By Segun Olubayo
A renowned Yoruba elder and a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, has described the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as liars.
George who was speaking in defense of the claims by Kola Abiola, the son of MKO Abiola who said Tinubu lobbied to be made an Administrator, or a Commissioner when General Sani Abacha sacked the ING led by Chief Ernest Shonekan, said that Abiola Junior was right.
George said that all those defending Tinubu against that claim do not truly know anything about the man called Tinubu as himself who was in the military and present when Tinubu made the plea to Abacha.
According to George, “I have nothing personal against Tinubu. I don’t hate him. We may not be in the same political party and there is no big deal about that. Nigeria’s constitution guarantees freedom of association.
“On this issue of Kola’s claims, I’m saying nothing but the truth. Kola Abiola was right. Tinubu begged Abacha to make him an administrator or a state commissioner. I was in the military that time, and I was in Aso Rock with Gen. Abacha and Gen. Oladipo Diya who was then Chief of General Staff to Abacha.
“I was the Principal Staff Officer I to Gen. Diya. I was then a Commodore in the Nigerian Navy. The equivalent of that rank in the Army is a Brigadier-General.
“Unfortunately, many Nigerians don’t know this. Most Nigerians only know Bode George as a politician. Back to what transpired then between Abacha and Tinubu.
“Tinubu came to Aso Rock to lobby for these positions but already the military had taken decisions that Abacha’s regime was going to be purely a military regime unlike that of Babangida who appointed civilians as deputy governors to military governors then.
“On the day, the Abacha’s government took that decision, it was taken in Lagos at Air Force Mess at Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island. Military officers present were from the rank of Lt.-Colonel and above.
“When the question was put to the military gathering as to whether civilians should be accommodated or given some roles in the new military government, all the officers present in unison and overwhelmingly rejected the idea. I was part of the military gathering that day.
“Tinubu actually came to lobby to be made a commissioner but when he was told about the military decision, he became sad. He wasn’t happy and that was when he went to join the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), and other pro-democracy activists.”
Speaking further, George made it clear that Tinubu never fought for democracy as he claimed stating that his inability to get the post he asked Abacha for pushed him to claim he was pro democracy.
“If Abacha had given him the positions he lobbied for, Tinubu would have been part of Abacha’s government. Unfortunately some of these people defending Tinubu and now attacking both myself and Kola Abiola don’t know all these that I’m revealing.
“I’m saying it again categorically that it was when Tinubu didn’t get appointment from the Abacha’s government that he, out of frustration and anger went to join NADECO.
“I challenge Tinubu to a public debate on this. I challenge Tinubu to a public debate on any national television station either here in Nigeria or abroad. I’m even ready to face him on CNN or BBC on this issue.
“I’m calling out Tinubu, he should take up my challenge. Even if he said we should go to a graveyard to face one another on this issue, I’m ready to face him.
“For those defending Tinubu, have they seen Tinubu coming out to speak personally or issue a personal statement on Kola Abiola’s claims and my support for Kola Abiola?
“I’m talking about people like former Lagos State APC chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale, former NUPENG President, Joseph Akinlaja and others who have become Tinubu’s defenders on this issue.
“If these people don’t know about what transpired during the June 12 crisis, they should keep quiet instead of defending what is not defensible, I say once again, Tinubu should come and face me in a public debate on this issue if he believes I’m not saying the truth.
“General Diya, and Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola who later became Lagos State Military Governor were some of the witnesses to what I’m saying.
“If Abacha had agreed with Tinubu, Tinubu would have become Deputy Governor to Oyinlola. Both Oyinlola and Tinubu are brothers. They are both from Osun State. Tinubu is from Iragbiji while Oyinlola is from Okuku.
“Nigerians should ask Oyinlola if I’m lying. Facts are facts, Tinubu can’t deny that he lobbied Abacha to be made a commissioner or deputy governor to Oyinlola. I’m putting all these together in my memoirs, which will be out very soon.”
Speaking on the issue of security and the statement of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo when he went to America, George said it was unfortunate to hear Osinbajo lying on an international stage.
“Look at the way the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was trying to downplay the seriousness of the issue when he recently travelled to the United States of America where he met the US Vice President, Mike Pence.
“Haba! Prof. Osinbajo, how can you be lying or not saying the truth about the situation of things in your country? Unfortunately for Osinbajo, the world is now a global village.
“Although Osinbajo tried to hide the truth about Nigeria from Pence, but those people in America and other countries of the world know that bandits, kidnappers and abductors are having a field day in Nigeria, and this is why some of those countries including the United States issued warning alerts to their citizens coming to Nigeria and those resident in Nigeria.
“My advice to Osinbajo is that he should be careful. The job he is holding on to will end one day, and there will be a day after his job, and when that period comes what will he tell Nigerians? Will he be able to look Nigerians in the face?
FROM THE TOWER OF TRUTH