How we caged OBJ –Osoba

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May 10, 2011 2 Comments ›› ACN (ji)

•Says ex-president should learn to shut his mouth

Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ogun state and former governor of the state Aremo Segun Osoba says the 2011 elections have exposed the previous malpractices of the Peoples Democratic Party and effectively caged former President Olusegun Obasanjo who allegedly played active roles in the misdemeanor.
Speaking to Daily Sun in his Ikoyi residence shortly before traveling out of the country Osoba said the South West has returned to what he described as ‘progressive politics’ and that Obasanjo’s ‘fraudulent political activities are being exposed’. He said his party worked so hard and ensured that the former president lost both in his polling booth and his village. He said a comparative analysis of results of the presidential election in 2003 and 2011 will expose the irregularities perpetrated by the PDP in 2003 with the alleged participation of president Obasanjo. ‘Obasanjo has been put in an iron cage…he should now learn to keep his mouth shut. No more grandstanding’ Osoba told Daily Sun, insisting that his set of governors in the south west were rigged out of office by the PDP machinery. Excerpts of the interview:

Can you give a general appraisal of the 2011 elections?

I can only talk for Ogun State where it became clear to me that in a well organized, free and fair election, the progressive forces are still politically in control of the South West. The South West is one zone where I can vouch that the 2011 elections were free and fair. Some of the figures from many parts of the country do not make me feel comfortable that elections in some of those places were free and fair because the figures are so large and unimaginable. It was surprising that they could count such figures within so short a time and announce the results the same day.

What do you say about the emergence of CAN as the main opposition in the country?

I have always told the whole world that we are the main progressive party in the country. But because the retrogressive forces conducted the 2003 and 2007 elections in such a fraudulent manner people did not realize that we progressives are so strong in this country. That is what the last election has shown. It should not actually be a surprise to people. It is just that we had been denied our right through massive rigging in the past. I am confident that when the 2015 election is held and there would have been improvement in the modified open-secret ballot system which we have been advocating, we will be the leading party in this country.

How has Ogun State fared since you left office and what are the prospects for the state under the in-coming administration.

Eight years after I left office, I went round on a tour of the entire state during the last campaigns and I got the shocker of my life in that the level of rot I found in all aspects. I was very disappointed. For example, all the neighbouring areas of the state with Lagos State where there had been upsurge of population from resulting in movement from Lagos, I found in total decay in infrastructural facilities. All the way from Julius Berger to Ojodu, to Alagbole, Agbado do not have water supply. There are no roads. The road I did along Toyin 11 years ago is still the only passable road other than the ones the Lagos State Government did. Both sides of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from Berger have had an upsurge in population, including the journalists’ village in Arepo. Al those areas, Ibafo, Magboro, Mowe and the entire Ofada area is in more serious infrastructural neglect. A Chinese company built the only primary school in Magboro. That shows you the level of neglect the people of Ogun have suffered under the PDP.

What prospects does the state now have under ACN Serious challenges.

I have told our governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, that I don’t envy him because he is going to meet mountains of challenges and problems that are very daunting. Salaries have not been paid up till date, even WAEC fees have not been paid up to date. Meanwhile, out-goingovernor Gbenga Daniel is setting booby traps for Amosun. He has accepted to pay minimum wage, which he has not paid. This a deliberate act to frustrate Amosun. He has been employing workers on a large scale. He is doing all these deliberately to embarrass the in-coming government. He has been selling assets of the government to his cronies. I did not do anything of the sort. I did not even buy a single car. The only person who bought a car from the government was my deputy, Gbenga Kaka, who went to meet Daniel and Daniel sold it to him at the market rate. Now he is selling hundreds of vehicles belonging to the state government

There was a time Daniel said that most of the people in those areas you mentioned earlier work in Lagos and pay their taxes there.

I heard that story and I was scandalized that a governor would deny Nigerians, even non Nigerians living within his territory their rights in terms of facilities. It is terribly insensitive and smacks of lack of compassion for fellow human beings. I would never have said such a thing. I knew that the sudden development of Ibafo area was coming and that was why I electrified Ibafo during my time as governor. We electrified the place. All the way from the Redeemed Camp to Ibafo. Today, all that area has become a brand new mega city but it is unplanned and lacks any modicum of infrastructure in terms of roads and schools. It makes me weep for Ogun State.

There is a trend now in the South West whereby political leaders and elders like you are bringing members of their families, their wives and children into political offices, this was something Chief Obafemi Awolowo did not do?

Papa Awolowo did it. We are Awoists to the core and we are following in his footsteps in every respect. In 1979, Papa Awolowo was the presidential candidate, his son Wole, contested to represent Apapa in Lagos State House of Assembly and won. He was returned in 1983. So we are doing nothing new to our Papa’s philosophy, ideology and ways of life.

