Jackson Lekan Ojo is a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria. He is also a security expert who doubles as a certified golden member of the International Security Association, Switzerland. In this interview with CityMirrorNews, Ojo speaks on the ongoing messy crisis within the ruling APC, its attendant effects on the 2023 Elections vis a vis the call for the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole whom he advises in this interview to be cautious and wary about his public utterances. The osun indigene but Port Harcourt , Rivers State based Ojo also bared his mind on the recent Dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi by the Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje.
In the chit chat with CityMirrorNews, Ojo reiterates the importance of being apolitical by traditional rulers so as to guard against what befell Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano. He also comments on the motives behind persistent open letters by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammad Buhari and why Obasanjo should learn to divulge his feelings as an elderstatesman through the right channel to guard against the
condemnatoty reactions that usually comes his way from Nigerians .
As a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), What would you say about the lingering crisis within the APC and the chances of winning 2023 election?
I will be very factual in this my interview. There are a lot of people with their interests and I want to be bold to mention those interests with you. Within the rank and file of APC, there is Tinubu and the incumbent Governor of Borno state, Professor Zulum ambition . There is Kayode Fayemi and Nasir El-Rufai ambition on the other hand & there is Rotimi Ameach and Nasir El-Rufai ambition too. Now with these conflicting interests, we are in governance now but politicking for 2023 presidential election is ongoing extensively . Calculations and miscalculations are what we are seeing now. To be frank, Oshiomhole is in the faction of Tinubu. According to the new guideline INEC, it’s only the National Chairman of any party that would bring the name of any candidate that would be acceptable for the electoral body to be declared as a flag bearer. That official language from the INEC is what is causing ripples now because of the fact that a lot of people are not comfortable with Tinubu faction. Now we have three or four factions now within the rank of APC and all these things are heading to what Yoruba calls “if we can not eat it let us scatter it”.
Some people are already planing with some other factions in PDP to use one of these mushroom parties as a third force with the perceived disgruntled elements from the PDP and of APC to form a merger. That is what we are seeing now.
It is a fight to finish. That is where we are now which makes people like us can call it implosion, implosion and explosion .They sound same but not the same. The negative impacts of implosion is different from the negative impact of explosion. , The negative impact of explosion is lesser than its implosive aspects. If they hit a house from outside some part of the house will collapse but if there is a tornado or bomb from inside, it will turn the house to rubbles.
Now there is no external fight, external attack will bring about explosion which is more dangerous.
They want to use Oshiomole as the sacrificial cow but there are a lot of serious resistance from the other camps because most of the governors believe that instead of Fayemi and El-Rufai to get presidential flag, they prefer it to go to any other place. That is it. Because there is no even unity among the APC governor’s forum. At the end of the day, I believe Oshiomole may survive this seeming Tsunami before him as the embattled national Chairman of APC.
He may survive it.
But what if it turns otherwise?
If it turn otherwise, Yoruba Proverb says “instead of a tiger to carry the hunting bag for a lion every other animal will hunt their own differently”. At the end of the day if he survives it or not it would become what they called feud (ever lasting enmity). They have created feud, unforgiven and ever lasting enmity.
The two factions or the three factions can not work together again and at the end of the day APC may scatterer the way they hitherto came together. APC came together on four legs and may scatterer same.
APC came as a quartet of ACN, ANPP, some factions of APGA and the Buhari Political party, CPC. These are the four political parties that came together. And these four political parties that came together are birds of strange feathers, so they can never work together for long because the only thing that joined them together that time is conspiracy that Jonathan must go and Jonathan has gone.
So the conspiracy has no basis again and no unified factor again, so they come in four ways and they will scatter in four ways.
With the Oshiomole saga, some state chairmen have debunked the rumor of passing vote of confidence on the APC National Chairman. What effect do you think it would have on the states ?
