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If youíre honourable, resign now ÖGov Akala tells Atiku

Posted by By Christian Ita on 2006/04/16 | Views: 624 |

If youíre honourable, resign now ÖGov Akala tells Atiku


Oyo State Governor, Mr. Adebayo Alao-Akala says if the word honour meant anything to Vice President Atiku Abubakar, he should resign from office forthwith.

Oyo State Governor, Mr. Adebayo Alao-Akala says if the word honour meant anything to Vice President Atiku Abubakar, he should resign from office forthwith.

Atiku had recently criticised the perceived third term ambition of President Olusegun Obasanjo, necessitating calls from some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he should quit his office.

Upping the scale, the vice president has formally declared interest in the nationís No 1 job come next general elections.
Akala, in an exclusive interview with Sunday Sun, said since Atiku no longer enjoys the confidence of the President, the only honourable thing for him to do is resign from office, adding, "An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.

If you must contest, resign your position and when you are on the other side, you can contest. But as long as you are a part of the system, do not condemn it."
The governor who dwelled extensively on the Obasanjo/Atiku face-off gave reasons why he thinks the President should seek tenure extension. Here are excerpts:


Last week, Vice President Atiku Abubakar challenged President Olusegun Obasanjo by coming out to say he wants to contest the presidency in 2007?
Who says Atiku should not contest if he wants to contest? If he knows that people will accept him, why not?


Some people are calling on him to resign?
Donít you think it is honourable for him to resign? Donít you think so? For Godís sake, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must contest, resign your position and when you are on the other side, you can contest but as long as you are a part of the system, do not condemn it. If you do, the first wind that comes along would blow you away and you may never know why. If he wants to run against Obasanjo let him resign.

He was molested last weekend in Lagos by some PDP members. How did you receive the news?
I condemn those who did it. They shouldnít have done it. For God sake, he is still the Vee Pee. They are just trying to exercise their rights as Nigerians though. They did not beat or stone him. They were just carrying placards.


What is your attitude to 3rd term?
For Godís sake, if somebody is good, let him continue. If the constitution can be amended to permit it then, so be it. How many extensions has the Prime Minister of Great Britain (Tony Blair) had? Look at (President Hosni) Mubarak of Egypt. How many terms has he had? Let me tell you something. You knew what happened when Ghanaians were running to Nigeria (in the 1980s) because of their economy. (President Jerry) Rawlings was able to stabilize the economy of Ghana because he stayed there for long. We are not disciplined.

If we have somebody fighting corruption, somebody who is disciplined, trying to bring the international community to accept us then why canít he continue for Godís sake?
Because of the way he (Rawlings) came to power, he was able to stabilize the economy in Ghana. Go to Ghana now, they celebrated one year without blackout recently. At that time (in the 80s), the fear of Rawlings was the beginning of wisdom (in Ghana). Why canít Obasanjo stay if he is good? Donít you want him to stay? Are you not enjoying? Look at your GSM (pointing at the reporterís Nokia handset). Also, nobody can molest you internationally. Obasanjo is not looking for money. He just wants his country to be a nice place for any body to stay. We are not saying that he is indispensable.


Last week, the VeePee said that the reason why 3rd term is a hard sell is that those proposing it have not been able to muster sufficient national following. That goes back to the states. Oyo has three senators, where do you stand and how would they vote?
Donít forget that the constitution we are practising now was written by the military. In the preamble, it is written that ĎWe the people of Nigeriaí.. Who are the Nigerians who sat there to make that constitution? It is now that we have our representatives who can now fashion another constitution for us. That is exactly what we are going to do.

I am not going to persuade or lobby. They have their independent minds. You just told me now that somebody (Alhaji Lamidi Adedidu) bought cars for them (18 House of Assembly members who caused the impeachment of Governor Rasheed Ladoja three months ago). I canít buy bicycles for them. I am not their boss. They are on their own. I believe strongly in the separation of powers.


Your Excellency, you have done close to three months in office now. How has it been?
It has been very good. I am enjoying my being here. I am trying to justify my being here.


