I won’t renounce citizenship again despite Tinubu’s victory – Lagos ex-dep gov

Former deputy governor of Lagos State in the course of the Michael Otedola administration, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, tells DANIEL AYANTOYE how her relationship with the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, went bitter and her concern a couple of Tinubu presidency

You latterly stated you’d resign your citizenship if the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, was sworn in on Might 29. Are you able to shed extra gentle on why you made that assertion?

All my life, I’ve averted all the pieces unethical. I’ve averted conditions that may put me able the place I can’t clarify myself. I’ve no private points with him (Tinubu). He misunderstood my presence at a courtesy name by former President Olusegun Obasanjo once I was within the Federal Character Fee and determined to strike. He struck and took my land. I used to be in a unique political celebration anyway so we weren’t buddies. All that point he was going by way of his issues with Obasanjo, he most likely believed that I used to be taking sides however I wasn’t. So Obasanjo visited Lagos for a programme and I used to be invited. I entered the assembly and he walked me out of the assembly however apparently I didn’t communicate with the press as a result of I met his (Tinubu’s) spouse outdoors and she or he knelt down saying that I shouldn’t inform the press. I used to be prepared to do this however what she stated calmed me.

Are you saying your relationship with Tinubu while you had been on the FCC led to a disagreement between you two Tinubu?

Sure, it’s and it was additionally the explanation why my husband died. My husband died due to Lagos. My husband was poisoned by the meals he took at a membership. I warned him when he was relating with individuals who had been Tinubu’s beneficiaries and he was at all times saying Lagos deserved higher by way of the administration of the workplace (of the governor). Even Tinubu challenged him on the VIP lounge (of the membership), telling him that he understood why he (my husband) was abusing him and he (my husband) stated he by no means abused him however informed Tinubu that the sources of the state might be higher managed. And my husband got here residence and informed me.

So on the day he was poisoned, he got here residence sooner than anticipated and complained about his abdomen. He stated he ate within the membership and I informed him I had warned him and that was the place the issue began.

How do you know that he was poisoned?

I knew he was poisoned as a result of after we had been having his funeral, the individuals he used to get pleasure from himself with on the membership refused to attend his funeral and so they warned that whosoever got here to the funeral could be in for it. I received to know (about that) and invited them and after they got here, I challenged them. I requested them why they didn’t attend his funeral however they had been giving totally different excuses. I informed them that my husband despatched me a message to them to remind all people that “loss of life is turn-by-turn”.

Did your husband inform you that?

 True, he informed me that I ought to inform whoever was mocking him, that loss of life is turn-by-turn. He used to take Scotch and goes to the opposite room (within the membership) the place individuals ate. The next morning, he was in agony, his stool was black. The physician stated he was already bleeding inside.

What do you assume led to the disagreement between your husband and the powers that be?

The problem with him began with not wanting Lagos indigenes to be marginalised and wanting a greater use of the state’s sources. I used to be shocked after they stated they had been utilizing Lagos as a template for efficiency. Lagos can’t be a template for efficiency for anyone. Take the estimate and actuals, they don’t correlate. So, the place is the cash? That’s the reason some persons are saying that the monetary e book of Lagos State can’t come into the open. I’m not preventing anyone however I do know Nigeria generally is a dream nation for all of us. So individuals who must be up and doing and say this factor will not be proper. Why are our kids going to locations the place affairs are managed correctly? Being black does it imply not being wise. Our nation should put issues proper for all these japa to cease. I’ve nothing private in opposition to Bola Tinubu however I imagine he doesn’t qualify to be my President.

Is your choice to resign your citizenship primarily based on concern of what he (Tinubu) can do after he’s sworn in?

No. All alongside, despite the fact that I didn’t shout about it once I met buddies near him (Tinubu) and quietly informed them to speak to him to let the governor pay my entitlement, they promised to look into it however I didn’t hear from them, however certainly one of them stated, “Simply care for your self, that’s all am going to say. Simply watch out.” I requested why and he replied, “This your scenario with this man, I don’t perceive it. After I talked about it to him, he requested me, ‘Is she nonetheless round?’” That’s a bit too heavy.