Can I tell you something ? Majority of us in Nigeria playing politics are political jobbers. We have no business. No other source of income except politics. How many state chairmen can live the life they are living now outside politics? Whereas money plays a serious role to those that are jobless. People like us, nobody can give me any amount of money to change my conscience because I am well established as a person. I have a good economic stay. I have neither taken state, local nor Federal contracts. So there is no way I can attack any government and they say they want to go and cut my Economic root politically. But most of these local government chairmen are there for the highest bidder. This is their oil boom period. They have 2 oil boom periods. One, preparation for election & two, when congress or NEC is about to remove any body from office they now wait for faction A and B to pay them. If faction A pays five million each , they would move to faction B, if faction B comes to them and pay six million they would turn to faction B, if A comes again with six million they would still move there. These people are zig zag .They are never balanced politically. Their conscience is for sale. They have no conscience.. They do everything for peculiar reason. So today they will say they are for Oshiomole, if other Governors are paying more money they would be against Oshiomole . These are unstable characters. It is not over until it is over. But if Oshiomjole eventually survives this. As a person he is too loquacious. He talks too much as if he is still a labour leader. Oshiomole doubled as National chairman of APC and National spokesperson of APC. How many times have you heard from the Director of Information of APC ?, Morning, afternoon and evening, party or governmental affairs it is only Oshiomole that talks and talks. On many occasions he over talks. Oshiomole does not respect himself as APC national chairman. He should talk less and with decorum. If he is talking on every situation then the law of diminishing return will adversely affect his statement. At a particular time people will no longer respect him. That is my advice for him.
Can we attribute all the present adversities he is facing to not being moderate in his public comments?
Oshiomole is a very hotly tempered character. In fact he is a sovereignist. He believes he knows better than any body. He believes he can speak better than any body. Oshiomole is an autocratic chairman who is at best compared to the do or die leadership style of a labour unionist., It is the same strategy and script that he is applying now as National Chairman whereas, these two things are two parallel lines. You may not be diplomatic when you are a labour leader but as a chairman of a National party, like APC you must be diplomatic because you are Mr nobody without the convention, It is a convention that brought you there. It is not by you writing an application and you get enlisted . Therefore you should remember that whenever you go against the will of the convention there might be a revolt. Remember people who brought you there can revolt and when they revolt you can not go to any court of law because they are the ones that brought you there, they are the ones that hired you and they can fire you at will . So let Oshiomhole be moderate and respect himself. I am one of the first set of people who on radio Nigeria Network news that first attacked Ayodele Fayose the then governor of Ekiti but today I regret having done that. Look at what is happening in his own state. As a democratic leader, you can be diplomatic. If I am the national chairman and my governor wants to attack me in the state, I can be so quiet and tacticall but technical in the way I will go about it. But when as aNational Chairman you are now coming to the open like a students Union president to attack your governor and the governor also like a man that is not diplomatic attacks in return, then there’s a missing link.
Oshiomhole is a man that talks carelessly and t recklessly and even dirtily with unguided statements. So both of them are two negative characters.
I hope and I pray that Oshiomole survives it because either he survive this or not , the people that are fighting him now will no longer work with him. Remember my earlier statement, they came from four directions and they will soon scatter into four directions and the direction in which APC enters that is where I will go. Simple as ABC. And when you look at it you will know five governors left PDP, who tells you that they can no longer go back to PDP?
Bukola saraki came from PDP and he has gone back, Dogara came and he has gone back. A lot of them came and gone back. This our party is not a serious one and Oshiomole is not a good party administrator. Because if Oshiomole is a good party administrator the problem that made us almost lost in Ogun state between Ibikunke Amosun and the incumbent Governor, that problem has not been resolved.
The problem that made us to loose Oyo State between the then governor and the then minister of Minister of Communication, that problem has not been resolved. The problem that made us to lost in Imo state, the problem has not been resolved. The problem that made us lost presidential election in Ondo state, the problem has not been resolved. It is escalating every day.
The problem that made us loose Rivers state, 100% lost, the problem has not been resolved. The problem that made us lost in Zamfara has not been resolved. The problem of internal rancour that made us to lose in Adamawa state has not been resolved . The one that made us to loose in Bauch State has not been resolved. And if all these problems have not been resolved instead we are now adding other states to it, that means we are not really thinking.
Can I be bold to tell you this ? If every one of us are in a rented apartment, APC is a rented apartment because all the tenants in APC today are in a rented apartment called APC. That’s what we are doing today, no body is trying to repair a rented apartment called APC, every other person is preparing to go back to his home when the rented apartment eventually collapses, quote me and quote me very well. That is the biggest analysis anybody can give concerning APC.
Recently National working committee of APC having identified all these problems you just mentioned, they set up a committee to reunite all aggrieved APC members specifically to settle the rancour between Oshiomhole and governor Obaseki. The chairman of the committee is former governor of Osun State and former acting National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande. Do you see this committee achieving this assignment given to them by the APC NWC?
Before I answer that let me refer you to when Buhari gave such a power to Bola Ahmed Ahmed Tinubu whom you popularly call the leader of APC whereas he is not the leader of APC , President Buhari is the leader of APC. If Tinubu wants that apoelation he should go and contest for the chairmanship of the party’s Board Of Trustees. It is just an honorary board of Trustees.
