Yoruba Leadership: Don’t Distort History, Osoba Tells Obasanjo

Former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, has condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s position in his book, My Watch: Political and Public affairs, that there had never been any Yoruba leader, saying “He (Obasanjo) wants to distort the history of the Yoruba.”

Olusegun Osoba

Obasanjo made the assertion in chapter 31 of the  book, where he explained issues centered on Nigeria and Yoruba, arguing that there was no individual as Yoruba leader before and now.

Osoba, in an interview in Lagos, lamented that the declaration by the former President, who was present at the event when late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was ‘unanimously’ elected as the ‘Yoruba Leader,’ on August 12th, 1966, is worrisome.

According to him, “I disagree with the former President, on whatever claims he made that Awolowo was hand-picked by some of his supporters. In fact, the day he was elected as Yoruba leader was two weeks after  Awolowo was released from prison by the military.

“As the garrison commander in Ibadan at the time, Obasanjo was an active member of General Adeyinka Adebayo’s erstwhile cabinet. I do not think that Obasanjo would have forgotten so soon the sequence of events that threw up Awolowo as Yoruba leader.

“I was present at the forum where Late Chief Awolowo was unanimously elected the Yoruba leader. And the election involved all stakeholders, including political, cultural and intellectuals in Yoruba land. Some who did not belong to Awolowo’s political camp also endorsed him,” Osoba added.

Osoba however said that Yorubas cannot have a single leader under current political dispensation. “What we can have at the moment is ‘cultural’ leader not an overall leader. By our level of education, exposure and independent mindedness we like to express our views.”

“Even in family meetings, the Olori Ebi (head of the family), is challenged on issues affecting the family. So, each time the interest of Yoruba is threatened, we all gather under the leadership of an individual to solve the problem,” he added.

Osoba, Daniel Set To Join APC

There are strong indications that former Governors of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, and Otunba Gbenga Daniel and their supporters are heading back to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Daniel and his supporters defected from APC to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Osoba was a founding father of the APC but a disagreement with Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, also of the APC, and the inability of the national leadership of the APC to settle the quarrel led to his moving to the SDP with his supporters.

He also alleged marginalisation of his group by the national leadership of APC as the reason for the defection.

•Olusegun Osoba

Osoba and his group contested and lost the last election on the platform of the SDP, though there were several last minute moves to reconcile with the APC.

P.M.NEWS reliably gathered that the reconciliation moves have been revived and delegations from the APC have met twice with Osoba in his Abeokuta home to ensure his return to the party.

Sources close to the two time former Governor of the Gateway State confirmed toP.M.NEWS that the first delegation led by the National Deputy Chairman of the APC and former Governor of Ekiti State, Engineer Segun Oni, met with Osoba immediately after the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Abeokuta.

“I was with oga (Osoba) and the delegation led by Engineer Oni came. They told him to come back to the fold. They even wanted him to withdraw the SDP candidates from the governorship and state assembly elections. However, he stated that inasmuch as he will want to return, he cannot withdraw the SDP candidates from the election at this eleventh, noting that it will negatively affect his political status. He, however, stated that after the elections they can meet again,” our source said.

After the governorship and state assembly elections, another delegation led by another former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi met with Osoba in his Abeokuta home and the subject of discussion was his return to APC.

•Gbenga Daniel

For now, Osoba is out of the country and our correspondent learnt that when he returns, further meetings on the reconciliation move will be held to cement the agreement.

P.M.NEWS also learnt that Otunba Gbenga Daniel is also set to rejoin the APC fold.

Daniel was a member of the Alliance for Democracy in 1999, but left to join the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to contest the 2003 election against Aremo Olusegun Osoba in Ogun State. In 2011,  Gbenga Daniel founded the  PPN to install his protégé, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka a.k.a. GNI, as his successor after irreconciliable differences with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo-led PDP.  GNI, however, lost the election to present Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

In the run-up to 2015 elections, Gbenga Daniel first held a long romance with Labour Party, LP, in Ogun State, then dumped it to join the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. But his association with PDP was soured by his frosty relationship with Prince Buruji Kashamu, who denied Gbenga Daniel the Senate ticket for Ogun East.

Of recent, Daniel has been making moves to reconcile with APC leaders and was present at the wedding of Dele Alake’s son at the weekend.

Obasanjo Begged AD Govs for 3rd Term —Osoba’s “Watch the Watcher”

As comments and reactions were still trailing the publication of an autobiography of former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo entitled, “My Watch” from well meaning Nigerians, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba faulted claims made by the former President of not nurturing a Third Term agenda, saying that he (Obasanjo) actually canvassed for it.

Osoba was chairman at the launch of a book titled: ‘Watch the watcher: A book of remembrance of the Obasanjo years’ by Yinka Odumakin’.

He explained that while Obasanjo begged the leadership of the moribund Alliance for Democracy, AD, to support his tenure elongation plan, Osoba accused the former president 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 saying 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 to the graduation at UNILAG, where 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 since decamped from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Social Democratic Party, SDP, explained that “I am shocked and surprised that he wrote in his book that he knew nothing about the Third Term Agenda which he said God would have given him if he had asked.”

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 need 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 final 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.”

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