Newly elected Yoruba leader, Prof. Banji Akintoye has been described as an impostor who was elected by a group of comedians and unknown elements parading themselves as credible entities. Making this declaration in an interview with the SATURDAY SUN, a former chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos State, Chief Henry Ajomale described the process that led to Akintoye’s emergence as Yoruba leader as not only flawed but also a caricature of what an election should be.
“How many people know Akintoye in Yorubaland? Where does his name ring bell? Akintoye and those that purportedly elected him are jesters and jokers that should be ignored.The election that produced Akintoye is a kangaroo election. It is a sham. Those unknown elements that elected Akintoye are just dressing him in borrowed robes.”
Speaking with TUNDE THOMAS, Ajomale said the call by Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo for Nigeria’s break up is a treasonable felony. He also spoke on other national issues.
What’s your reaction to the declaration by Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo that Nigeria should break since it appears the country is no longer working?
I give respect to elders, but I will say that statement coming from Papa Ayo Adebanjo is very disappointing. Adebanjo is not only an elder statesman but also a prominent Yoruba leader for that matter, so that statement coming from him is very unfortunate. One will not expect such a careless statement coming from him at his age. A man of 94 years saying Nigeria should break up is a big disappointment.
Calling for a break up of Nigeria is very weighty. That statement can set Nigeria on fire. So what does Papa Adebanjo want to gain by setting Nigeria on fire? Again break up can be peaceful or violent, but when it is violent it will lead to catastrophe. For a man of Adebanjo’s stature who has enjoyed the benevolence of Nigeria for such a long time to make that remark is very unpatriotic. It is unacceptable. What does Adebanjo want to gain from Nigeria’s break up?
Why is he calling for the break up of Nigeria when he is very advanced in age? What kind of legacy does Adebanjo want to leave behind for younger generation? Adebanjo has benefitted a lot from Nigeria – so why is he beating drum of war now? I will say that Adebanjo is being selfish with that unfortunate remarks. He should not wish evil for Nigeria even if he feels he has nothing to lose if Nigeria break or scatter having enjoyed the benefits of Nigeria all his life,and now that he is very old. Perhaps Adebanjo didn’t think very well before making that remark. I think something is wrong somewhere. At 90 years plus, why should Adebanjo be campaigning for violence?
His statement is uncalled for. Adebanjo should know that unity of Nigeria should be of paramount concern to everybody. Adebanjo claimed to be an Awoist, but did he ever see or read anywhere where late Chief Obafemi Awolowo canvassed break up of Nigeria during his life time?
This is one of the reasons why the claims of being progressive politicians and genuine patriots that many of these people who professed to be Awoist claim is very doubtful. From their comments, behavior and character, they are direct opposite of ideals of late Papa Obafemi Awolowo. Some of these people are fake Awoists. Adebanjo and some of the other people in his group of Afenifere are mischief makers. Call for break up is an invitation to anarchy. Adebanjo’s comment is a treasonable offence.
But while giving his reasons for the break up call, Papa Adebanjo said the North has become a big obstacle to the Nigerian federation, and that the North’s dominance and desperation to hold on to power is not making Nigeria work …
cuts in … I don’t completely agree with that . Rather it is people like Adebanjo and others in his group through their actions that are not making Nigeria to work. Adebanjo is a key player in the group of those who are not allowing Nigeria to work. Why call for break up of Nigeria? There is no nation that is perfect. I agree the North may have its own faults and shortcomings, but is that enough reason to call for a break up of Nigeria? It is very simple, Adebanjo is selfish, he made that unpatriotic call because he know that he has nothing to lose if Nigeria break up. At 90 plus, he has seen the best of Nigeria. He has enjoyed the best of Nigeria, so at his twilight, it doesn’t bother him again if Nigeria scatter. But his evil wish over Nigeria will surely not come to pass. Then Adebanjo is biased. Not only him but also others in his group who are parading themselves as Afenifere leaders.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari and APC came into office in 2015, Adebanjo and others in his group have become the voice of opposition to the Federal government. They never see anything good in Buhari’s government . They never see anything good about APC.
Whereas when former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP were in power and Nigeria was swimming in corruption and was almost becoming a failed state due to PDP and Jonathan’s ineffective and clueless government, Adebanjo and his group didn’t see anything wrong with the evils being perpetrated by the PDP and Jonathan’s government. In fact they openly supported Jonathan’s re-election, and when their man, Jonathan and his party, PDP were defeated by Buhari and APC, Adebanjo and members of his group started attacking Buhari,and Tinubu.They have not hidden their bitterness and anger against Buhari and APC. So for those who can read between the lines, Adebajo’s statement should not be taken serious. He should be ignored.
From what you are saying earlier, are you implying that Papa Adebanjo’s call for break up of Nigeria is a treasonable offence?
