The Sun Nigeria interviews Olunloyo in 2009
Victor Omololu Olunloyo was interviewed by Femi Adeoti for The Sun Nigeria in October 2019. The report of the interview was published in "Femi Adeoti, Olunloyo on 1983 Oyo guber, The Sun Nigeria (Friday, 23 October 2009)." It is somewhat technical in that it involves lots of details of Nigerian politics that will mean little to those not from Nigeria [including us] but it does give a picture of Olunloyo's political life. We present an edited version below:
Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo, a mathematician, engineer, administrator and politician became the Western Regional Commissioner for Economic Development in 1962 at the age of 27. He was the youngest in the cabinet of Dr Majekodunmi's administration for six months. He came on board again when the then Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo was appointed military governor of old Western State.
In 1983, Olunloyo contested on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and won the governorship of the old Oyo State. He defeated the then incumbent, the late Chief Bola Ige, of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). However, he lost the seat three months later to the duo of General Muhammad Buhari and the late General Tunde Idiagbon who sacked the Shehu Shagari government on 31 December 1983.
Daily Sun had a seven-hour "encounter" with Olunloyo at his Malete, Ibadan, Oyo State, residence recently. He practically opened up on almost all issues. He did not pretend, and he refused to hide anything. Excerpts:
1983 gubernatorial polls in old Oyo State
How I got the ticket of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN)? When I wanted to get that ticket, I consulted a number of people. One of the persons I consulted was the present Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Otugade Odulana. He is a strategist and a tactician. Then the three Lais in Ibadan, Lai Durosaro, Lai Oyadina and Lai Olugbesan.
I used my Owu ancestry and went to Olusegun Obasanjo to ask him about some strategies and tactics. Like the miser he is always, he said he had no money. I pulled out his drawer and found dollars, pounds sterling etc. in his Ota farm. I said "my brother, you said you have no money, but this is money." He said "no, no. This one belongs to the chicken. (Owo Adie)"
He asked: "How can we get support from Kano?" I said, "what concerns Kano with Oyo State politics?" He said: "Kano is linked with Ile-Ife. The king in Kano, and the king in Ife. There are also other connections." Obasanjo then gave me some strategies and tactics which I applied.
The late Chief Adisa Akinloye (then National Chairman, NPN) was not willing to support me. I got him essentially through Alhaji Alao Arisekola (Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland). Chief Richard Akinjide was not very keen in supporting me. I found a very good friend of his who got him around and compelled him to support me. And that is Chief Kolapo Ishola (a former governor of Oyo State). Chief Lamidi Adedibu was backing Alhaji Kola Gbadamosi, the present chairman, Local Government Service Commission in the Alao-Akala government.
A mighty strategy was laid out. Ibadan is a very noisy and complicated place. So, the major strategy was to reduce the number of candidates in Ibadan to one, and encourage the multiplicity of candidates in other places. What could be called an "illegal primary" was held at the Greenspings Hotel, Old Ife Road, Ibadan.
There were 30 constituencies in Ibadan/Ibarapa area. What you call Ibadanland now with 11 local governments as well as Ibarapa. We then got 626 people in these areas to Greensprings. We all agreed unanimously to reduce the number of candidates to one. There were 11 candidates. This would be disastrous if allowed to go on.
Out of the 626 votes I came first with 286 votes. Gbadamosi came second with 134 votes. Then you had Chief Bayo Akande, the businessman who is the chairman of Splash FM Radio, Ibadan, now. Chief Theo Akinyele, former Secretary to the Government and Otun Bobajiro of Ibadan and the last but not the least, (Chief) Olaifa. At that election, some people did not contest. The last person got 26 votes. So, I won that non-party shadow election.
The good thing about that primary is that everybody abided by it unlike now. They all surrendered, and all of them came round to support me. They also gathered funds, knowing that I didn't have money. But 90 per cent of my funds were provided by Arisekola. He first gave me 25 brand new vehicles including jeeps and buses. Then I got through my good friend, Alhaji Olotu Abidoye. We are still good friends till today. He is a very reliable man. He is a member of the Sports Council. We grew up with the late (Alhaji) Lekan Salami, who was a very strong supporter.
