Chief Olabode George is a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this interview with The Independent’s Temidayo Akinsuyi, he speaks on Saturday’s Presidential election, developments in Lagos and other issues. Excerpts:
The 2019 presidential election takes place this Saturday. What is your message to Nigerians?
For those who have been making inciting statements, what message do you have for them?
There are some people who have been making unsavoury comments, saying foreign observers will go back to their countries in bodybags. Is that not the peak of lunacy? Foreign observers are coming to monitor elections, and you, a senior public official said they will go back in bodybags? For a man that educated to be running riot is alarming. He should withdraw that statement and admit that it was a slip of the tongue. It is unacceptable, scandalous and absolutely sacrilegious.
Given the roles allegedly played by the security agencies in previous elections, especially the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun, as a retired senior officer in the Nigerian Navy, what is your admonition to the security agencies?
They should remember that they took an oath to defend the lives and properties of the people of this country. They are not enemies of Nigeria. They are Nigerians and so it will be illogical and unreasonable to turn weapons against your fellow countrymen. Those who are young now may not remember the crisis of 1963 in Western region when the elections were openly rigged. That little crisis which people dismissed that it was just within the Western region engulfed Nigeria into a civil war. No nation goes into a civil war twice and survived. We love peace and sanity.
We want good governance; we want an administration that will improve the economy, give jobs to the people; that will allow people to live anywhere they want without any encumbrances. The days of these tribal madness and religious bigotry that people have been playing can no longer old. I am a Christian. My older sister got married to a Muslim. Today, she is an Alhaja but she is still my sister. Your religious beliefs are your religious beliefs. It has nothing to do with your managerial skills.
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