“Sometime in 2002, I told the then President Olusegun Obasanjo to honour Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, he refused saying he knew the winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election more than me and that I should mind my own business.
“You see, in 1985, it was alleged that Abiola was one of those who sponsored the military coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida that ousted the then General Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Now look at God. It is now this Buhari, who is the current President of Nigeria that God used to honour MKO Abiola. He was given highest award in the land, his June 12 is now the recognized democracy day”.
The above submissions were made on Tuesday by popular human rights activist, Comrade Moshood Erubami in Ibadan while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio anchored by Olayinka Agboola and broadcast live on Space 90.1fm.
The founder of Voters’ Assembly also spoke further on the issue of recognition for MKO Abiola saying “However, MKO’s kinsman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had the opportunity of honouring his brother. He did not. As a matter of fact, I can say here that I was with him when he was the President. I had the opportunity of discussing the issue of honour for MKO with him in 2002. He said it was not my business adding that I should not pretend to know MKO more than him.
“We also discussed the issue of the refineries. He told me to stay on my lane saying that he knew more about the refineries than somebody like me. He reminded me that he was the one who constructed the first, second and third refineries in Nigeria.
“Now, see the issue of the refineries, it has not been settled. They are still not functioning till today. See, when I discussed all these with OBJ, I was not alone. Chief Yekini Adeojo was also with us at the meeting. He is healthy and alive today. He can confirm”
When asked on what he thinks about why Nigeria has not made much progress economically, his response “Most of the problems we are facing are being caused by ignorance. And ignorance is the greatest poverty worrying Nigerians. Because of the ignorance of the masses, we have not been able to come up with good leaders. It is really a serious problem.
“Since I joined politics, specifically, I am a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and I know that joining politics is important for me to be able to play my own role.
“You see, I pity the poor in our society. They do not know the kind of power they have. They are more that those who have been ruling over them. However, poverty has overwhelmed them.
“This is why we came up with the idea of Voters’ Assembly to educate the masses on the need to efficiently and effectively use their voting power. However, like I said, poverty has eaten deep into our fabrics. They normally end up selling their votes to the highest bidders who, once voted for, will only visit them four times in a year – during the end of Ramadan, during ileya (sallah), during Christmas and Easter.
“I feel so sad anytime I check out our people only to discover that they are not doing the right thing with their voting power. Those people we strived to replace during all our struggles are still the ones ruling over us.”
When asked on how he feels about the avalanche of revelations coming from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and others, Erubami responded, “Ordinarily, one should be sad that all these revelations are coming out from parastatals under the federal government being run by APC, a party that has a mantra and is supposed to be focused on fighting corruption.
“But at the same time, one should not be surprised because we are all corrupt. Corruption has eaten deep into our systems. It is not only those people at NDDC that are corrupt, others are corrupt too. We are all corrupt and when I give this kind of submission, I am talking about all of us including journalists. That is why the war against corruption is not succeeding. That is why the problem is lingering.”
When the comrade was asked about his take on restructuring, he said “restructuring is a product of unfairness. You do not clamour for restructuring when the system is fair to you. If everything belonging to everybody goes to everybody, there will not be any need for restructuring.”
On the issue of rotational presidency, the human rights activist said “just like restructuring, if the system is fair to all, there will not be reason to clamor for rotational presidency. Everyone should have the right to vote and be voted for in a free and fair manner. Now, those enjoying power in Nigeria will not want restructuring and rotational presidency because they are feeding fat on the unfair system that we operate.”
The reported presidential ambition of the leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu was also discussed.
Said Erubami “I am aware that some people are rooting for Tinubu to contest the 2023 presidential election. But some APC members are going about this wrongly.
“It is not right for any right-thinking member of APC to be thinking of bringing back Bukola Saraki and Atiku Abubakar to the fold. If this is what they are planning against Tinubu, the party will not benefit.
“However, if by 2023, Tinubu turns out to be the best candidate we can produce in terms of integrity, courage and other leadership qualities, then he will have my support.”
‘Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio,’ a production from the stables of Prokonnect Limited, the publishers of PMParrot.com and Parrot Xtra Magazine hit the airwaves on January 7, 2020 and has since featured the likes of Professor Banji Akintoye, Arc Muyiwa Ige, Dimeji Lawal, Dele Odule, Yinka Odumakin, AIG Bashir Makama, Dr Olapade Agoro, Prof Abiodun Ilesanmi and several others.