Alhaja Aminat Abiodun, the present Iyalode of Ibadan, was one of my strongest supporters. .... She was the first person who compelled and financed me to do the election. She discouraged all my opponents from contesting against me.
Son of the soil
"Son of the soil" thing was actually a trade mark, which sometimes translated in a negative way. It started from a very grave mistake that the late (Chief) Bola Ige made. (He was governor of old Oyo State then.) I don't know what was responsible. A brilliant person like Ige was caught emotionally making an unfortunate mistake. He was one of the best gentleman like Christopher Okogbo. He was one of the brightest users of English language and Yoruba. He was a polyglot. He said something to the effect (later confirmed by many) that there was nobody in Ibadan suitable for governorship.
After many years, that he made that reckless statement, I confronted (Alhaji) Lam Adesina (ex-governor of Oyo State). I said, "Lam, you have been governor for four years. Were you dead or alive in 1982 when Ige made that obviously unacceptable statement? You would have become deputy governor to an Ijesaman, married to an Ibadan woman." He said "nobody was fit." I said, "Here you are, you are fit and you survived the four years."
That statement spurred Ibadan people up to get an Ibadanman. I qualified eminently, because I was a strong pro-Akintola (premier of the defunct Western Region) person. I was strongly pro-Adegoke Adelabu. I had been commissioners in four ministries. I was also chairman of the biggest parastatal, which is now called Odua Group. It was WNDC (Western Nigerian Development Corporation) then. I had been Commissioner for Economic Planning, Community Development, Education, Special Duties, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Education a second time. All these were behind me.
Remember also, I had played vital role in getting the Alaafin of Oyo on that throne. My mother is a Muslem, I was named on the eighth day in the Islamic way as Abdulhakeem i.e. A man of knowledge. The Immam, Sadiku Folorunso, who gave me that name, was Immam of Popo Yemoja, Ibadan. When I was contesting that election, he became the Chief Immam of Ibadan. Together with a good friend of my family and of my in-laws, and that was Asanike (former Olubadan of Ibadan), a man of great courage.
All these people, whether it was the church, where my father was the organist, the whole town was using Ige's statement to garner support for me. Akinloye addressed a press conference and said "we have a son who can do it." (Omo wa ni, ki eje ose). Nearly all the Obas, were behind me.
Ooni predicted my victory three months before election
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, did something on 13 May 1983. He called up all the political parties' representatives in old Oyo State to Ile-Ife. He addressed us that the Oduduwa Shrine, the Ife temple had said the election would be bloody. There would be loss of life and mayhem. He said we should go and control our supporters and followers.
He announced to us three months before the election the result of the election. All of us were present there, ask (Chief Bisi) Akande (he was Ige's deputy then), he was present. The Ooni came and said this election coming in three months' time would be won by Olunloyo. He said it before everybody. Ige came, and left Akande there to represent him.
All the other candidates were there. Lekan Balogun was the candidate of the NPP. They announced the result to us. They left us, went to the shrine and brought out the result. We saw smoke coming out from the back of the shrine. Ooni came out and he said Olunloyo would win, but the government would not last for a long time.
He said he saw that Olunloyo was on a donkey, riding it. Ige was trekking besides him. After sometimes, Olunloyo returned to his house, and Ige was taken away. And it happened exactly. For two years and eight months, Ige was taken away. After 10 days, I returned to my house. We were told this on May 13, 1983, that election took place on August 13, 1983. The Obas and all contributed money, it was a long time, more 25 years. The Alaafin, the Ooni everybody contributed money and gave it to me.
The election was bloody in some places, but not in all places. A friend of mine was killed, Mr Amuwo. He was burnt to ashes at Oke-Ado, Ibadan. He came to Adedibu's house, who was then chairman of the NPN in Ibadan Municipal. He left Adedibu and came to me, and things had already heated up by 9 am on the day of election.
