Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of Afenifere has
said former president, Olusegun Obasanjo is a
tragedy to the Yoruba people.
In a chat with The Punch, Adebanjo said
Obasanjo behaves and talks as if Nigerian never
existed until he became the President,
wondering what the former president has
achieved to make him a judge over others.
He said: “ Of all the colonial leaders who
contributed to the struggle, have you heard
Obasanjo say anything positive about them?
Have you heard Obasanjo speak well of Nnamdi
Azikiwe, Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello or anyone?
Has he ever praised them for anything? These
were nationalist leaders. And even when
Obasanjo became President, none of his
successors or predecessors were good in his
eyes. He is the only saint. He is a tragedy to
the Yoruba people and this is not a laughing
matter. All he does is condemn people but he
has nothing to show for his more than eight
years in office.
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“ Here is a man who came to build three
refineries when he was in government for three
years as a military officer but when he returned
as a civilian President, he could not build a
single refinery and couldn’t repair the existing
ones and he is talking. He was the Minister of
Petroleum for eight years. He alone held the
portfolio. He was a man who former Vice-
President Atiku Abubakar said was bankrupt
before he became President. Atiku said it was
himself and Chief Oyewole Fasawe that
prevented Obasanjo from declaring bankruptcy
by putting N200,000 into his account. He has
not refuted these claims but he is one of the
richest men in Nigeria today and yet he accuses
people of corruption .”
Adebanjo blamed the media for making
Obasanjo what he is today.
The Afenifere chieftain also attacked the national
leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
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According to him, comparing Chief Obafemi
Awolowo with Tinubu was an insult, adding that
he cannot be the leader of Yoruba people as no
prominent, self-respecting Yoruba man will
accept him as a leader.
He said: “ That is part of the nonsense being
peddled by the media. How can Tinubu be the
leader of the Yoruba race? The background of
Awolowo’s leadership was never because he
was in government. It was his integrity and
track record. Now, they are calling Tinubu the
leader because he won an election. Is that the
qualification for Yoruba leadership? There is no
way you can compare Tinubu with Awolowo and
I regard it as an insult.”
According to him, comparing Awolowo to
Tinubu is degrading the Yoruba leadership.
“ What is the knowledge of Tinubu? How many
books has he published? Awolowo propounded
theories and established philosophies such that
a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
Harold Wilson, said Awolowo was qualified to
rule America. Even though Awolowo was the
leader of the opposition, the then President,
Shehu Shagari, honoured him with the Grand
Commander of the Federal Republic title despite
the fact that the title is preserved only for Heads
of State. That shows you the pedigree of
Awolowo. What of the background of Awolowo?
Can we say the same of Tinubu ?” he asked.
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He wondered how Tinubu could be a leader in a
country with the likes of Prof. Wole Soyinka and
The Afenifere leader added: “ When did Tinubu
come into prominence? Awolowo fought
colonialism for years. But because Tinubu just
won an election, those he has put in positions
are now shouting ‘leader’. All those calling
Tinubu Yoruba leader are his creations. They
are Tinubu apologists. They are the ones he
made governors and appointed commissioners.
“Tinubu does not even qualify for that position.
Go and look at all those who have been
branded Yoruba leader and look at their
pedigree and antecedents. There is no yardstick
for quality today. How many Yoruba politicians
who lived during the First Republic accept
Tinubu as a leader? Is he a leader? Yesterday,
he was extolling Babatunde Fashola but now he
says Fashola must be crucified. Yesterday, he
was extolling Kayode Fayemi but now Fayemi
must be crucified. Whoever disagrees with him
must be crucified. The yardstick of quality has
gone to blazes.”
Obasanjo has been receiving criticisms in
recent times from a number of people.
Yesterday, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), in Kogi state, Mrs Margaret Orebiyi
described him as the landlord of the Nigerian
Some days back, Chief Olusegun Osoba, a
former governor of Ogun state had taken a
swipe at Obasanjo for his constant attack on
everyone. He said Obasanjo sees nothing good
in anyone .
About a week ago, a former minister of
transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope issued a
stern warning to him saying he should never
repeat his statement. He stated that Obasanjo
should never say that the supporters of the late
Chief Obafemi Awolowo made him Yoruba
leader and not the entire Yoruba people.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of Afenifere has