I now got here out and stated, I’d resign Nigerian citizenship if this man turns into the President. After they stated he was the President-elect, I stated it was time to resign (my citizenship). If it isn’t a risk to my life, I’ll nonetheless undergo as a result of I do know that all the pieces that has a starting will need to have an finish, but it surely shouldn’t finish with my life. What did I do this should finish with my life? What’s my offence that it should finish with my life? It has already ended with my husband’s life. Should I open my eyes and permit it to finish with my very own life too? So, whoever is saying one factor or the opposite, ought to concern God as a result of they don’t know half of what has gone down, or what goes down. That’s the reason I sympathise with this nation as a result of if any individual who’s vindictive turns into the President, many individuals are in bother as a result of I’m positive many individuals have offended him or perhaps many are usually not speaking, they are going to simply journey out.

Has anybody suggested you to withdraw your assertion? 

That is the place one other facet got here in. Renouncing now could be one other downside as a result of a Muslim scholar informed me that I misinterpret the Quran. He requested me whether or not Prophet Mohammed (SAW) renounced his affiliation with Mecca regardless of the loss of life risk he received. So, I can’t reject Nigeria. He stated even when I stated I wished emigrate, there have been situations connected to it.

Does that imply you have got withdrawn your choice to resign your citizenship?

I had already taken a step concerning the nation whose citizenship I’ll take however I used to be suggested by individuals to not ponder going anyplace and these are individuals whose items of recommendation I can’t reject.

The Muslim neighborhood approached me. Some stated I ought to perhaps proceed to maintain quiet. However what I maintain telling them is that to the most effective of my information, I didn’t offend him (Tinubu) to the extent that it turned a loss of life risk. If there may be extra to it, he ought to convey it out in order that it may be resolved. So, it isn’t the query of paying my emolument alone; it’s now the query of what I could have completed that might have led to his assertion, “Is she nonetheless round?’.

How will you assess the end result of the presidential election and who do you assume gained the ballot?

My very own opinion is that Nigerians didn’t vote for Bola Tinubu to be President. Who did he impress together with his look throughout campaigns or speeches? One thing will not be clear. It’s both individuals have been duped or are downright immoral, and simply ready for his or her flip to reap. Is both that or there are extra darkish forces at play for him to have been stated to have gained the election? As former governor (Lateef) Jakande stated, Bola Tinubu has monetised politics. I do know the All Progressives Congress is the ruling celebration however have a look at all the federal government insurance policies placing individuals into struggling. Are you now telling me they went there (to the polls) to vote for his or her oppressor?

Most people supporting Tinubu right this moment are usually not supporting him as a result of they imagine in him however as a result of they imagine he’ll open the chance for them to make it in an immoral method. That’s the reason I stated I used to be harm and I’m interesting to God; this stuff must cease. Pastors, bishops, and alfas are praying for Tinubu to get there (to turn out to be the President) in order that he can fund them. Who’re they for, for God or themselves?

You stated you had been ostracised and humiliated in locations the place it is best to have been honoured. Inform us about among the situations the place this stuff occurred.

I attended state capabilities however was not acknowledged. Even the governor’s spouse would roughly mildly humiliate one. I, Sinatu, am not that quiet relating to preventing for rights however I realise that if I had fought, my individuals would undergo, and my household and buddies would undergo. All of them have one thing to do with the federal government. I don’t need anybody to undergo due to me, that was why I tolerated most of what was occurring. On the fiftieth anniversary of Lagos State, I used to be disregarded. When names had been talked about, go and ask, my title was given and it was eliminated. I’m what you may name in Yoruba ‘abagi ma ya’. God has given me the energy of character.