I told him to stay in my house, he was an Ijebuman. We had been friends since he was in the primary school, and we were in Government College, Ibadan. He insisted on going home. He said even if there was no transport, he would just walk to his house. He was killed and we know the people who killed him. Some of them are still alive. The person who killed him disappeared and went to his hometown, Ijebu-Igbo, (now in Ogun State). He had a house somewhere in Oke-Ado, Ibadan. The election was bloody also in Ilesa and some other places.
UPN printed 15 different results of the election
There was a lot of tension. The UPN and the Action Group they would always scream about what they wanted to do: "This election would be rigged!" The state (Oyo) government was UPN, the Federal Government was NPN. But what did they (the UPN) do? They said they (the FG) would give us (Oyo UNP) ballot papers. I never saw any bunch of ballot papers.
Ige did some very funny things. He printed result sheets, Forms EC8 and EC8A, they filled them. They filled about 15 different kinds of results, they were cooked results.
Ige knew he would lose election
About a year before I was elected, the UPN gathered their prayer warriors and marabouts [Muslim religious leader and teacher in West Africa]. They came to the conclusion that a man called Olunloyo would win the election, if he contested. I was just passing through a ministry at the secretariat one day when I was told. About two, three weeks after, I was told again. Who told me on the two occasions? The person is alive, he is now the Pro-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Chief Abiola Morakinyo. (Ige's Commissioner for Finance).
He told me that they had made investigations that I would win the next election in 1983, if I contested. The first time he told me, I said: "How can I win? I am not a member of any party." Immediately he told me I went and joined the NPN at Ibadan South East Ward 9.
In December 1981, four men came to me in Lagos. They told me that they had found out from their marabouts that I would win 1983 election. As an engineer, I handled the Adelabu Market, Bodija, Akinbiyi Market for the Ibadan Municipal Government (IMG). IMG was owing me, Olakojo (present Oyo State SSG) was in the Treasury then. He later became Director of Administration at my campaign office and my Commissioner for Chieftaincy, and later Commissioner for Finance of Ike Nwosu.
I went to Mapo (office of the IMG) and begged the treasurer to pay me. In 1981 December, I asked him to pay me "I have just been told," in my usual character, I told him, "I will be the next governor of Oyo State. Pay me, don't wait until I become governor." In 1982 I won the primaries, I went to the treasurer again and told him: "Pay me, I am on the way to become governor."
In 1983, I won the election. I went to the treasurer and said: "Will you pay me now?" So, he paid my money. That treasurer is Alhaji Adiama, he is alive. I remember Atinuke Ige and Bola Ige, we met at Igboora. I said "Atinuke, you are my sister. You are the wife of the present governor, and senior sister of the next governor." (Laughter) "that was the way we took it."
Ige insisted in challenging my election in the court and messed up the case. The electoral law at that time, allowed him only one or two prayers. You either say the election was rough and it should be cancelled. Or that it was not rough and you actually won. Once it is rough, you cannot win. If you are to win, it must not be rough.
He claimed in his prayers that it was not rough and that he won. Two days to the judgement, he then changed his plea that they should either say he won. Or if they cannot say he won, on the alternative, they should say that the election should be cancelled. The five judges met and took a decision, and the decision was in our favour, unanimously, 5-0. They ruled that he cannot make such an amendment. When it came to the substantive judgement. Three voted for me, none for him and two abstained. I won it 3-0, two abstained.
It went to the Court of Appeal, and it became 5-0. At the Supreme 7-0. But then the government had fallen by the time they concluded the case. The star of the legal case who did not take a kobo [small Nigerian money unit] was (Chief) Richard Osuolale Abimbola Akinjide.
One of the highlights of the case at the tribunal in Ibadan was when he (Akinjide) cross-examined Ige. And Ige cracked up under the stress. Akinjide went poetic: "There are 15 kinds of results in my hand, check them. The first one is on FEDECO paper. The second result is not signed. The third is signed but not by the electoral officer for that constituency."
