My attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide that the party would not allow “a drug baron” and “criminal elements to usurp the leadership of the party in the zone.
Ordinarily, I would not have bothered to join issues with some failed politicians and people with doubtful followership.
However, since he made obvious reference to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, wherein Obasanjo rehashed some old worn-out tales about my person, I am left with no option but to respond accordingly.
If Chief Akinjide meant to repair his relationship with Chief Obasanjo after the allegation he levelled against him when his daughter was one of Obasanjo’s assistants as President, he has missed it. His daughter has a solid relationship with Obasanjo and she is still his staunch loyalist in spite of any pretensions.
On his unguarded comments about my person, every baby lawyer knows that an allegation or accusation does not amount to guilt or conviction. That is why it is said that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
Be that as it may, I cannot understand why I became the subject of their so-called South West PDP leaders’ meeting when the authentic leadership of the party in the zone consisting of the Zonal Caretaker Committee, the State Chairmen Forum, the Elders Committee, the Stakeholders Forum, the Organisation and Mobilisation Committee, the Women and Youth Fora, was the one that issued a statement dissociating itself from the meeting on the basis of the fact that it had held its meeting last week.
It is unfortunate that Chief Akinjide has joined the camp of those losing sleep over my modest activities within the party even when I was not a signatory to the statement by the Committee of States Executive and Stakeholders who called for a boycott of his so-called South West PDP leaders’ meeting. Or was he told that I was responsible for the boycott of the gathering by five of the six states chairmen and other stakeholders?
As an elderly person, one would have thought that Chief Akinjide would have restrained himself from joining the fray as I have always done even when his daughter and Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Olajumoke Akinjide, was going everywhere to malign me. One would have expected him to ask his daughter what she holds against me that I have become the subject of their ceaseless campaign of calumny. I am not the President who appoints or sacks anyone that falls short of his expectations. She has also not said any of my beautiful daughters or aides are struggling with her for the heart of any of her assistants.
But now that the old man has decided to join the fray and come to the market square to dance naked, I might be left with no option than to take him on. I am not a coward. I am a veteran of several battles. And I won’t run from this. For, as Okonkwo said in Things Fall Apart, ‘If a man comes to my hut and defecates on the floor, what do I do? Do I shut my eyes? No! I take the stick and break his head…’
Although there are no heads to be broken here and I do not intend to break any, it might be instructive to ask Baba Akinjide to tell Nigerians his role in Oyo PDP, let alone the South West. How many people have benefitted from his wealth and name, apart from his children? Even at that, the children are loggerheads with one another. Perhaps, he should first settle the ‘civil war’ in his family before attempting to dabble into the affairs of the Oyo State PDP and South West PDP, in that order. Or is it not said that charity begins at home?
My candid advice to Baba Akinjide is to concern himself with reconciliation and playing advisory role, especially now that he is over 90, for as Pa Edwin Clark, said ‘anyone that is 70 years and above is at the Departure Lounge, waiting for the Boarding Pass…’ Therefore, such person should be circumspect in whatever he does. However, if Baba Akinjide decides to ignore my advice and joins the fray, all I would say is that I wish him well. Bismillah!
As for the younger Akinjide (imagine the incongruity of a middle aged woman still bearing his father’s name), I advise her to go and resolve the problem of her so-called husband’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and bring him back to the PDP. That is only when she would have the moral justification to be talking about party cohesion. How many times has she atteneded any zonal meeting? What is her contribution to the growth of the party in her home state of Oyo and the zone in general?
Prince Buruji Kashamu.