Politics is a funny thing, in a jiffy former comrades can turn into fiercest of enemies while bitterest opponents can become best of associates. Political water swarms treacherously with treachery. Like a philosopher noted, interest alone could be trusted and is the virtue that guides our affairs emphasizing that consideration for justice is really secondary. Nigerian situation is even more appalling, its total lack of ideology ensures that unscrupulousness pervades the system. “Self” is the king; associates second; and people far third.
This invasive practice is what has reared its ugly head again as alluded to by a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Alhaja Mulikat Akande-Adeola, when she bemoaned what she described as her shabby treatment in the hands of the incumbent governor of Oyo state, Engr. Seyi Makinde.
Mulikat was so close to the governor before and immediately after the election that brought Makinde in, in 2019 that she was fondly addressed as “Iya Gomina” by her supporters, which illustrates how deep and important their relationship was. Even as it is said that Mulikat facilitated the clinching of the PDP governorship ticket by Makinde against Senator Ayoade Adeseun, leveraging on her influence at the national level, Makinde being a greenhorn in the party then.
But soon after swearing-in, Mulika became alienated from the seat of power and the term “Iya Gomina” gradually faded into oblivion. The two tried to patch things, giving the impression that all was well, shielding their estranged relationship from the public but that has come into the open, with the way she undeniably belled the cat as revealed in this report.
During a radio interview granted Hon. Akande-Adeola by a popular radio station in Ibadan at the weekend and monitored by ogbomosoinsightonline.com, she said her abandonment after the 2019 guber election was a surprise she least expected and did not deserve taking cognizance of her humongous contributions to the electoral victory of the governor.
The chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lamented, “I feel used, l feel dumped. I think this was the situation from day one but l didn’t see it, l was just like PDP must win, PDP must win. That was what l was saying.”
She disclosed that she was also betrayed in her bid for the Senate to represent Oyo North senatorial district, asserting, “Even my own senatorial election, those l thought we were together worked against me so that l would not be able to succeed.”
She however went philosophical submitting, “But you see, at the end of the day what l concluded is that what will be, will be. Almighty God has said that at an appointed time whatever l want for you will come to fruition. He is not going to ask anybody, ‘l want to make Mulikat president,’ He will not ask anybody but make sure that those who will actualize it He will get them to do it. I leave everybody to their conscience, whatever it is.”
Obinrin Rere as she is fondly called now went on to tender apology to all those she said she led to work and vote for Governor Makinde.
“And l have always said it that anytime l come on air l will apologize to all those that felt misled by my leadership because a lot of people believed in me and a lot of people felt we had to support whatever it is l was supporting.
“And l was also in the forefront, convincing people, so, for people like Governor (Rashidi) Ladoja, l don’t think we have met once since then, and l know he is not really happy with me, even in Ogbomoso l stepped on toes and a lot of people were not happy with me because l supported Governor Seyi Makinde, all those people l apologize to. They say ‘omode o ki mo ori je ki o mon ra lowo’ (the effrontery of a child even if successful will still leave him with consequences).
“I was blinded by the success l wanted for PDP and nothing more, it was nothing personal. And coming to Senator (Ayo) Adeseun, people told me that when he came here (Fresh FM) also, he alluded to the fact that we are getting what we bargained for.”
Mulikat emphasized nevertheless that it was not about regretting her actions as insinuated by Senator Adeseun, averring, “Even also him (Adeseun), l have seen only once or twice since then, so, it is not about regretting my action, l was doing it for the party, l was doing it for PDP. But what he also said was that we thought we could control Governor Seyi Makinde, no, everyone that knows me, knows l am not that kind of person.
“There was no way, l was working because l felt PDP should win the election and then for PDP members and the electorates in Oyo state to get what they want in this government. It wasn’t about me, if it was about controlling the governor, we would have sat him down and begun to bargain for what we wanted in his government but that never happened, not even for one day.”
It was thought at the time Makinde was forming his cabinet that Akande-Adeola would emerge as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), but it never was so. She explained what transpired. “I was not even interested, l told Governor Seyi Makinde when he came to my house in Abuja that, ‘me as a person, l don’t want any position in your government.’ But you see the people from Ogbomoso began to feel as if they will be shortchanged in the government; the governor from Ibadan, the Chief of Staff from Oyo, the Deputy Governor from Oke-Ogun.
“My people from Ogbomoso kept insisting on the SSG position, they said, “Mulika, we want SSG, you are close to Governor Seyi Makinde, go and tell him.’ They held a meeting at Ring Road in Ibadan, they said, ‘we heard you were saying you don’t want anything, it is you we want to be SSG, it is only you that can be SSG that will profit Ogbomoso, so, go and tell him.’ Dr. Saka Balogun was in that meeting, he even asked me, ‘did you people discuss it?’ And l said ‘no, we did not discuss it, so, you are just sending me to the governor to deliver a message.’
“I saw him and l told him (this was after l had told him l didn’t want anything), so, l told him we had a meeting, and Ogbomoso people are saying they wanted SSG, that you had given Oyo, Chief of Staff; Oke-Ogun has gotten Deputy Governor; you are from Ibadan, so, Ogbomoso should get SSG. And they said l had to be the SSG. You know l told you l didn’t want it, I live in Abuja and I don’t intend moving to Oyo state. I told you earlier l didn’t want any position but this is what my people are saying, if it is a sacrifice l would make for Ogbomoso, l am ready to do it if it is okay by you.’
