Former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, has admonished that ahead of the 2019 general elections, the qualities of those jostling to be governors must be critically x-rayed critically.
Chief Osoba who also stated that despite President Obasanjo’s powers, they (former governors) were able to “cage him”, adding that the earlier set of governors of Nigeria had, played politics across political lines.
Osoba was speaking on behalf of former governors who were present at the book presentation/launch titled “It Is Well With My Soul” as part of activities marking Obong Victor Attah’s 80th birthday celebration, in Abuja, yesterday.
“One good thing during our time is that we don’t know the parties the governors belong to. The then President Olusegun Obasanjo dare not play with any of us governors. Obong Attah is of the PDP while I was of the AD and the AD group like Adefarasin, Akande, Lam Adesina were old and when we speak on issue, to our surprise, Obong who is of the PDP, will pick it up from there and contribute intellectually to our stand. It is as a result of our style of leadership that we were able to cage Obasanjo.
“I use the word seriously because Abdulsami Abubakar left some money to be distributed to the governors but the first thing Obasanjo did was to seize the money and used it to buy vehicle for the Local Governments. We kicked, went to court and won.
“On fiscal responsibility, he said he will not implement section 8 where all revenue were to go into an account where it will be distributed according to the constitution but when it became impossible, we went to court and won. In all of these, Obong Attah was in the forefront of the war we fought not just resource control.
While admonishing Nigerians ahead of 2019, Chief Osoba said: “I want to appeal to all of us to go back to the characters that form governors in 1992 and 1999. I said this seriously because those of us that are governors 26 years ago had exposure.
“John Oyegun was perhaps the youngest permanent secretary, Chukwuemeka Ezeife was a former Permanent Secretary, I was the former Managing a Director of a Daily Times and I can go rolling the background of those of us governors then and none of us can be described as where are they coming from.
“We need to go back to that especially these days of governor of any kind should stop. As governors we did not discriminate against each other along party level,”.
Among dignitaries who graced the occasion Senator Udo Udoma, represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Udom Emmanuel, Frmr. Gov. Godswill Akpabio., Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Farida Waziri, former EFCC chair, APC Chairman , Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Senator Ibrahim Mantu., Sen Ita Enang, Book reviewer, Ray Ekpo.
Others are Moses Ekpo, Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, representative of Etsu Nupe, Senator Ken Nnamani, Former APC Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun, Prof ABC Nwosu, Former Health minister, Ogbonnaya Onu, Gen Aliyu Gusau.
Rev Dr Anselm Umomoren, Chairman, Auxiliary Bishop of Abuja, represented His Eminence, John Cardinal Onayekan who is in New York for a meeting.