken out against former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing him as somebody who “has learnt the art of deception”.
He spoke on the state of the nation, saying: “On national reflection, political platform and in totality of socio-economic policy of the country, I’m still very disappointed and not fulfilled because of one’s dream of what Nigeria should be. On democracy itself that should have been the mother care for this socio-political re-engineering of the nation, I’m still not fulfilled because the country is still politically unstable and politically dishonest.”
He then went on to speak on President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying he could never trust him. “Anybody who has worn the uniform described as camouflage has learnt the art of deception and that’s the way I see Obasanjo. He had meetings and meetings with MKO Abiola. I was with him, I believe four of us including Dele Alake, and we had ‘amala’ and vegetable soup with hot pepper in Abiola’s house.” he said. “Everybody was yawning, sweating and looking for water with MKO Abiola and Obasanjo behaving as if it wasn’t as hot as we made it seem; behaving as if they had this deep understanding. Then, not up to two weeks after that, Obasanjo went away to Zimbabwe and announced from there that Abiola was not the messiah.”
“Haba!” he continued. “After that, I developed that mistrust on him; I couldn’t believe that a man could do that. Stand by some principles, stand by some integrity, stand transparently and honestly on matter of facts and as you lead other people to believe you and support you as a key pillar.”
Answering a question about congratulating the former president on his birthday, he said : “I didn’t even remember his birthday. I opened the newspaper and saw it. There are so many problems confronting us. I won’t blame anybody who doesn’t read my birthday greetings. I won’t blame them if they say they didn’t see it, there are so many problems confronting the nation. There are so many news items that are seriously more newsworthy than to be looking for Obasanjo’s congratulatory messages in the newspaper. A man who had great opportunity to put Nigeria on the right path and failed to do so; failed to do even the Otta road, not Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. What am I celebrating about him? That’s the truth. He deceptively dealt with the country and he handed over to a man who knew he was ill. Obasanjo is a leader that could not find another successor capable of driving through his vision for the country”
He also spoke on the ruling People’s Democratic Party, and current President Goodluck Jonathan saying, “We are not stuck; we are not. It will never be a one-party state. Stuck with PDP? God forbid!.
“I won’t analyse him as a person.” he said about President Jonathan. “He is already the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I want to see his programme, his party’s programme; that’s all and I could talk from that angle. His personality and character are left for Nigerians who voted for him. I’m not in his party and I will not be in his party; so anything I say now will be from that angle. I don’t believe he has his hands fully on the plough about Nigeria’s transformations. I don’t see him embark upon rigorous economic policy that will benefit the greatest number of the populace. He is in an ultra-conservative party where they have no plan for the middle class, no plan for the downtrodden.”