So as to add provocation to humiliation, I used to be provoked however refused to react as a result of I do know the explanation for provocation was to please their boss and acquire favour. There was a day I visited the primary woman (the governor’s spouse) to speak a couple of girl that died because of childbirth. There was nothing fallacious with the girl however the childbirth was mismanaged. Folks got here to me and I took it as much as meet with Sanwo Olu’s spouse. She was not there, although she gave me an appointment. We waited and when she returned, she forgot that I used to be a former deputy governor however I informed her I don’t go to first women.

As you stated earlier, Tinubu’s supporters imagine he can repair Nigeria the way in which he fastened Lagos. As a former deputy governor of Lagos, are you impressed with the extent of improvement within the state?

It’s retrogression not development. Anytime I determine to take a  shortcut on the roads, I remorse it and that’s the reason the visitors is killing all people on the freeway. Training will not be the place it must be. I do know (the Governor, Babajide) Sanwo-Olu, is making an attempt to do what he thinks is the most effective however I feel the most effective will not be but ok however am praying he’ll use his second time period, he’ll use it to do extra. The blueprint that they stated they’ve for Lagos, they need to convey it out. Let all of us see it. The blueprint that made them take away (a former governor, Akinwunmi) Ambode, allow them to convey it out.

Allow us to enumerate the event they’ve made vis-à-vis the cash generated and the indebtedness and justify what the cash was used for. When the Vice President-elect talked about that they had been utilizing Lagos as a template, all people who has seen Lagos laughed. The event has not been on the fee it must be. They informed Ambode that was making an attempt to construct bridges that they didn’t ship him, that their pockets had been empty, and that Ambode was not a celebration man. I don’t need to make extra enemies than I’ve made already.

You stated the Nationwide Meeting system is just too costly for Nigeria. What system will you suggest?

They (the Senate and the Home of Representatives) might merge. Half-time laws might be one other good suggestion. My father was a member of the parliament and he was a part-time legislator.

Some individuals have criticised Tinubu for holding Lagos to ransom as a godfather, what is going to you say about this?

Tinubu didn’t maintain Lagos to ransom. Greed holds Lagos to ransom and Tinubu simply exploited it. It’s the greed of Lagosians that held them to ransom and it’s nonetheless holding them to ransom.

Some stated you had been in search of an appointment from Tinubu. Is that true?

No, our morals are usually not the identical. I stepped out from the FCC even when the remuneration was much more as a result of I noticed some practices I couldn’t stand. I don’t need any appointment; even the one they gave me I didn’t take. I’ve been known as to chair the boards of banks however I refused. I’m not in search of something in Nigeria apart from for Nigeria to turn out to be a nation that I will probably be happy with. That’s the reason I’m speaking about restructuring and I feel Bola Tinubu would be the final particular person that may implement restructuring as a result of he likes energy however I’m praying that if he will get there, he’ll restructure as a result of he fought (former President Goodluck) Jonathan, Obasanjo on restructuring. Now, it’s his flip and he may even put his title on a marble.

There was a report that you just had been arrested over land points. How did that later play out?

Some individuals tried to scandalise me that I stole a chunk of land. It was solely God that saved me from (going to) jail as a result of all the pieces was set for me to be taken to court docket and remanded in custody, which might have been a dent in my life and all the pieces I stood for.

 I didn’t take any land. It was a case of mistaken identification and the person (claimant) was already receiving (his cash), so the case was discharged. Nevertheless, some stated I used to be not acquitted and I’ve been asking them after that. I wrote that I wished the case to return to court docket for an acquittal. The officer in cost was known as however there was no file. It was an order from above.

If you happen to meet Tinubu, what is going to you inform him?

I’ll first ask him what my offence was as a result of for you to have the ability to grasp points and settle, you need to know what’s at stake, and what’s actually the issue. I’ll inform him to please clarify to me how I’ve wronged him as a result of I see his kids and household. We’re not enemies.

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