SOYINKA: Osoba Brought Amosun To Power, He Must Not Complain
Mr. Kayode Soyinka, publisher and media executive, is a three-time Ogun State governorship aspirant. In this chat with KAMAL TAYO OROPO, he explained why the Social Democratic Party (SDP) could not record electoral success in the state in the last elections.
What’s your general perception of the last election, especially from the Ogun State point of view? FROM the Ogun State point of view, I expected Governor Ibikunle Amosun to win, because I couldn’t see Osoba, and his entourage in the Social Democratic Party, making any impact at all.
Frankly, I told our people point blank, that they should not support Osoba, that it was a no-win situation for him. Up until the eve of the election, people were still calling, especially people who were my supporters.
Surprisingly, they were on Chief Osoba’s side, but I told them that, ‘I, personally, will not support Osoba, because of the way he behaved towards me in the past elections.
And, in any case, I didn’t even believe that he would upstage Amosun, because what he tried to do was not because he (Osoba) had any better option, it was just a very selfish attitude and approach towards the whole thing.
Also, Osoba was part and parcel of what brought Amosun into office. As a matter of principle, I cannot see myself backing any of them, reason I didn’t back Amosun either.
I was enjoying my peace sitting on the fence and enjoying my neutrality. I couldn’t see a situation whereby Osoba’s group would have Yewa/Awori candidate, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would also have Yewa/Awori and then you split your vote in the area; and all of a sudden PDP is doing well in Ogun-East.
Even if you split that place, Amosun will be able to take the Ogun-Central. The Central was solid for the governor, and surprisingly, during the gubernatorial election, he was able to get significant vote in the East and also in Yewa/Awori as well, so he won.
I knew that he would win. Were you still confident of Amosun’s victor seeing the calibre of men with Osoba? You see, it all came to a stage when Osoba was having an over exaggerated sense of his whole political importance in Ogun State.
In our political history, there are certain realities some people don’t bother to look at because they feel that some people are bigger that the state (the country). I remember when I was in exile, immediately after the Dele Giwa bomb, and I couldn’t come to Nigeria, what kept me going was that one day, General Ibrahim Babangida would leave office. That this country is bigger than one individual.
So, the day he had to leave eventually did not come to me as a surprise. I had always held on to the belief that the state is no one’s father’s property.
Whether you like it or not, one day, you would have to go. Now, it has happened with Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo. Buhari team must be conscious of history.
People should not think that they are bigger than the country. The day Nigerians start to make noise about you and they start to complain about you, whether it is in the military era or in the civil rule, you should start counting your days. Osoba had made serious mistakes right from events leading to 2011 elections, by making a wrong choice.
We, in the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), would have the election at that time, because it was not Amosun that people voted for; it was ACN. So, he lost it there. He was in cohort with Tinubu to put Amosun in power, why should he now be complaining when the man did not do his bidding and went for the kill. I departed with Osoba on that note.
Even then, it’s not that he has that kind of influence over the state; he had lost out long time ago, when he made sure that Okorounmu did not get that ticket. There was nothing he didn’t do to get that ticket.
Look at the irony of it, you are now using the party of the elders you people sent out of the party movement. You pioneered the insult and trampling on elders; now you are calling yourselves movement against trampling on elders. Himself and Tinubu have always been trampling on the elders. I told people that I don’t follow hypocrites, they should go and tell Osoba, he knows me; he knows my views.
When you are doing politics, you should also have to be circumspect on how you treat people. You don’t continue to deceive people. That’s why I am happy with this Buhari thing, and I hope Buhari can do the correct thing because Nigeria has to change, because politicians in this country lack principles.
Look at this PDP people, some of them are now crossing to APC, how long are we going to continue with this kind of nonsense, why can’t we have politicians that we can all trust? That is the only thing Buhari has, but all those people around him are people we can not trust; Buhari is the one we voted for, so we have to wait and see.
But in Ogun State, will you say the electoral support Amosun secured at the polls is actually indicative of his performance? Fairly yes. He knew that he was under enormous pressure, from both PDP and the Osoba group, so he worked hard, he didn’t relent, and he got the support of the people in the central, which was the starting point.
Looking at his performance, how comfortable are you with the infrastructure aspect? Everybody is talking about the roads that he has built, they are, however, not paying serious attention to any other things. People in the state are complaining in the state that they can’t see food on their tables, and I agree with them as well, because all the money has gone to infrastructure, especially road infrastructure.
That is the only thing we can talk of. But if we want to look at it objectively, the governor could do better. In my own case if I had been the governor, I was going to build roads, but not the kind of roads that Amosun has built.
Governor Amosun has not looked at the other options. In that attempt at building roads, he has destroyed peoples compounds, peoples homes, that had been there for donkey years and you know how important this is to us in Abeokuta. For instance, when you say you are from Abeokuta, the first thing people would ask you is, ‘where is your father’s compound?’