President Muhammadu Buhari is the National leader of APC not Tinubu, when they gave Bola Tinubu such an assignment was there any improvement? Was there any success?
Thevpeople that were fighting that time never allowed him to work and that was why we nearly lost Osun state, we nearly lost Ogun state, we lost presidential in Ondo, we lost in Imo, we lost in Adamawa, Rivers, Bayelsa, Bauchi and Zamfara. So, if Bola Tinubu ‘settlement’ whatever they called it then was effective we would have won more states, we wouldn’t have lost more.
As at that time PDP had only ten states but they won almost 17 or 18. If Bola Tinubu that time who was much younger and stronger in age ,that he has more figures and strength then ,Baba could not make any impact that time, Chief Bisi Akande will not make any impact because the saboteurs of that time are still there and they have increased in number.
Rochas was first suspended from the party, Akeredolu was suspended from the party followed by ibikunke Amosun. Those three people have not forgiven the people who suspended them because it was an embarrassment, because they were sitting governors.
Can I remind you of something, in Ogun state, who nominated the ministerial slot for Ogun state? Ibikunle Amosun did whereas the vice president is from Ogun state. The incumbent Governor of the state didnt. Amosun did it. That is it.
The nominee, the minister from Ondo state, Alaso Adura was never in the good book of Bola Tinubu but he scaled through. I don’t know which of the ministers in the South-West that Bola Tinubu nominated. So that feud is still there, I am not pessimistic but as a political analyst and political prophet Baba Akande committee will not make any new impact. Write it down you will call me to remind me.
I will like to digress a bit on the development in the country as regard the dethronement of the former emir of Kano which majority of people are having divergent opinions on his dethronement and banishment by the government of Kano under Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje. With this what will be the faith of monarchs in Nigeria?
Simply, the governor acted outside the law. There were some people making reference to the then Oba of Benin that was dethroned, Alaafin of Oyo that was dethroned, Oba Akintuyi of Lagos that was dethroned, Olu of Warri that was dethroned, Sultan of Sokoto that was dethroned and Emir of Bauchi that was dethroned. A lot of people are making references to these ones but if one of those ones were done during the British empire in Nigeria, must we continue to follow all those ones? No. Can I tell you boldly ? According to the governor , the former Emir of Kano talked to him rudely in the public.
As the governor of Kano state ,has he become a law onto himself? No !
If my father is alive today doing the wrong thing, for people to know I am not in support of his wrong doings, that my father is a separate entity since he is not another entity of me, I can openly criticize my father and my father can not say because of that he will disown me as a son.
If this emir of kano has committed any offence contrary to the law of the local government in kano, or contrary to law of kano state or contrary to the law of the Federal republic of Nigeria based on that ones he can be dethroned.
But the dethronement of sultan of Sokoto was under the regime of the military. , are we in a dictatorship regime now? , I think it is unlawful, uncalled for. It is a total disregard to the rule of law, total disregard to the freedom of speech. That is one.
Two, where is the position of banishment in the law of the Federal republic of Nigeria? Freedom of movement has been abolished by the this singular pronouncement . Although, the people of kano might be thinking that this man will fight back if he is in kano but then there is no law whatsoever any where in the world that can banish any body.
I may decide to live PortHacourt and live in Sokoto, if I criticize sultan of sokoto, the sultan of sokoto can not banish me, both the dethronement and banishment are total illegality and I want to tell you that ,even if Emir did not find redress in court now, by tomorrow if PDP wins in kano, PDP will also remove the present Emir and return Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
The Olowo of Owo of that time whose son is now the Olowo of Owo , do you know he was dethroned for 25 years after the death of king Ogunosi ? He came back again and became the king of Owo, Oba Olateru Olagbegi.
He was dethroned for 25 years, he came back and became king. If APC will loose both the federal or in Kano state in 2023. Immediately the swearing in of the new person who may be the PDP Governor, they may dethrone the present one and enthrone Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Write it down. Because if we decide to build upon illegality another illegality will come and we demolish the legality we built, that is it.
Nigerians have been accussing President Buhari that since the issue started he has decided not to talk but kept mute in the process that led to the dethronement of Sanusi, do you subscribe to this?
