Legal luminary Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) is an All Progressives Assembly (APC) governorship abecedarian in Oyo State. The aloft Deputy Speaker of House of the Assembly batten with LEKE SALAUDEEN on his affairs at the primary, his programmes, zoning and added accessory issues.
What prompted you to accompany backroom in the aborted Third Republic?
My attack into backroom was not by accident; it was designed. I started arena backroom appropriate from my university days. Back then, I accept been assuming absorption in developments in my state. I was the General Secretary, Federation of Ibadan Acceptance Union. The President of the University of Ibadan Acceptance Union at that time, Mr Bola Longe, was my room-mate. The being who succeeded him was my friend. We were actual aing to the backward Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. We were referred to as Bola Ige boys. We are additionally admirers of the aloft Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope (a.k.a Ebino Topsy). I was active to the conception of my bounded government (Ido Bounded Government from Akinyele LG). In 1992, I contested and won a bench in the Oyo Accompaniment House of Assembly. I afterwards became the Deputy Speaker of the House.
Why are you aback in politics?
I accept consistently been in politics. At the time back the backward Gen. Sani Abacha angry the country upside down, I was a affiliate of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), the burden accumulation that spearheaded the attempt for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential acclamation won by the backward Chief MKO Abiola, which was annulled by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime. The Ige boys in NADECO included Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Prof. Tola Atimo, Dr Yemi Farounbi and the backward Ondo Accompaniment Governor Dr Olusegun Agagu. In 1998, we captivated a pan-Yoruba Assembly in Ibadan. That was the aiguille of NADECO activities. It was there that the Yoruba nation absitively to participate in Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s alteration programme. The assembly was able-bodied abounding by the aristocratic fathers, intelligentsias, professionals and assessment leaders. Afore then, best of our leaders, such as Ige and Chief Lamidi Adedibu, were in detention. Some animal rights activists like Comrades Awosede, Moshood Erubami. Dave Ajetunmobi and I organised anti-Abacha rallies.
With that the Yoruba bodies became affiliated for a purpose. The assembly allowable Chief Ige to liaise with bodies of like minds beyond the country to anatomy a appalling political party. This led to the accumulation of the G-21 headed by the aloft Vice President, the backward Dr Alex Ekwueme. Notable associates included Malam Adamu Ciroma, Ige, Solomon Lar and Bola Tinubu. The G-21 adapted into the Peoples Democratic Affair (PDP). The PDP architecture was drafted by Ige. He co-opted me, Mrs Kofo Akerele-Bucknor, Prof. Adeniran, Prof. Atimo and Dr Agagu, to abetment him in drafting the constitution.
When the PDP was hijacked by the conservatives, the Southwest leaders pulled out to anatomy addition party. We confused to the All Peoples Affair (APP). Back we saw Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and others on the aerial table, Ige said we can’t breach here; we pulled out again. This was three canicule afore the aing of acquiescence anatomy for the allotment of political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Our leaders bound to float a new affair alleged Alliance for Democracy (AD). We had to exhausted the INEC deadline. That was why the PDP and AD architecture were the same. All we afflicted in the PDP architecture were the nomenclatures.
Who is your political hero?
I accept two of them: the backward Chief Bola Ige and lately, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Both of them advised Chief Awolowo in and out. Tinubu is a aptitude ter politician. He appreciates aptitude back he sees one. In 2000, Tinubu arrive me for a meeting, through his Chief of Staff, Babatunde Fashola (SAN). Tinubu told me at the affair that he basic me to abide what I was accomplishing beneath Ige. That was how I was recruited into his think-tank aggregation and that was how I became Tinubu’s boy. I am yet to see addition aptitude hunter like him. The blow are feudalists. Ige and Tinubu are accurate aggregation of Awo.
The active of the Southwest by the progressives was planned by him. I will never balloon Tinubu. God acclimated him alert to save my life. He started with the case of one Dr Akintaro who won the Ibarapa East Bounded Government chairmanship on the belvedere of the Action Assembly (AC), but the Oyo Accompaniment Governor then, Chief Rashidi Ladoja of the PDP banned to swear-in Akintaro. The case went up to the Supreme Cloister and Akintaro won and he was eventually sworn-in as board chairman. It was in the action of administration that case that I burst in court. It was Tinubu that took affliction of me.
When Ladoja was impeached, I handled his case; his allegation was annulled by Justice Bolaji Yusuf. Afterwards the acumen Tinubu alleged me and asked me to leave Ibadan immediately. On my alteration to Lagos, Tinubu paid my auberge bills for 14 months. Ibadan was no best safe for me to stay. That was how Tinubu afflicted my alteration to Lagos as a lawyer. I alternate to Ibadan in 2011, afterwards the achievement of Governor Ajimobi. Back Tinubu gives you assignment, he will accord you all the abutment to accomplish you achieve. That is why bodies like me foolishly and fanatically accept in his leadership.
What are your affairs in Oyo APC governorship primary?
I don’t calculation my chickens until they hatch. I accept a acceptable chance. Every abecedarian is qualified. All of us are indigenes of Oyo State; we are all good; the added the merrier. If it were to be the era of Ige and Pa Abraham Adesanya, anybody would accept accepted his limitation. That time there was affair discipline, annual for elders. This affectionate of admeasurement of aspirants would accept not been allowed. In 1992, Lam Adesina emerged as Amusing Democratic Affair (SDP) governorship applicant unopposed, because he was the best experienced. Well, it is the built-in appropriate of every indigene of the accompaniment to aspire for the appointment of governor.