An Owu man, Mr Alade from Erunmu (now dead), had hinted us that they (UPN) were printing some ballot papers. We asked him to pass the information to Eruobodo (late Busari Adelakun) at Lalupon. They were printing these result sheets with the government printer. We physically went to Onipasan, Eruobodo said: "Ari yin o, ohun te nte yi, ente iro (we have seen you, you are printing fake results)."
We asked for two of the result sheets to be brought out by women who were with the government printer. Akinjide then said, "I put it to you, Chief Bola Ige, that you are a master rigger." That was the proceeding at the tribunal.
When the military government came. (The military had no business in overthrowing that government. I went to (Tunde) Idiagbon, and asked him, "Why did you take power from us? Because people were stealing money left, right and centre, and we were the cleaners of the system." And they set up one or two enquires. He was amazed that somebody could come up to him and say this.) They set up a commission of enquiry to probe that election. Justice Babalakin, a retired justice of the Supreme Court was the chairman. Two days before their leaving, I wrote them. I said, "You ought to have summoned me. People have been shouting that the election was rigged. If it was rigged, I was a beneficiary of it. You have to hear my own side of the story."
I went to the enquiry. I said; "Look, all these political parties, none of them is innocent. We all had our master plans. This is the master plan of the NPN." I tendered it. "We also stole the master plan of the UP, this is it. There are two copies. One is in the government office. We want you to compel the military government to release it. This one we stole." We tendered it. "The NPP also had their master plan. These mater plans have to be studied in order to beat rigging in the future."
The UPN lawyer then came to me and said, "Please, if you don't attack Awolowo, we will not attack you." I said, "How can I attack Awolowo? All of you use his image, you have no name of your own. I won't touch Awolowo, he is a sacred horse."
How Eruobodo facilitated Ige's election in 1979
Eruobodo (Busari Adelakun) was not of the same genre with Adegoke Adelabu or Adedibu. He was not of the same stature. He was a relatively minor rabble-rouser. He came into prominence as the man who facilitated Ige's nomination as UPN's candidate for the 1979 governorship election in old Oyo State.
Ige did not contest the governorship primaries of the UPN in 1978. The primary was done at Okeho and was won by (Chief) S M Afolabi.
Digression: Ige was an Ijesaman. Two powerful rich men, Ojo Ajanaku and Lawrence Omole represented the AG in Ilesa. They were always defeated by two powerful politicians, Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi and Tunji Olowofeyeku. Olowofoyeku was Akintola's Attorney-General.
Odeleye was used to replace Ooni (Adesoji Aderemi) as Governor (of the defunct Western Region). They were pillars behind Akintola. The AG was a right wing merchant and natural ruler-oriented elite, while the UPN was more masses-oriented. It was left of centre, while the AG was right of centre.
Afolabi had cut his teeth in politics, he was minor intermediate staff at the University of Ibadan. He was a very reliable pro-Awolowo person. He actually got his accolades by allegedly slapping Akintola at a campaign somewhere between Iree and Eripa (in Osun State). That was what made him popular. Akin Omoboriowo also won in (old) Ondo State. They were then asked to step down for two old reliables, (Chief) Michael Adekunle Ajasin. Omoboriowo agreed. In Oyo State, it was (Archdeacon) Emmanuel Oladipo Alayande.
At a meeting it was alleged that Alayande got a little bit roughened by the manners and language of Eruobodo. And he (Alayande) referred to certain people as illiterates. Eruobodo took exception to this and asked was he among the illiterates. Obviously, he looked like one. He now said the victory of the party hinged on him. He asked them to drop Alayande.
They said they couldn't find a candidate. Eruobodo now said, "Bola Ige can win." So Ige was brought in and he won, and made Eruobodo a commissioner. I am not so sure that was the most suitable way of rewarding him. You could give bags of money, or some contracts.
