The pioneer Interim National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, has described the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, as a blank politically-minded leader who does not have what it takes to contest political positions.
He stated this in his 559-page autobiography, titled ‘My Participations’, launched in Lagos on Thursday.
The former Osun State governor further said Adebanjo pestered the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to build him a house in Lekki, where he now resides.
He also stressed that contrary to what Adebanjo believed, the ruling APC did not have restructuring in its manifesto in 2014 when the party presented Buhari as its torchbearer, adding that the APC only promised to support devolution of powers from the centre to the states.
On page 476, Akande wrote, the “APC did not have ‘Restructuring’ in its manifesto for the 2015 elections but promised to support devolution of powers from the centre to the states.
“While the President (whether Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan or Buhari) has the whole of Nigeria as his constituency, members of the National Assembly that have the powers to amend the Constitution imposed on Nigeria by the military represent constituencies individually from different ethnic nationalities.
“It is therefore mischievous to place the responsibility for effecting ‘restructuring’ on the APC or its Presidency and not to appreciate that it would require deft negotiations among such members from different ethnic nationalities and constituencies or zonal and religious background before any political party or any ethnic nationality could successfully issue any fiat on the National Assembly to make laws on power devolution or on ‘restructuring’, whatever it might connote.”
The APC chieftain further alleged that the trio of Adebanjo, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi (now late), and Chief Olu Falae should have found younger Yoruba sons to represent the South-West at the 2014 National Conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan instead of pocketing “generous allowances” given to conference delegates.
Akande said, “I was not surprised that three old men who were virulently opposed to our aspirations in the APC found their ways into the Jonathan Conference. These men – Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Olu Falae were once our leaders in the old Afenifere until the passage of Papa Adesanya.
“They could not find any younger Yoruba to send to the conference to represent our interest. They believed, even in their old age, that they were the only people who could have gone there. Sir Ajayi, who was close to 90 at the time of the Conference, has since joined his ancestors. Chief Adebanjo celebrated his 90th birthday in 2018. Chief Falae is in his 80s. Note that Jonathan paid the conference delegates generous allowances!”
Reminiscing on the formation of Afenifere, the ex-governor of Osun State recalled that “Chief Olu Falae, a trained civil servant, who after retirement became decorated into leadership by his former military bosses, has since been trying to blindly straddle Nigeria’s complicated politics.
“The old Afenifere and PDP coalition was fronted by these three men and General Obasanjo. Chief Adebanjo, the most vociferous of them, is a blank politically-minded leader who recognises readily and always that he never has what it takes to aspire for high political positions.
“He constantly harbours lumps of yellow hate-bile in his heart for any co-political leader with brighter chances for any major public office within or outside his political party. Adebanjo detests all past governors produced by his party since the UPN days and proudly says so in his regular pontifications. I always passed him for a mere political agitator among the old local party paid canvassers euphemistically called ‘organising secretaries’.”
Continuing, Akande alleged that Adebanjo coerced Tinubu to build a house for him in the Lekki area of the state.
“One day, Sir Olaniwun was launching a book at Muson Centre, Lagos. After the book presentation, Tinubu said I should not go and that he would like to see me. We met in a small room where he also invited Sir Olaniwun Ajayi. ‘Papa, you can see that this document is old, Tinubu said as he handed over a big envelope to Ajayi. This is your C of O (Certificate of Occupancy)!’
“Tinubu told me later that after he presented Adebanjo’s C of O to him, Adebanjo was always pestering Tinubu until he helped built a house on the plot. The street was also named in honour of Adebanjo and he is living in that house now at Lekki Phase One,” Akande said.
When contacted on Friday, Adebanjo said he would give his response after carefully reading the book. “I’m not going to depend on hearsay; I am going to give a written reply after reading the book,” he said.