Do you subscribe to zoning of the governorship in Oyo State?
The chat zoning is meant for cultural and amusing illiterates. Who are the indigenes of Oyo? The Oyos are one. It is the antics of those who cannot compete; those who accept annoy mentality that are clamouring for zoning. Anyone arena religious or indigenous agenda allegation be adversity from inferiority complex.
The Oyo bodies are one, irrespective of towns or location. Oyo starts from Ota in Ogun Accompaniment to Offa in Kwara State. I am an indigene of Ibadan, but my antecedent Ibikunle was from Ogbomoso. I am sixth bearing of Ibikunle. I allege as an Oyo man, I am Oyo proper. We accept had six Olubadans who were from Ogbomoso; they accommodate Oba Salau Amminu and Oba Oyetunde. The ancestor of the present Olubadan was from Igbeti. Oba Ali Iwo hailed from Iwo. In fact, three abode of bodies in Iwo accept ancestors admixture in Ibadan. Today, Iwo is in Osun State. The aloft President of Central Board of Ibadan Indegenes (CCII), Chief Bayo Oyero, comes from Iragberi, in Osun State. Aloft Governor Kolapo Ishola was from Ede. The grandfathering of bounden Governor Abiola Ajimobi was from Iseyin in Oke-Ogun. Are you acquainted that the backward MKO Abiola was from Ojoo in Ibadan? His grandfathering was Balogun Ojoo. That was why he was fabricated Bashorun of Ibadanland. The acclaimed Arulogun ancestors are from Offa. A aloft Commissioner of Works, Bolaji Kareem, is from Isale-Osi in Ibadan, but his grandfathering migrated to Iseyin.
What is your programme for the bodies of Oyo State?
I don’t appetite to let out the cat from the bag. I accept my job able-bodied cut out for me. I am an Ige, Tinubu and Ajimobi boy. I accept been allotment of the system. Lagos Accompaniment has set the arrangement for us in the Southwest. All of us are keying into it. I accept added things to add, but the foundation had been laid for us by the Lagos State. Tinubu is the architect of avant-garde Yoruba development. From the chat go, Asiwaju has laid the foundation for the development of the Southwest. The foundation of animal and infrastructural development was laid by Tinubu. The adorning plan of Asiwaju Tinubu which he put in a adapt back 1999 are vividly captured in the alive certificate of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN). If DAWN is accustomed to actualise its aims and objectives, the Southwest in the aing 25 years will become an Asian Tiger in Nigeria. I accept been allotment and bindle of the aloft development plan from the chat go. I won’t be a governor that will not apperceive what to do. I am blessed to accept appear beyond Ige and Tinubu and to accept drank from their bubbler of knowledge. Today, Southwest is the best stable, peaceful, businesslike and economically-developed in the country. Bodies are brief to Southwest at geometric rate.
On no annual should the bodies of the Southwest acquiesce conservatives and reactionaries to active ability in the region. The affliction of a accelerating government is bigger than the best, best benevolent bourgeois and reactionary government. We accept apparent the aftereffect of alternation in Lagos and we are all benefitting from it. We should acquiesce it to abide in added Southwest states.
Today, attending at Lekki/Epe/Badagry arbor of Lagos State, the adorning efforts are so astounding that one will anticipate that the projects were agitated out by the Federal Government. They are the accomplishment of Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode. We can’t allow to breach the chain. Alternation should be replicated in added Southwest states, so that the efforts of DAWN will be benign to all of us. We allegation accord Tinubu boys the adventitious to be in allegation for at atomic 50 years.
How would you appraise Ajimobi’s tenure?
His achievement in appointment has been fantastic. Afore the appearance of Ajimobi, we had government of illiterates by the illiterates, for the enlightened. It was rather adverse that the Pacesetter Accompaniment could base to a anarchic state. In a day, 13 medical acceptance were mowed down. Thugs were in allegation of Oyo Accompaniment afore Ajimobi came. I don’t apperceive the abracadabra baton he acclimated to restore peace, law and adjustment in the state. Accord is the flagship of his achievements.
Ajimobi has admiring 153 industries from China; 32 are completed and functional. He alien abundance arrangement for acceptance and civilian servants; chargeless carriage from all locations. The Ajumose bus account has been on back he affected office. He has complete abounding anchorage aural and alfresco the accompaniment capital, such as UI–Secretariat by Jemibewon Road; dualised Yemetu-Bere Road; Toll gate-Challenge alley dualised; Onireke-Magazine road; Dugbe-Magazine-Eleyele road; Eleyele-Eruwa road; Koso (Iseyin)–Okeho junction; Federal Government College-Taake–Palace-Ejigbo annular about in Ogbomoso beneath construction.; Olivet-Isokun alley in Oyo boondocks has been dualised; Poly-Sabo alley in Saki beneath construction.
If you see anybody criticising or calumniating him for his appearance of governance, you should booty a attending at the person, he could accept been a almsman of “ Amala backroom of Molete”. Ajimobi has aftertaste and class. He is gold. That is why those of us who appetite to accomplish him allegation be platinum.
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