What I mean is that you were deputy governor but in the past four three months you have been governor. As a deputy, your job description is quite different from what it is now. What I am saying is that how has the transformation been?
There has been nothing. Now as the man in charge, the bulk stops at my table, that is just the difference. I have been part of the system before. I am not finding it difficult at all.


When you were deputy, of course you were not on the firin- line?
I am still not in the firing line at all because I have been used to all this kind of things before. I even enjoy working under pressure.


What is the relationship between you and your former boss, Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja?
Cordial.


When last did you speak?
A long time ago.


How come it is cordial when you only spoke with him a very long time ago?
If you have a friend and you have not seen that your friend for a very long time, the fact that I have not seen him does not mean that the relationship is not cordial. It does not mean that we are no more friends.


He had accused you of being treacherous and called you a traitor and all that?
I think that he was misquoted.

It was repeatedly said?
I am very sure that he was misquoted because if you look at it, you know what it is to be a traitor. I have not betrayed him in any way because the constitution said that if he did this and is removed, I have to be there. So what is treacherous about that? I did not plan to be here.


He would have thought that when he was in trouble, you probably should have stood by him?
I should have declined? How could I decline the position of governor when the Constitution says that I should be governor when he is no longer there?


I do remember that in the heat of that crisis, there was footage on the television. Ladoja said that he was coming to the office to resume duty and you said that if he tried it he was going to regret it. You quite clearly drew the battle- line?
If a king is in the palace and another king seems to be coming to the palace, wonít there be chaos? That king who is already in the palace must take care of the security of the palace so an intruder cannot come and disturb the peace of the palace. I have told you that there cannot be two kings in one palace.


Coming from somebody, who until then was your boss, the view is that it was rather too harsh?
I have not seen anything harsh about this. When a king has been deposed and another king has been enthroned and that other king that has been banished would now say he wants to come back. Is it not going to cause trouble? For him not to cause trouble, you should curtail him so that he would stay clear. That is exactly what I am saying. It is just people who are misconstruing my statements.


While you were deputy, you belonged to the category that could be described as the "marginalised spare tyre". I do remember that the relationship here wasnít that good. Is that a correct reading?
It is not a correct reading even though I donít know what you mean by nice. One thing I know is this, when you are not in-charge, you just wait for your time, that is my background. I come from a disciplined background where you have to wait for your time and that is what I was doing then. The Constitution says that when the governor is not there, I can deputise for him. Secondly, I can also do any duty assigned to me by the governor.

He did not assign any duty to me. I was keeping quiet. There were some constitutional rights that he could not take from me that I was performing.


He was downed as it were by Alaafin Molete, that is Adedubu. What is your relationship with Alhaji Adedibu now?
We are having a very cordial relationship. He is my godfather and my leader.
Adedibu used to talk about having a third of the security votes. Have you been giving him his own share?
I am on salary. What is security vote? Security vote is for the security of the state. Why should I give him any money? I am not giving him kobo.


We heard about altercation while you were trying to raise your cabinet, that you had your own nominees and he had his?
He is entitled to bring his own nominees. He brought his own and I brought mine.


The breaking news today is that he (Adedibu) bought cars for legislators. What is your take?
That is his business. He has his style of politics. That is his business, it is not mine. I donít feel threatened by that. What would happen? Everybody wants to walk taller than his opponent does in politics.


Between now and 2007, do you think that you can achieve all that you have in mind for the state?
Yes, I would make sure of that. I can do it. Everybody has access to me. Every month, I am on Oyo State TV, let them say what they want to say, let them complain. There is no censorship. Let them say what they want to say. Let me listen to their complaints. I donít know why Ladoja was not doing it, probably he was camera-shy.


Will you run for 2007 elections?
I have never had any inordinate ambition as a politician. I always read the mood of the electorate. I want to use the little time I have to make my mark and win the hearts of the electorate then I would be able to take a decision if I could run or not.

But definitely, I cannot tell you that I am going for it or not now but I am not waiting for any God. If you are making the people happy, they would want you to continue. I want to concentrate on my job and make a difference so that things will not continue to be as they are.


 

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.