Akande, Victim Of 2003 Electoral Massacre Masterminded By Obasanjo - Buhari - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Akande, Victim Of 2003 Electoral Massacre Masterminded By Obasanjo - Buhari

••• Says Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Escaped

             •Tinubu, Akande and Buhari

The Daily Crucible | Published Thursday, December 9, 2021

By Jane Okafor, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has described Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a ‘‘perfect public officer” with whom he could go into the jungle.

Buhari said the former governor of Osun State was a victim – along with other AD Governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial career following the electoral massacre masterminded by President Obasanjo in 2023.

The President spoke on Thursday at the public presentation of ‘‘My Participations,” the autobiography of Akande, describing the elder statesman as politician and administrator of “inflexible integrity” in and out of public office,  who never accepted offering bribes.

“He was always in the thick of things through the difficulties and political discontinuities of the 1980s and 90s. 

“He emerged as Governor of Osun State in 1999 when the military handed over to the civilians.

”Chief Akande had a horrendous baptism as Governor of Osun State with discord from his own party; his State Assembly (including an attempt to impeach him without any reason whatsoever); from the trade unions and from his own deputy Governor!

”On top of that, he inherited a deeply indebted Treasury, huge arrears of salary, allowances, and pensions. Enough challenges to overwhelm many aspiring leaders.

”Bisi Akande stood four square and faced all the challenges head-on and overcame most of them.

”By 2003 Chief Akande had virtually sanitised governance in Osun State having cleared some of the troublemakers from his government and, though reluctant to serve a second term, he was persuaded to run again.

”It is common knowledge that Akande was the victim – along with other AD Governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial career. Only the steadfast Asiwaju Bola Tinubu escaped the electoral massacre masterminded by President Obasanjo.

”Desperately disappointed though he was, and being a good Muslim, he accepted this setback as part of the trials of life. He looked to the future of service to the country,” Buhari said.

He described Akande as a decent, truthful, and friendly person whose leadership qualities made him the unanimous choice as the pioneer national chairman of the APC, noting that Akande's passion for Nigeria and his achievements should be emulated.

Buhari who delved into a famous Hausa saying, ”Labarin zucciya a tambayi fuska” (loosely translated -if you want to know what is in a man’s heart watch his face), he said Akande has a permanent smile on his face, and that “he is the type I will go into the jungle with.”

”My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006 when preliminary consultations were coming to fruition for a grand coalition to unseat the PDP Government,” he said.

”Those efforts eventually came to nothing. ‘Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up as, in Chief Akande’s words: ‘the country was going down and down under PDP.

”Chief Akande was in the thick of further attempts in 2011 and 2014 to fuse together different groups and dislodge PDP from governance.

”The key to his thinking which coincides with mine is that Nigeria can only be successfully managed by alliances between major groups.

”Although we failed in 2011, but by persistence and knowledge that PDP was driving the country towards disaster, several major parties were able to finally coalesce into APC in 2014.

”Throughout the difficult negotiations, I found Akande truthful, steady and always with an eye to the ultimate goal.

”In or out of office, he has retained his inflexible integrity. A perfect gentleman. A perfect public officer,” he said.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday in Lagos, Akande urged Nigerians not to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the country’s current woes.

He said Nigerians often accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of being responsible for all that is wrong with the country, whereas the citizens are also the cause of such problems.

“I’m uncomfortable that each time our president is coming here, he’s always in a hurry,” Akande said.

“He is our president, you know. Be at dinner with us. Let our children eat with him, touch his clothes and let him know that we love him; make him feel younger. But they marched him in, thinking he’s still a soldier.

“They marched him in from the naval yard to Eko Hotel and they’re marching him back to Abuja for another event,  and maybe that’s the way they’ll march with him throughout today, throughout tomorrow.

“I thank you for coming. We love you because you love Nigeria. We love Nigeria and we want Nigeria to be united. We want Nigeria to be peaceful and we want Nigeria to be prosperous.

“You have a lot of jobs to do. It’s not yours alone but because you’re our leader, we accuse you of all that is wrong even though we know we are not honest ourselves.

“We know we are fraudulent; we know we are deceitful; we know we are cheaters; we know we are doing wrong; we blame you.

“I don’t sympathise with you. You applied for the job and you have the job. May your tenure be prosperous, may Nigeria be greater in your time,” Akande said.

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