Exactly. Adebanjo’s call for break up of Nigeria is a treasonable offence. He has committed the same offence like Omoyele Sowore, the only thing is that the language used by the two of them are different. When you are calling for break up of Nigeria, you are calling for the overthrow of a legitimate government that is in place now. Call for break up of Nigeria also amount to invitation to violence and anarchy, Adebanjo has always been a bitter loser. He started it when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was governor of Lagos State. He started attacking Tinubu and was always criticizing his government. But now it is Buhari that he is attacking. Adebanjo should apologise to Nigerians for his unpatriotic call. If he claim to be an Awoist, he should reason and talk like late Papa Obafemi Awolowo who lived for Nigeria’s unity and progress.
What’s your reaction to the emergence of Prof. Banji Akintoye as the new Yoruba leader?He was reported to have defeated the APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by 75 votes to 5 ,how do you react to his election?
That’s a strange news. Who elected Akintoye as the new Yoruba leader? Where was he elected? Akintoye is an impostor who was handpicked by a group of comedians and jokers who sat in a corner somewhere and decide to name Akintoye as Yoruba leader. That’s a joke of the century. Those people just sat down in a corner in Ibadan and pick Akintoye. As a close associate of Tinubu, I knew that Tinubu didn’t present himself for any election.Tinubu didn’t also send any representatives to that comic gathering. Lagos state was also not represented where those nonentities gathered. So it is a strange news to me that Tinubu’s name is being linked to that election.
Who are the delegates to the so-called election? How many states were in attendance and who were representatives of the states? Who are these people fooling? Akintoye and these people are just fooling themselves. Let Akintoye continue to parade himself as Yoruba leader, but who will listen to him? Even Ayo Adebanjo and others in his group of Afenifere will not accept Akintoye as Yoruba leader. Akintoye should not dress himself in borrowed robes. How can Akintoye, a learned person,a professor for that matter accept the title of Yoruba leader from some mediocres. How can he accept it? I expect him to reject the offer, it is a Greek gift.
But the organizers of the election where Akintoye emerged Yoruba leader said there was an election …
cuts in … Which election? Who are the delegates? Who are the personalities in attendance?
All those people that gathered to elect Akintoye are jokers. They are his friends and acolytes. How many Yoruba know all these funny fellows? Even Akintoye himself, does his name ring bell among Yoruba? How many Yoruba know him, and you say you’ve elected such a man Yoruba leader. Akintoye’s so-called election is a joke taken too far.
Who are the members of the electoral college? Let Akintoye publish the names of the organizers of that election, and also list of delegates to the election then it will be very clear to Nigerians that the whole process was a show of comedy.
However, if Akintoye insist on parading himself as Yoruba leader that is his own business but I know Yoruba will ignore him. He should be actually ignored by the Yorubas. He is not in any way Yoruba leader.
Some groups in the North including the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai have been calling for the scrapping of zoning and rotation in 2023, what’s your take on that?
Anybody or group making such call is an enemy of Nigeria. Why should zoning or rotation be jettisoned now when it is supposed to be the turn of the South. If at all they want to scrap zoning or rotation that should be after the South must have completed its own 8 years after Buhari a northerner must have completed his term of 8 years. You don’t shift the goal post in the middle of a match.
El-Rufai and these groups in the North should be called to order. They should not set Nigeria on fire. Rotation and zoning is the panacea for peace and unity in Nigeria. El-Rufai should not let his personal ambition or interests put Nigeria under tension. What el-Rufai is saying is not the position of APC as a party.El-Rufai is on his own. APC as a political party has not jettison zoning. There was never a time APC jettisoned zoning.
All those groups in the North saying that zoning should be jettisoned or scrapped are trying to foment trouble, and if they continue with their reckless statements and remarks on 2023, then they will be playing into the hands of people like Papa Ayo Adebanjo and Sowore who are already looking for ways to cause confusion,and also to crucify Buhari and his government.
Call for scrapping of zoning or rotation is an invitation to anarchy. Anybody or group that truly love Nigeria will not at this point in time be calling for scrapping of zoning.
On the rumoured presidential ambition of the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in 2023 some Nigerians are saying that it will amount to greed for him or anybody from South West to show interest since former President Olusegun Obasanjo served for 8 years between 1999 – 2007, and now another Yoruba man Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is the Vice-President…….
Cuts in….There is no logic in that argument. Tinubu doesn’t belong to the same party with Obasanjo and moreover it is democratic right of Tinubu to contest if he has interest. Tinubu is eminently qualified to run for Presidency in 2023, and some of us that are his associates and millions of other Nigerians are waiting for him to declare his interest. Tinubu is the best choice for Nigeria in 2023. He is the right man for the job in 2023. Tinubu has not only pay his dues but he is also the man who the cap fits. Any other Southerner that has interest can also run but that doesn’t stop Tinubu from running. Tinubu will take Nigeria to the Promised Land if elected as President in 2023.