Osoba condemns ‘distortion’ of history by Obasanjo
THE former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has urged those who played active roles in the history of the country to put together their experiences in writing to avoid distorted accounts.
Osoba, while reacting to a remark by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that it is incorrect to refer to anyone as Yoruba leader, told journalists at the weekend that individuals like former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; former military governor of the defunct Western Region, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) and former Lagos State governor, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, must not allow vital documents of national importance lying idle on shelves, but must endeavour to publish accounts of event for posterity.
He said: “I once told Gen. Gowon that he was not fair to Nigeria by not putting on record the events that transpired during the Civil War. Alhaji Jakande and the Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, are the major living legends. I am not happy that Jakande did not put on record some of his accounts. He was involved in the development of journalism in the country. Also, S.B. Awoniyi before his death, I asked him to put on record his contribution to the oil sector. I agree with you that many who know the history of Nigeria have not put on record their knowledge of events in the country. That does not mean that if he goes off target, some of us should not come out and put the record straight.
Obasanjo had recently claimed in his book that Yoruba had never had any acceptable leader, saying no individual can be regarded as the leader of the Yoruba.
The former President had said: “Just as there was no single Oba having sovereignty over the whole of Yorubaland, there was no individual as leader of the Yoruba in Yorubaland. As it was then, it remains till now.”
But Osoba, who sharply disagreed with the former President and wondered why he (Obasanjo) seems to be distorting history where he was active participant, said: “I cannot share such opinion with him because 49 years ago, precisely, August 12, 1966, I was present at the forum where the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was unanimously elected the leader of Yoruba. And the election involved all stakeholders, including political and cultural intellectuals in Yorubaland. I have records to prove that the late Chief Awolowo was elected aside the newspaper publications made after the election in Ibadan. I disagree with Obasanjo on whatever claims he has that Awolowo was handpicked by some of his supporters. At the event where Awolowo was elected as the Yoruba leader, there were people of diverse political interest.