UPN wrote its own obituary
There was one great thing about that election which I must tell you today which the press has not known. The UPN planned a very big rigging plan which we intercepted. They made a very strategic mistake. They were over-confident and they often discussed matters where they should not discuss them. They often discussed party matters. They had the party headquarters at Yemetu, Ibadan, and they often used it.
They often discussed party matters in the executive council. When you look at the Exco conclusions, minutes, you found discussions of party matters. We got to know about this. Then we set up an espionage system consisting of some labourers, messengers and some top civil servants. When they had produced these Exco memos, we got a spare copy. A particular location inside the secretariat, towards the back of the Water Corporation, in that bush, there we had our contacts such as drivers who would then deliver the message to us.
All these can be verified. They are in the records of the Oyo State Government. On August 11, 18, 25 and September 1, 1982 (all Wednesdays), the UPN led by Ige held crucial meetings and recorded everything in the Exco Chamber. They are in the book of minutes we stole extra copies, I tendered them at the Babalakin Probe Panel. I got a subpoena and Babalakin signed that Olurin (military governor) should release the big book where the thing is pasted and signed.
I showed them to General (Yakubu) Gowon, he is still alive, when he came to visit me in government. He is a very good friend and a very decent man. You will be shocked to hear this. Bola Ige signed all the papers. Inside the paper, the UPN examined their chances of winning the 1983 elections. They came to the conclusion that as things were, they would lose. The report was signed by Ige.
You cannot stop rigging unless you probe all the past allegations. We have to stop rigging because 2011 cannot be as is in the past. It cannot be business as usual. Obasanjo who said it was do-or-die is no longer here with us. Lamidi (Adedibu) is gone, for good or ill. So, we have to device a means of stopping rigging.
1962 National Census
The most interesting job I handled as the Western Regional Commissioner for Economic Development under Dr Majekodunmi was the census of 1962. The figures were cooked and we insisted that the census should be corrected. In fact, it was later cancelled. Another census was done in 1963. I don't know whether that one was not itself cooked. But we have been having census problems.
We detected that statistically, you cannot have 300 per cent increase in population within 10 years. The 1952 figures were in fact estimated, putting 17 millions in the North and 14 millions in the South, with eight in the East, six in the West.
I think politicians in the South were by and large relatively incompetent compared with those in the North. The North is a very advanced place not in terms of paper qualifications of people with Ph.D. etc. These are sometimes not the correct indices. There is a unity to an extent in the North. The unity is caused by both history and religion. They understand clearly the common interest. They also have a very strong system of native administration, which we now call local government. They have a real understanding of politics. They know that if power is on their side, so many people will prosper. Whereas in the South, there is so much individualism.
I must say this of Dr Majekodunmi, I was the youngest member of his cabinet. He gave me an absolute free hand to handle the census. Not once did he interfere with my actions and activities. I used to wonder, why would this man give free hand to a boy of 27? I was 27 then in 1962 and he was 47, he is 93 now. I was commissioner under Majekodunmi for seven months, 21June to 31 December 1962. It was a successful tenure of office.
The same thing happened when General Yakubu Gowon influenced General Adeyinka Adebayo to reshuffle his cabinet and put me where the Alaafin of Oyo problem was. Adebayo not for once, not for all the pressures on him interfered even with me, or gave me one hint or another of how to solve the problem.
Do you know at that time, I had been thinking of privitazation of the economy, and selling government shares and everything about monetization? I had thought of all these in 1962.
Installation of Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi III
Oh! It was a long story. The central thing was the greatness of Adebayo. He had been deceived and misled. They got him into a very complicated position. General Adebayo is one of the greatest men I have ever met. Very open, generous and accommodating. When he became Military Governor of Western State, people exploited his honesty. He constituted a cabinet of 12 members, six pro-Action Group (Awolowo boys) and six pro-NCNC/UNDP (Akintola boys). I was one of the Akintola boys with an NCNC background.