Are you satisfied now that former president Olusegun Obasanjo has been effectively tamed in Ogun State?

He has not only been tamed in Ogun State, he has been caged in the entire country. The 2011 elections have put him where he belongs. It has put him in an iron cage where he cannot escape. He should now go and live the rest of his life in peace and learn to keep his mouth shut. No more grand standing and I have my reasons for saying so.

What are your reasons?

I pity him that in his lifetime his fraudulent political activities are being exposed. I will give you an example. I have with me here the results of his fraudulent election results in 2003 and the voters’ register currently in Ogun State. When you compare the two figures you will laugh off your head at the fraud perpetrated in 2003 under Obasanjo’s watch.

In Ikenne Local Government area, for instance, total number of votes scored by Obasanjo in the presidential election in 2003 was 60,445. Obviously these are figures he wrote for himself because the total number of registered voters in 2011 in the same Ikenne, eight years after, was 42,192. It means that half of Ikenne people died. Was there a Tsunami there or what,?

Obasanjo claimed to have scored 99 percent of the votes in Ogun State and that came to 1.93 million. Eight years after, the total number of registered voters in the state was almost the same thing. We are not talking about those who actually came out to vote. Let me give you another example, with the result from Remo North Local Government. In 2003, he wrote for himself 65,736 votes, but the total number of registered voters in 2011, eight years after, was 36,754. So half of the people there died. So what you are seeing today is exposure of total fraud. It is an example of how we have been shortchanged. It also proves what we had always said that we were rigged out in 2003 by Obasanjo. These are figures that cannot be controverted.

There are fears that godfathers will not allow Ibikunle Amosun to be his own man and govern the state?

If you look at my antecedents, I successfully ran three major newspapers in this country. In The Herald, I handed over to a new chief executive, I never looked back. In Sketch, I handed over to my very close friend, the late Peter Ajayi, I never looked back. Yemi Ogunbiyi is still alive, I handed over to him in Daily Times and I did not look back. It is going to be the same thing.

I led the campaign in Ogun State and I am happy to say that while I was doing grassroots campaign, ward to ward, local government to local government, we did so well that we delivered Ogun State even beyond our expectation. It was such that Obasanjo lost at his own polling booth, he also lost at his village in Ibogun. That will show you how effective our campaign was.

I am also highly impressed that we did not have any external funding of any sort. Our members tasked themselves and contributed their own little quota, including Fola Adeola who was our vice presidential candidate. Our members made sacrifices, for example, our agents at the polling centres were paid only N2000 per person. Yet, they did not fall into the temptation of those carrying big money, namely the PDP and PPN. They did not compromise, all members of the ACN sacrificed and worked hard for succcess. If there is going to be any godfather, it will be the party policies and programmes which Governor Ibikunle Amosun must implement. There is no external godfather that pumped money into the party in Ogun State. I, as the leader of the party in the state will not interfere because all my life I have never looked back to interfere with those I handed over to in the past.

What went wrong with the alliance with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)?

It was basically distrust. (General Mohammadu) Buhari (retd), was not sure that he would get the ticket if both parties fused into one. That was the bottom line. If we had merged and he came to run on the platform of our party it would have been a different story today. What he suffered in the ANPP where he was tossed around and he eventually formed his own party may have influenced his distrust. But the party he formed which was CPC did not have any serious structure. It had mass following but tested politicians were not in the party. He became a lone ranger as leader and campaign leader for the party.
That was too much for one man to carry.  Some people said that it was the division in the PDP in Ogun State which gave birth to PPN that gave your party an opportunity to win in the state, is it true?

I have given them a challenge that they should quickly settle their quarrel, combine their votes, choose Isiaka or Olurin as their candidate. If the totality of their votes put together is more than our own, then I will immediately concede victory to them. Ebenezer Babatope who is not an indigene of Ogun State has been shooting his mouth with such comments. But he is not being scientific. We scored 377,487 votes, PDP scored 188,698 PPN scored 138,057 votes. If you add their votes, it still does not beat our votes. So what are they talking about? In fact, if they had remained in PDP we would beaten them even better because the vehemence of the people would have shown more. They are lucky that the first election of April 2 was cancelled. Their defeat would have been more devastating.


  1. Ayotunde says:

    Kudos, let there be implementation of party policies like Lagos.

  2. tijani usman ishola says:

    all infrastructures left behind by the Osoba administration were not only left to decay, new ones were not provided by Daniel,s government in 8yrs it lasted. examples are the Abeokuta-Ajebo road, Abeokuta- Ogunmakin road. these are roads that were constructed to serve as short routes to Ibadan-Lagos less of the state capital and major cities road in the state that were not repaired or maintained.thank God pdp is now history in my state,welcome back ACN.

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