This is only akin to the halcyon sixties era of the late sage and Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, said a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Wale Adegoke, during a chat with Vanguard in Ibadan yesterday.
He said: “There is no need to hide a good product. Obasanjo has paid his dues and perfected the art of returning the Yoruba political wheel back onto the national track during his eight years as president of the country, a feat only few people would have anticipated.
Adegoke, also a chieftain of the newly formed African Democratic Congress (ADC), said former president remains the highest achieving leader in the political history of the Yoruba, adding that Awolowo’s performance as Premier of the Western Region was limited to the region he governed.
“The comparison between Awolowo and Obasanjo is better deciphered when proper parameters are set. For instance, Awolowo was a regional leader, while Obasanjo ruled all the regions in the country, first as a military head of state and later as a civilian.
“Of all the leaders Nigeria has ever produced, Obasanjo remains the longest serving leader. His transition of power from military to civilian and much later from one civilian regime to another remains a feat that would forever be celebrated.”
“Obasanjo has not lost relevance even after his tenure expired as an elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has been a leading voice in the brokerage of peace in troubled nations within and outside Africa. Little wonder he is seen as a global icon of peace, Adegoke added.
The former reps member disclosed that it was Obasanjo’s efforts in supporting UNESCO during his tenure that has helped in repositioning the education sector properly in the country.
Speaking on the call for restructuring in the country, he stated that: “The kind of restructuring that is needed in Nigeria is one that would give autonomy to each ethnic nationalities to manage itself in all areas of economy, education, power and others with the exception of geographical expression.
While speaking on the 2019 general elections in the country, Adegoke described the African Democratic Congress (ADC) as the new bride in the nation’s political landscape, noting that Nigerians were fed up with the governance provided by both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the past years.
“Nigerians, across all states, were embracing the ADC because of its opposition to having godfathers and moneybags dictate its affairs and its convincing vision for the youth, women and all Nigerians, in general.”
Adding that the ADC was being formed into a formidable block by people of like ideals, he avowed that the ADC would, in the forthcoming general elections, win several governorship seats as well as the presidential seat.
“The ADC that we joined from CNM is for the youths, the women and for all Nigerians. There will be a dialogue to know the suffering of the people before we now come up with what is sellable to the people, it will not be drafted by one person.
“The ADC is the party with conscience, building a new foundation for the country such that we begin to behave like a developed country, where everyone will be equal. It will not be a jamboree where people that are not fortunate to be born in a particular area will say they don’t have hope.
“The people steering the ship of this party are God-fearing people who will hold it and know that they will give account of their stewardship to man and to God. The ADC in Oyo state being led by Chief Olayiwola Olakojo and some of us have a conscience and you will see a big difference when this party comes to power from the federal to state and local and ward levels.
“There is a ray of hope and a lot of people are joining from other parties. Our ideals cannot be changed and when people with the same ideals come together, they form a block that cannot be moved. If you vote and stand by your vote, nothing will happen.
“I believe in the Almighty God and that he is in the affairs of the country. We have seen people want to turn themselves to emperors, you see how God managed such, moreover, people are praying.
“If you don’t have good intention for this country, be ready to face the wrath of the Almighty God, because people are dying on daily basis and you don’t have two heads. I know that in 2019, people will stand by their PVCs and I wonder in how many states they will deploy 30,000 security personnel to?”
“If, in 2019, we keep our eyes open and are ready to defend our votes and we are able to educate our people to look for good people to thumbprint for, this will really help us. If we continue to shout and pray for the judiciary that ills be corrected, nobody will want to tow that line again, as somebody will be disgraced,” Adegoke stressed.
He said what was imperative was for Nigerians to choose their leaders with the right conscience and be ready to defend their votes, for people-centred leaders to emerge at all levels.