“But he said no that he had already started talking to someone about the issue of SSG. So, for me who didn’t even want it in the first instance, l quickly said ‘okay, that is fine. But what will be my own gain in this administration, I mean what are you going to give to us?’ He told me the appointment of Chief Bisi Ilaka was not about Oyo but that he is his personal friend. ‘But the people out there won’t know, they only know these are important arms and should be shared justifiably for everyone to feel they are being carried along,’ I told him.
“That day, he told me to choose two commissioners of my choice but that I should pick among the five names he was going to give me. He said it was personal to me and not about Ogbomoso. And of course, I made up my mind that I was going to pick one from Oke-Ogun, having contested Senate election and one from Ogbomoso. But it never came to pass.
“Even the issue of Commissioner for Works (Professor Raphael Afonja), you know that was the last Commissioner that came on board, so, you will understand what happened, it is the governor that can explain why that went that way. Even nominating Afonja because for me since we agreed on two and none worked, so, left to me, if he had asked me I would have told him there was no need to bring another. But you know our supporters.
“Because for me I believe what will be, will be. And everything has a season, everything has a time, if we agreed on something and you did not do it, as far as I am concerned that is very, very grievous. He now later said Commissioner for Works I should get somebody.
“He even said I should bring my daughter to be given commissioner but I said my daughter is not a politician. She didn’t do anything, so, there is no way I am going to bring my daughter to be commissioner. And he later removed Afonja whom he told to choose between his job and Mulika. If really Afonja was my nominee before he removed him he should have told me but he never told me. They just sacked him even when he didn’t do anything. But all that is bygone. We have a lot ahead of us.
“We are in government people are expecting so much and people are also wondering what is going to happen come 2023, so, for me, like I keep saying, it is about the party and I have also told you that given another opportunity I will do a lot of things differently. You can only talk about what you feel and what you are planning to do, you don’t know what other people are planning, so, it is difficult for me here to be saying any other thing other than the fact that I am in PDP, and I worked for PDP.
“When Ajimobi was there I never passed in front of the government house not to talk of going there, that was not my party, I didn’t have any business with the government but this one that is my party, I don’t I know anything about the government. So, I want to plead with you don’t ask me anything about what is going on.”
She also spoke on the advisory council set up by Governor Seyi Makinde after his victory which has now become moribund revealing it was started in her house.
“Even the issue of advisory council we discussed it in my house (in Ibadan) because we were like the kitchen cabinet to the governor. Immediately after the election we asked him for a meeting, and he said where? I said in his house. But he replied in my house. We always held meetings in my house, so, he came that day but Hosea Agboola did not come and it was at the meeting he said he was going to have an advisory council of elders, that he would carry everybody along and all that. About two or three weeks after, they made the announcement of the advisory council.
“But I asked him that day why Senator Hosea Agboola did not attend the meeting, he said he sent his apology, I said you shouldn’t be the one tendering apology on his behalf, you should have told him to come to this meeting because this is a very crucial meeting, that it means you knew why he was not here, not knowing he had already sworn never to come to my house any longer.
“Whatever it is I don’t know because immediately after the election I began to hear all kinds of things, and all they did. So, he didn’t turn up for that meeting. He put me in the advisory committee, and I felt okay this would be an avenue through which we can air our views, where we can talk to the governor on issues and he would understand. And then he was sworn-in, after which we had our inaugural meeting. I think I attended two of those meetings before I stopped attending in December 2019.
“And some issues led to that and I just decided to pull back because if I cannot contribute, if my views cannot be heard and my people are not being carried along despite all what we did there is no need to come and be sitting in that meeting, what am I advising? And for me in Abuja I have a lot to do as well. I decided to just let them do what they like, whatever they call me to see is what I will see, let me just stay back in Abuja. That is where and how the problem started.”
The two-term member of the House of Representatives representing Ogbomoso North/Ogbomoso South/Oriire federal constituency was not done, she also lamented how she was schemed out of having her followers appointed as councils’ caretaker chairmen.
“And at a particular time, that is when we had the issue of caretaker chairmen. I sat down with my people in Ogbomoso and agreed on those we wanted as caretaker chairmen and everything but when they released the names I discovered that it was only one name, one person that was given, the others were not given, so, I went to meet him and I complained to him, telling him it shouldn’t be so.
“It didn’t go down well with my people and it didn’t go down well with me as well. And he promised he was going to do something about it but he never did. So, I just decided to sit back and watch things unfold.”
Alhaja Mulikat never wanted to hear that the governor was influenced against her when asked, ‘Do you think all what you had said, do you think it has to do with Governor Makinde or people close to him?’ She shot back rather that everyone should be responsible for their actions.
“He is the governor, he is not a child, you always hold a governor responsible for his actions, I did not work for somebody else but I worked for him. So, if there is anything between us, what he says I will listen to even though it is possible some people might influence him but Yoruba people will say “eni ti won ko nika to se, o fe tinu e se ni” (He who is encouraged to dispense wickedness and acts the script is only doing what he himself intended), that is just it.
“When people say these things I don’t listen because I want people to hold me responsible for what I do. Even if the closest person (I don’t know the closest person to him today) is saying, ‘don’t talk to Hon Mulikat again,’ he should sit down and reflect. He comes to Abuja, he knows my house and visited even after the election. So, he knows how to reach out to me, there are many ways you can carry people along so that nobody will feel offended. So, what you are saying, I only know Governor Makinde, I don’t know anybody else.”