Obasanjo Confessed To Me That Daniel Insulted Him –Segun Osoba
Because one must know when to call it quits. Within my few months in Daily Times, Peter Enahoro wrote a commendation letter which I still keep that if I continued the way I was working in the first three months, he predicted that I would get to the top which happened so rapidly. The paper I first edited was Lagos Weekend, then Sunday Times and then Daily Times and then I moved to management in Herald, in Sketch and then back to Daily Times where I started from.
The day it was 25 years that I joined Daily Times was the day I decided to quit because you can’t be all knowing. There was nothing else for me to prove again and that was why I went into politics. God gave me to see it all, to be a success in all the papers I handled. I am the only Nigerian who had the rare opportunity of managing three major newspapers successfully. But essentially, I am a reporter even till date. What I enjoy most is reporting. The day I was taken out of reporting and made editor of Lagos Weekend, I wept.
I had been a reporter all my life and I didn’t know anything about production. It was the late Victor Dorgu who was a sub editor, that taught me how to plan a page. I was so mobile and too restless to be put on a desk. I adjusted and I thank God I made a success of it. Today, without being a publisher, I am still as influential as any publisher in the media.
If I see a good story, I still call somebody like Gbenga Adefaye and say Gbenga, I have a story for you. Till tomorrow, my hand luggage is loaded with newspapers and magazines whenever I travel. I still deliver foreign newspapers and magazines to Sam Amuka for example. It is in my blood and I will die a journalist. I am sure if I go to heaven I will be a reporter. Akinfeleye said in heaven, there will be no other profession except information dissemination.
People still say you lost your second term as governor simply because you took it for granted that they would vote for you.
People are not practical. I was governor 1992-93 and after a six-year interregnum, I became governor again. So I am not a neophyte in politics. I didn’t lose election; you knew what happened and that is another story. Obasanjo just decided to do what he wanted to do, that is all. If I was that careless, how would I be able to get back the same office six years after? I am the only one who achieved that. Go back to Ogun State, the roads that I did are still there and many of my performances. My performance between 1999 and 2003 is still a reference point as governor. In one day in Ijebu North East, I commissioned electricity projects in 17 towns. If I had lost election, how come I was able to reclaim Ogun State with a team that I led in 2011? That was eight years after I was governor. Obasanjo and Daniel lost their polling booths, what else do I want to prove?
Have you and Obasanjo made up now?
I am a Christian, I can forgive but I can never forget. Obasanjo himself knows; he and I had got a chance to talk, I told him you got us out, those you brought, what did you get? He admitted; he said he got insult upon insult. I told him he had never been so abused in his life. He said we had better upbringing and I asked him whether he just realised that. The day we had eighth day prayer for Lam Adesina, he came there and that was the first time we had time to talk about it in the presence of Arisekola, Ajimobi, the wives of Lagos and Ekiti state governors. I told him that you rigged us out, what did you gain? He said we had better training and culture than those he put there.
When Gbenga Daniel was governor after you, you stayed away from Ogun State, was it a self- imposed exile?
Self -imposed because both Obasanjo and Daniel were out to blame all their mistakes on me. You would recall that Daniel in 2003 claimed that I wanted to kill him and his wife. I faced the police who exonerated me, they wanted to make another Mbadinuju out of me. Obasanjo called me soon after that Daniel complained that I was monitoring his movement through the radio network that I stole from the Government House. And I told Obasanjo that since Daniel claimed to be an engineer, if he came to the office and discovered that someone had made away with a radio network, why didn’t he change its frequency? I said I was using radio when Daniel was still in primary school, he said he remembered. I said during Dimka’s coup when you were head of state, you were wondering how I was able to get the story from Enugu to Ilorin. I said the two of you, I don’t know the kind of engineers you claim you are. So, they were roping all kinds of things and criminal allegations against me.
Even in Ogun State, there is this talk of Osoba camp and Amosun camp, why?
I never had egoistic philosophy; I never had Osoba Vanguard, or Mandate or Group, never, and I have been telling those who are saying Osoba Group that there is a party. There is nothing like Osoba Group in Ogun State. People ask me why didn’t I throw my hat into Ogun State politics, I tell them that an elder must have self respect. People don’t learn from other people’s experience. I don’t want to end up like Obasanjo who didn’t know when to stay back and be consulted. You can see how all kinds of people are bashing him all about. When you get to certain level, you must learn how to restrain yourself. An elder must learn how to control his outburst. A man who has been president for an unprecedented three times should be heard sparingly. Mandela had just one term in South Africa and left, have you ever heard him making outbursts all over the place.
With your experience in both journalism and politics, how do you see 2015 election?
Nothing will happen other than major political war which is normal; I don’t know why people are apprehensive. There will be major political verbal war, brickbats, scandals and mudslinging. What is wrong with that? All I know is that nobody would dare tamper or rig election in 2015; that will be disastrous for this country. But I know Professor Jega, who was an activist in ASUU and a member of NADECO, would know how to do right.
Obasanjo Confessed To Me That Daniel Insulted Him –Segun Osoba Reviewed by Emem Titus on 16:09 Rating: