FORMER Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi whose death was announced the day Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was dissolved was called “Koseleri” because he broke the second term jinx in Oyo State. He also broke the jinx of not making 70 years in his paternal lineage.
Shortly before his 70th last December 16, [we are six days apart] he told Kunle Oderemi of the Nigerian Tribune that “from my own paternal side, nobody has ever lived to be 70, all male children, including my own father and his own father, his brothers”.
I saw him last two months and a few days after his 70th birthday at the Ikere-Ekiti, home of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) where we attended the donation of a church building by the silk.
When we got to his living room, Senator Ajimobi invited me to sit next to him telling me why was I not coming to see him whenever I was in Ibadan.
As if by some premonition, we talked about coronavirus and he said something about the postulation that our weather in this part of the world would not allow the pandemic to be so virulent. We were on that when Mr Niyi Akintola (SAN) came to excuse me.
It was two days after we left Ekiti that the journey to his meeting with coronavirus started. A man who once said to my hearing that he would quit anything political at 70 and be spending quality time with his grandchildren was somehow dragged into the fight for National Deputy Chairman (South) of APC, a position that was the right of Ekiti State.
Oshiomhole swore him in even while the tussle was still on. Maybe this ebullient man would still be with us today if he had listened to his mind about taking a back seat at 70 as my brother, Bolaji Tunji, has confirmed that it was on a trip to Abuja for party [APC] assignment that he was hit by COVID-19 that eventually killed him.
I met him in 2006 when I was Chairman of South West Mobilization of the Action Congress in formation and he was a governorship aspirant then. Our first encounter was not pleasant as various aspirants were jostling to seize control but former Governor Niyi Adebayo settled the matter.
He quit the Action Congress (AC) in a dramatic way before me. I would not forget the day at Lagos House in Abuja. He was invited to a meeting of leaders from the South West in Abuja to be persuaded to step down from contesting for Governor. In the course of the meeting, one of the leaders said something like he could not understand why it would be difficult to talk to those using their names to be relevant. That blew Ajimobi’s top and he responded “Who doesn’t have his own name here?” He turned to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and he said: “We were both in the oil industry, I became MD.” He looked at Alhaji Lam Adesina and dropped “We both used our names to contest in 2003, you lost and I won.”
He made it to the door and left only to surface in ANPP where he picked the party’s ticket. He showed strength that they couldn’t deny him ACN ticket in 2011 which was the year I linked my very resourceful brother from another mum, Zach Adedeji, to his campaign. He became of great value to him.
TO BE CONTINUED
Awo and MKO (3)
CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK
THAT a declaration, like that of 11/06/94, once made and in great circulation, needs no repetition, which, will be superfluous. Made when June 12 was suffering from a terminal illness – in-fact in a COMA – the June 11 shot-in-the-arm had over the years not only revived the patient (June 12) but has also established it firmly on its own base, such that its right to exist would today no longer be denied. In this situation, I could well concentrate on my release, on revamping my health, attending to the wedding of four or five of my children, re-establish the cohesion of my family, which has been almost totally eroded, especially after the brutal assassination of my Kudi whilst my leading supporters who have done wonders in my absence, take the full steps necessary for formal VICTORY by God’s grace. It is this point
(5) that have might been twisted or misunderstood by Annan and /or the section of the press who got it wrong.
(6) Finally, I reviewed the history of June 12. I told them that quite at the beginning, Obasanjo in July 1994 came to me with 26 traditional rulers to seek a similar statement. He was told off in no uncertain terms in the presence of the retinue of traditional fathers, after I had explained that the issue is one of God vs a few “powerful elements”.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God, “Vox Populi Vox Dei”, a popular maxim long before Jesus Christ arrived.
I told them that IBB’s only reason for cancelling the free, fair and peaceful poll – a fact he could not deny – was that his leading officers (who would have been retired with him) threatened to kill him and to kill me if he ever swore me in. I did not allow him to use the Koran to swear to “blackmail”.
“IBB made the assertion to two Northern Emirs- mutual friends of the two of us and Chief Sonekan at a peace meeting called at the presidential wing of the ABUJA airport.
I would not accept the cancellation on that ground or any ground hence my “ hijra” of August 2 to mount worldwide campaign, as the local press had then been silenced. I said that if I had accepted what was done, it would have created a most dangerous precedent, not only for Nigeria but most of the third world. The saying would then have been – “who are you to resist what could be forced on Abiola?”.
“The ultimate effect is that Nigeria would then become a land of “guided democracy”, of the type in the imagination of the late President Sukarno of Indonesia…he used to issue “voting directives” to his nation of 230 million. God forbid bad thing!
“The lapse of five years since the election of 12/06/93 was regarded as fatal to the mandate. Both diplomats told me nobody will recognise me on the basis of the out-of-date mandate. Chief Anyaoku went on further to say he had sought and obtained legal opinion which confirmed the “death of the mandate”.
“Firstly, there’s no statue of limitation on valid elections provided the winner did not willfully refuse to take office. The struggle in Sierra Leone more than three decades ago between Milton Margai and Siaka Stevens is a case in point. The Haiti issue re-Aristide is partially relevant.
“Secondly, if that were so, then, criminals would have had a lawful right to take advantage of the criminal situation they have created! That, in my opinion, is against equity and the rule of law and, therefore, invalid. They illegally cancelled the election (which they had no power to do) and promoted their usurpation by putting in the most wicked incarceration ever known – four years without exercise, access to the sun or even the corridor outside my room.
“Thirdly, no nation ever solves her nagging political problems through legal opinion. The Bar of public opinion has a code of practice totally different to that of a formed point of law. I asked Chief Anyaoku what was his interest in seeking the so-called legal opinion? I got no answer because by that time the exchange had become eyeball to eyeball. He looked most embarrassed and dumbfounded. Annan must know that if the majority of OAU member nations gave me recognition, the UN must automatically do the same e.g. the Angola situation between MPLA and UNITA.
“The call for the recognition in the London Times of last Friday has taken the wind out of the sail of the “five leg” argument. There was no substance to it.
My final point is that although Time searches, destroys all things MATERIAL, a point made most convincingly by Shakespeare in his sonnets 5, 12 and 64, his emphasis on “never resting time” and the Spencer in “of time
and the River” where he stated that “dark times remind us of and the briefness of our days”. TRUTH, which is what June 12 is, is SPIRITUAL AL-HAQQU in Islam – one of the sacred names of God. Therefore, since all things in nature, life and creation are subservient to God (K2:116) willingly or unwillingly, TIME IS IN FACT AND INDEED ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH, K17:81, K34:49, K2:42 etc. and Gospel according to St. John 8:32, Psalm 62:1-2, Isaiah 40:30-31 etc.
“It is falsehood, with its associated varieties and crookedness that must varnish as foam on the “Torrent of time”.
“The FMG, probably did not want to meet me at this stage. Hence, the arrangement made for the two to meet me.
The very top meeting I had on Monday night with two of our service chiefs was to inform me about the death of General Abacha and my friend Yar’Adua and talk generally. The atmosphere was most cordial and the service chiefs were most sympathetic. It enabled me to asses the quality and calibre of the two which are most high, indeed. I have gone St. John 8:32, Psalm 62:1-2, Isaiah 40:30-31 etc.
“I have gone into this minute detail because I heard you were upset when you read the exclusive report. You probably did not know me well enough! If I refused to listen to IBB, my personal friend of long standing, and ignored Abacha, will it be two international civil servants who would force my surrender?
“Please, have more confidence than that in the future.
All my life I had worked for the result which God in His mercies, gave us on June 12, 1993. Quoting Jesus Christ (Luke 9) “No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”. The spiritual consequence of any desertion of a sacred cause like June 12 is HELL, which God forbids.
ANOTHER DIFFERENT POINT on 13/1/95, Abacha sent Prince Ajibola to me to say he (Abacha) would not allow me to get any trial because he knew I had large sum of money paid to my recognition which will force him out of office. I heard Prince what he advised. He said: “Patience” Suru ni. I told him to tell my family and lawyers.
“When Ore Falomo saw me on 10/5/97, I sent him to you on that. Did you get the messages? Remember me to the family with best personal regards.
I LOVE YOU.
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