There are three stages in what is called a ruling house chieftaincy. There is the nomination which is done by the family, whose turn it is to provide candidate(s). There is the appointment which is done by kingmakers. And thirdly and finally, the approval by the government. The vacancy occurred in January 26, 1968, but it was not filled until January 13, 1971. The cabinet was reshuffled on January 5, 1970, and I came in as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. I solved the problem by January 14, 1971. I also solved the problems of the Owa of Idanre (now in Ondo State), the Balogun of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Owa of Igbara-Oke, also in Ondo State and many others.
The head of the family had his own son as a candidate, and the declaration allowed more than one candidate. But what he did was always to remove the names of all the other applicants, except his son. He would then forward it to the kingmakers. The declaration demanded through the Head of the Princes without reservation, but he had put in reservation.
The first round of confusion was that the nomination was interfered with by the government in a very complicated and painful way. Each time they held meeting and they nominated more than one candidate, the chairman put forward only one candidate. The confusion was so great that the government set up a commission of enquiry. Chief Magistrate Obileye, may his soul rest in peace, was put in charge. He came to the conclusion, very strange, that there was only one candidate validly nominated. That was odd.
The light at the end of the tunnel was provided by a very great man, the late Justice Michael Ogundare. He was the counsel to that Obileye Enquiry. He was an officer in the Ministry of Justice. He eventually ended up as a judge of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He was the one who read the judgments on those very exciting cases including resource allocation. He read out the lead judgment in that case.
Ogundare recommended, as a minority voice, that the thing should be cancelled. The government decided to make an edict to say that only one candidate was lawfully nominated. The next thing was that they placed that single candidate before the kingmakers and the kingmakers rejected it two times.
The third time, they put in the name of Lamidi Adeyemi who was not even placed before them. The kingmakers were then brought to Ibadan and intimidated. They were led by the late Chief Esuola Akano, who was an exemplary person. Akano told Adebayo that they were ready to die and if they should kill them, they requested that their bodies should be released to their families. That they were not going to do anything wanted by Awolowo and Adebayo, and that is all! Awolowo backed the other man.
At that stage, the governor introduced another round of confusion. They dismissed the Oyo Mesis (the kingmakers), seven of them. When the seven Oyo Mesis voted, two voted for the government candidate, and five voted against him. In reconstituting the replacement, they chose village chiefs, Elepe of Iseke, Aguo of Oyo and others. This was an insult on the tradition and the people of Oyo. The new kingmakers were immorally constituted in that, the two who voted for Ladepo, were included and five who voted against were thrown out. The seven (new Oyo Mesis) met, and within 10 minutes, they had appointed Ladepo, Aranlola's son as the Alaafin of Oyo.
The last stage was the application of Section 21, which was the approval. That approval, however, never came. Section 21, more or else says that "notwithstanding the fact that this appointment has been made in accordance with the law and approved and registered declaration, the government may nevertheless approve or nevertheless set aside the said appointment, in the interest of peace, order and good governance."
When I took over, that nomination and appointment had taken place waiting for approval. After several months of study, I brought out a new approach to the subject, and showed that a serious mistake had been made. And for this serious mistake, the involvement of an organization called Oyo Multipurpose, for this mistake, everything they had done was a nullity. You cannot put something on nothing, it will not stand.
The executive council I invited them in a memo that I wrote myself. After a long debate and extensive debate with the Attorney-General. I wrote him a one page letter, and he replied with a seven-page. It was unsatisfactory for me. I took it to the executive council, and it was overruled. That the thing was legally incorrect. That appointment was then nullified.
Then we began another process by allowing the man whose appointment was nullified to re-contest, as well as all other candidates. We took steps to make sure all candidates were put on a level-playing field. That was how Lamidi Adeyemi got in. On September 4, 1969, very desperate things were done. I will show you documents on this later. Oba Lamidi Adeyemi got in there after about three years of struggling.
Controversial picture published by National Concord
I was not sleeping. That was unfortunately, may his soul rest in peace, cooked up by (MKO) Abiola. I was resting my head on the table in (Adisa) Akinloye's house, Itutaba, Ibadan. We had some interminable and boring meetings. I just put my head on the table. The next thing I found was a picture saying I was sleeping. Sleeping where? Was I sleeping in parliament?
