Former Minister of State for Defence and ex-Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro says he has the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu to thank for helping to resolve his rift with former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In an interview with Punch, Obanikoro said his reconciliation with Tinubu did not just happen overnight. He thanked the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and his personal friend, Kashim Imam, for facilitating 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”, Obanikoro said.
Asked if he has defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), he said; “Let me categorically tell you that the report that I have defected to the APC is a rumour and it is still a rumour. If a personality like me will leave the Peoples Democratic Party to join another party, it will be done in a grand way. I would call a press conference and tell the whole world that I am moving (to another party). I will also explain the reasons for my defection.”
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