The immediate past governor of Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, has denied asking a former military president of Nigeria, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), to apologise to Nigerians, instead of joining the call for restructuring.
Oshiomhole had during the 5th Triennial Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria held in Abuja last week, reportedly said that Babangida owed Nigerians an apology for allegedly helping to bring the country to its current economic state.
The former governor, who was represented by General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers, Mr. Issa Aremu, as a guest speaker at the event, was quoted to have said, “I thought that he (IBB) should have apologised to the whole country, but there is nothing like that from him.”
“But it is now fashionable for him to talk about restructuring. It was under him that the economy was restructured. He devalued the currency and downsized workers.”
But Oshiomhole, in a statement made available to journalists by his media aide, Mr. Victor Oshioke, on Monday said that views expressed by Aremu were not his (Oshiomhole).
According to the statement, “It is true that there was no prepared speech handed over to Mr. Issa Aremu but the conversation Adams Oshiomhole had with him spelt out the scope of the issues to be discussed. There was nowhere during the conversation that the name of former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), featured with respect to his comments on restructuring or otherwise.
“We were surprised, therefore, to read news report credited to Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, asking ‘IBB to apologise to Nigerians, instead of asking for restructuring’. We wish to state, unequivocally, that the view so expressed is entirely that of Mr. Issa Aremu and does not in any way represent the views of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.”
“When a speaker is representing another speaker in any public speaking engagement, the rules are very clear. If the representing speaker wants to deviate from the mandate and brief given to him, he will clearly inform the audience without lumping his thoughts and views as though they represent those of the real speaker,” he added.
The former governor explained that the present situation in the country was a time for sober reflections when the nation needed the voices of all elder statesmen and leaders of thoughts, especially former presidents, to speak out in their collective efforts and commitment to take the country to greater heights.
He stated that though Nigeria was in a trying period, the country would come out stronger and more united.