To me, he is the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria and the Chief security officer of this country and at the same time Ganduje is the chief security of kano state, the only thing President Buhari could have done was to secretly advice Governor Ganduje not to do what he did. If he adviced the governor not to do it and the governor said no, has the president no power over the governor? because the way Nigerians elected President Buhari was the way people of kano elected governor Ganduge.To me I will not blame Mr President for that, when you look at it one of the closest governors to the President was the one who quickly appointed the man as Pro Chancellor and if Buhari is in support of Sanusis removal El-Rufai would dance to the tune of Buhari.
For El-Rufai to quickly give the man another appointment it is for everyone to read the man’s body language that possibly Buhari is not in support.
So people should not demonize the President because of this act. So people should not demonize the Sultan of Sokoto because of this act. People should not demonize anybody. Every attack should go to the corridor of Ganduje who is the alpha and omega in human form of Kano state. After God in kano state the next person is Ganduje for now but if he has acted people should not start thinking that Ganduje is small boy for somebody to push around. So nobody should blame Mr President or any other person, all the blames if necessary should go to the corridors of Ganduje.
How will you rate traditional institutions in Nigeria?
They are gradually loosing respect. You know why? If you secretly do an investigation on the traditional rulers, each and every one of them belong to a political party, whereas a traditional ruler should be a supporter of all political parties, they should stand as father figure of all political parties. But if you do your findings you will realize that each and every one of them have sympathy for a hiven political party and support for a particular candidate and when you have sympathy and father figure for a political party , you are taking great risk if the one you support fails. Traditional institution is under the commissioner of local government and Chieftaincy Affairs of each of the states in NIGERIA. A Governor is bigger than them when it comes to the issue of law but when it comes to the issue of tradition that is why the Governor needs to be respected. So traditional rulets are speedily loosing respect because they are no longer behaving like a father figure to all and sundry. , They must be very careful. More will go, if they are not careful. If traditional rulers do not remain apolitical and they are being seen to be political, more of them will go and nothing will happen because the staff of office was given to them by the governor. He hires and fires. And those who you called kingmakers what do they need. ? Have you ever seen where a king is dethroned and kingmakers went to court? As they are dethroning the king they are settling the kingmakers, the incoming king too will wire their pockets. That is what is happening. So nothing will happen, more will go except they are very careful. I advise them to remain apolitical and if Ganduje simply wants to work on Sanusi, he does not need to make the pronouncement, there is no way they will go into financial investigation that Sanusi will not make mistake of only ten naira and mistake of only ten naira is a financial crime and you can hinge your argument on it and the financial authorities can sue Sanusi to court and from there the governor will now say you can not be a king facing financial trial in court and remain king like Obasanjo styles in those days, when he wanted to hit Ogbulagbo, when Ogbulagbo was supporting Atiku, when he wanted to hit him, what did he do ? He simply said when Ogbulagbo was the minister for special duties he did not only buy stationary but embezzled some money, then EFCC sued him to court. The Obasanjo said well you can not be the national chairman of the party and still be going to court, so till you come off the case you will have to leave office and immediately Ogbulafor was forced to resign to face his case, he lost the position and the case too died. That is why Yoruba will say there are thousands way you can kill a fowl without seeing a blood.
The name of Obasanjo you mentioned will take me to another question, Obasanjo wrote another letter advising the President on how to handle security issues in the country. As a security expert what can you say about the letter written by former President Obasanjo to President Muhammad Buhari?
Yes, at times, your advice may be seen as a sentiment when you all the time recklessly advised openly. As the former President of Nigeria , former Military Head of State, to me , he is a member of Council of State.Whenever there is a meeting, Obasanjo should table this advice there and let the Council of state discuss. It is better than all these political advice, sentimental advice, advice with wrong motives. What type of advice is Obasanjo giving, when he was there who could give him advice ?. Obasanjo is one of the highest autocratic leaders Nigeria ever had, so nobody could advice him that time. My dear brother, there is a way you will come to my house and advice me and I will honor you, if you meet me in the market square and you advise me I will ridicule you.What he is doing is not an advice, it is to ridicule Mr President. Obasanjo should go and sleep. He wants to be heard again and again. He lied to be the father of the nation, he is a self-centered person, he does not want anybody to advise him but he wants to advise. As a former leader and current leader if you want to advise somebody and you have direct access to that person. You can not advice me openly. Even in a court of law if they want to serve you with notice how do they serve you? They will send it to either your house or office , it is only when they can no longer get you in your house or office that is when they will say okey go to the newspaper and serve it quickly but this is going to be the last option. So to me Obasanjo did not advise Buhari in a good way.
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