Even when I am sleeping, my brain is more powerful than many of the people who are awake. What I can do when I am dozing, when some people are awake they can't do it. I was not dozing, I was not sleeping. The point is this, sleeping where? On my bed? At a beer parlour? It was all kinds of lies against me.
Concord newspaper then published a cartoon, I was not only said to be sleeping, but with a bottle of beer on the table. If you look at the picture, you would see that there was no bottle or anything. It was a very ridiculous thing. Many people are unintelligent. I don't bother myself with people who don't have smart brains.
Abiola became very nervous, because he wanted to be national chairman of the NPN. He struggled with Akinloye. His next plan was to become president of Nigeria. He calculated from what I hear, that if he was to have a breakthrough in Oyo State. If Oyo State was the bastion of NCNC. Action Group was a little stronger in Ogun and Ondo. Oyo and Osun were pro-Akintola.
He reckoned that if NPN got stronger and won in Oyo State, then that person would be too sure as presidential candidate. And Akinloye would then have a way to become president. He wanted to thwart that.
I got such an excellent support from the Concord until that day. The person who told me of this thing was no other person than Dele Giwa. He called me, and may I be cursed eternally if I am lying, and said Abiola asked them to do all they could to bring my candidate down. He said he told Abiola "this is nonsense." It was MKO's undoing.
Later on, he needed my help when I was writing this Monday Think Tank in Tribune. He once went to Ikenne to see Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo. Lekan Are, Soaga (Simbi's brother) went with him to ask Mama to stop me from writing for Tribune. Lekan Are told me he was bringing him here, I told him: "Don't bring Abiola to my house. In any case, you are just coming from Ikenne. And I know you have failed at Ikenne." Mama told a number of people of her interest in the article I wrote on Mondays, so it used to be the bumper day. They found that on Mondays, there was always a bumper sale when I wrote. General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida also told me of the debate in the military circles every Monday when my article came out. Babangida used to read the article.
I knew Abiola would win but would not rule
I saw vision and I wrote in the column one day. I saw 'mandate' in my dream at 1a.m. The first three letters, MAN, fell to the left, and D strayed to the right. I got an inspiration. The man is Abiola, the date is June 12. I titled the article: 'Abiola, or June 12, or Both'. OR has two interpretations in English. OR inclusive or, OR exclusive. In Latin, they are two different words.
I came to the conclusion that those of us who are beneficiaries of his generosity etc., would like the man to stay alive, even if he did not become president. That was my conclusion of that MANDATE. I also forecasted that he would never be made president. I spoke about it very clearly during Adedibu's memorial lecture. He knew the bank accounts of all these people like David Mark, who is now the President of the Senate.
MKO claimed Mark put pressure on IBB not to handover to him
David Mark was Minister of Communications and had some clashes with Abiola, some misunderstandings. Abiola always told us Mark was one of those who put pressure on Babangida not to handover. And Mark continued to talk in that type of vein. He once said a military man, may be of a lowest rank, is better than a civilian who had all the qualifications. He is not my friend, but I don't hate him. He was the one who said telephone is not for the poor, as if there was any telephone in Otukpoland when he was born. Things like that annoy me. All the same, he is a lucky man. He has money. He is in high position even though he struggled to get the seat.
He was one of those who put pressure on IBB. But I used to argue with IBB. What is the use? They would kill the president, they would kill the man who put him there. It is probably better for us to have one of them alive.
I didn't bother myself. I had known for about a week that they were planning a coup. I followed security very well. There was a sports festival where I was watching some of the people watching us. My Commissioner of Police was very good, he kept me well informed. That CP is no other man that a third-term Senator, Nuhu Aliyu.
He was the one who said he was not comfortable with the backgrounds of some of his colleague senators. I think there is a minority of people involved in malpractices. But certainly, what he said is probably not true of the majority.