Akiolu reconciled Tinubu and I —Obanikoro

Akiolu reconciled Tinubu and I —Obanikoro

Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro who was said to have begun a reconciliation process with his former political leader and leade

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Former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro who was said to have begun a reconciliation process with his former political leader and leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to enable him have a smooth transition from his party, the PDP to the ruling party, APC has opened up on how the reconciliation process happened. Excerpts of the interview below:

On what led to the reconciliation with Tinubu     
My reconciliation with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did not just happen overnight. I want to thank the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and my personal friend, Kashim Imam, for the reconciliation. The reconciliation was not meant to serve political interest but rather a personal and Lagos interest. Asiwaju and I belong to one family. If something untoward happens to a member of the family, we must see it as something that has happened to all of us. My relationship with Asiwaju prior to my defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, many years ago, was very cordial. I have also been close to kabiyesi (Oba Akiolu) to the extent that he got me enrolled in the Nigeria Police Force, when he was still an officer. I didn’t take the offer because as a young man then, I didn’t like the setup in the police. That was why I ran away. But I had already been enlisted as a cadet of the Nigeria Police Force from Lagos State. Oba Akiolu was shocked when he learnt that I didn’t take the offer. At a point, he started looking for me. He was really upset when he was told that I had returned to the United States. He wondered why I “wasted” the slot of Lagos State just like that. I share this incident to show you the extent of my closeness to kabiyesi. The issue did not, however, affect our relationship even up till today. So, he ensured the successful reconciliation.  As a Yoruba man, I believe that when an elder intervenes on your behalf with another elder, that should be the end of the issue. Whatever comes out of the reconciliation is final.

On being attacked by associates for defecting     
I was happy that the reconciliation was done successfully. As I have said earlier, a very good friend of mine was also involved in the process. What has happened to me as regards my relationship with Asiwaju Tinubu should serve as a good lesson to the younger generation. Whenever you play your politics, always have it at the back of your mind that when you have disagreements, politically with someone, leave personal relationship out of it. Don’t allow your disagreement to affect the personal relationship you have with that person. I was never comfortable all along that I lost personal relationship with Asiwaju Tinubu. We can always mend fences after political disagreements easily but it is the personal relationship that is crucial. There is also another person that I have been looking for a way to reconcile with. Don’t ask me for his name because I won’t tell you. We were extremely close before political difference tore our relationship apart. It is highly unfortunate that both of us allowed our disagreement politically to affect that relationship as friends. I will do everything possible to ensure that I reconcile with him too because he is also important to me.

On the initiator of the peace process                       
I don’t think that is of any importance. What is important is that Asiwaju and I have forgotten about the past and have reconciled. He is my leader, my elder brother and I respect him a lot.

On regaining trust with reconciled party leader and former colleagues     
I have always been faithful to whoever I worked with. I don’t know how to play hide-and-seek. If I am with you, I remain with you. I have never had divided loyalty. Talking about trust, even the people you are talking about know me very well. They know that my yes is yes and my no is no. Since I am not joining a secret cult but to join hands with people who we will both work together in the interest of the people, the issue you raised does not arise at all. As a progressive, I am not averse to progressive thinking.

On plans to contest on the platform of APC in 2019       
I have said it earlier that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is really working hard and that his performance is impressive. We have to do everything possible to support him so that he can continue the good work.

Punch