EACH time the Kabiyesi, His Royal Highness, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, speaks in the public, he often talks with facts. When His Royal Highness dropped the bombshell that people are going to instigate the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, against the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a fortnight ago at the 2900 days accountability report of Governor Babatunde Fashola, tongues were kept wagging. If not for the urgent intervention of Governor Fashola when Oba Akiolu threatened to mention names, His Royal Highness might probably have done that before leaving the stage.
Meanwhile, a source from the Palace of the Royal Father who sought anonymity revealed that “the people Kabiyesi was referring to in his revelations were not far from some former leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the south west who defected to the APC, in addition three governors from the zone and several other APC chieftains in the South West also.” He resisted every appeal to reveal their names, saying that they were warned not to mention names until the Kabiyesi decides to do so, himself, or authorizes anyone to expose those names.
The Oba of Lagos at the anniversary of Fashola’s 2900 days in office at the Lagos TV complex, Ikeja, had raised alarm that some people are already whispering to Buhari against Tinubu in attempt to dent the image of the former Lagos State Governor and make the new president develop hatred for the APC national leader. The Royal Father made passionate appeal to every resident in Lagos to pray for Tinubu on the alleged treachery. The Oba promised to lead prominent traditional rulers to have a meeting with Buhari, and probably make him know the facts contrary to what he is being told about Tinubu. The Kabiyesi had also said that the south west must benefit from the coming administration after the contributions of APC leaders in the zone to the success of the party. “All Lagos residents should pray the labour of Tinubu should not be in vain. A lot of things have been happening now. Some people have been telling Buhari all sorts of things. Awujale and I have decided to meet Buhari because Lagos and south west states must benefit from the Buhari administration,”Oba Akiolu stated
Our source from the Palace of the Royal Father explained that the Oba discovered that a former head of the federal government is working towards the formation of a new power coalition in the south west to end Tinubu’s influence and dominance, then, enthrone his dominance and take over the control of the zone. The source also revealed that the contemplated alliance in the region allegedly include some PDP leaders in the south west who lost their offices to APC members at different times either in elections or through legal battle in courts; in addition to three governors and several other APC stakeholders who feel they have given Tinubu enough loyalty to get to the zenith of his political career in becoming a national leader and godfather in enthroning a president in the country. “The three south west governors,” our source added, “feel it is time for Tinubu to retire and give opportunity to younger leaders in the zone.” He said that the former PDP leaders also believe that with the help of the former head of government they can now pay the APC national leader back having been in the same train of victory for the party and the new president. Some of them were said to be lobbying for appointments but were not getting the support of Tinubu. He disclosed that Kabiyesi will surely visit Buhari as he said where he would make the new president know the true game plan of those coming to him with false stories about Tinubu.
Oba Akiolu had at the 2900 days anniversary of the Fashola administration, also disclosed that some of the people who worked against the aspirations of Buhari are the ones pitching him against Tinubu at the moment, the same way they did with Fashola. The Royal Father then threatened to reveal names of the people he had accused of the conspiracy when he was urgently prevailed upon by Fashola, who pinched him and led away from the podium.
The Palace source also said that Kabiyesi did not lie on the bitter quarrel between Tinubu and Fashola. He said the dispute started in 2010 when Tinubu allegedly wanted to stop Fashola from getting ACN ticket for the 2011 governorship election for his second term in office, saying that Kabiyesi intervened before Tinubu changed his mind.
Oba Akiolu had disclosed that there was a bitter quarrel between Fashola and his predecessor, Tinubu, which almost disrupted the current administration. He observed that “if it had not been nipped in the bud, it could have affected the party’s chances in the current election season.” He emphasized that the battle between Fashola and Tinubu was getting out of hand and he was not even in the know of the extent until almost all the Obas in Lagos State called his attention to the development. He stated that the Obas had told him that if as a successful retired police officer with 32 years in service he could not hold down on Lagos as the Oba, then, there should be cause for concern. Then, he stepped in and asked the two men to make peace and extracted commitments from both of them for the sake of Lagos.
The Oba also said that the dispute between Tinubu and Fashola was instigated by some of those in the audience listening to him, who created an industry in reporting to “Party A” what “Party B” had said about him and vice-versa.
Tinubu, however, denied ever having any serious fight with Fashola. He admitted that they only had “disagreements over procedures in the past.” Tinubu declared: “All this is in the past. What we have achieved politically in Lagos and Nigeria is a result of team work, political compatibility and vision.”
It appears the revelations of Oba Akiolu were either timely as northern leaders are beginning to see Tinubu in bad image and questioning the political contributions of the south west to the victory of Buhari and the APC.
Alhaji Shamsudeen Usman, APC leader in Kano State, was gathered to have said that the belief that the Yoruba or the south west was responsible for the victory of Buhari is erroneous, dismissing the assumption as rubbish. He accused south west leaders of blackmailing Buhari to gain favour from the new government.
Usman argued that “the entire south west just contributed about 500,000 marginal votes which are smaller compared to what the entire Zamfara, delivered to Buhari, not to even call states in the north east or Kano.” Though, someone noted that the actual vote margin for Buhari in the six states in South West is 611,777 votes according INEC results. “So, what’s it that the region is bringing to blackmail Buhari into handing over the government to Tinubu who thinks controlling Lagos is same as Buhari,” Usman was said to have questioned.
Usman also complained, “Each time we talk about Buhari’s administration, people are quick to remind us that without the south west region, Buhari wouldn’t have emerged; that’s a lie. With or without that region, he would have won, it was time for Jonathan to leave and nothing would have stopped him.”
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State was said to have also made similar complaint, where he expressed dissatisfaction that the Yorubas are claiming that they are responsible or should be given credit for Buhari’s victory. The governor was gathered to have said that “the real heroes of the Buhari victory are the Igbos in APC who ensured that President Jonathan didn’t get massive votes in the south east the way he received in 2011, not the south west.”