Former Communication Minister, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has said that former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole and immediate past governor of Oyo State, Late Ajimobi were those who worked against his re-appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Shittu affirm this while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio, anchored by Olayinka Agboola on Space 90.1 F.M on Tuesday.
On the circumstances surrounding his being dropped as Communication Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari. He stated that as matter of clarity, that he was neither dropped non sacked.
“One can only be dropped or sacked before the end of a tenure. Appointments are the discretion of the President.”
“I was painted bad among other allegations, that I was responsible for the failure of the party in the State in the 2019 elections. I was thinking I would be automatically re-appointed but I didn’t know about their mischiefs, scheming and the petitions they wrote against me.”
“I also know that former governor Ajimobi hated me because of my intelligence. He never knew I am very intelligent and my very independent mind, so he can’t control me. He conspired with Oshiomhole and excluded me from the party’s primaries. I don’t lobby for positions and I thank God for what he has done for me.”
The Saki-born lawyer turned-politician Shittu didn’t but also said that only President Muhammadu Buhari can put the nation on a good pedestal that can ensure a greater tomorrow for Nigerians.
Barrister Shittu posited that Nigeria is like an impossible country that is impossible to govern with the endemic corruption which has bedevilled the country for a long time, adding that it is someone like President Buhari that can turn around the nation for better.
“I have come to learn a lot of lessons about our country Nigeria it is like an impossible country that may appear to be impossible to govern. “The problem is that of endemic corruption everywhere. We all may be pointing accusing fingers at the leaders.
We may say terrible things about them that they are corrupt. I can tell you that if you remove the men in the force now and replace them with a new set of people, we will almost have the same thing all over.”
Barr. Shittu further revealed that Nigeria missed the chance of getting it right trice.
“Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo would have put our country on a solid foundation had been he was allowed to become President. The second time was when General Buhari came as a military leader fighting corruption. He was toppled because of this. The third time was late M.K.O Abiola, who won the June 12, 1993 Presidential election but was never allowed to assume office.
“President Buhari cannot behave like his first coming. He has to take another approach, but like I said, the country’s problem is that of tribe, self-interest and religion.”
Barrister Shittu, who was the youngest member of the Oyo State House of Assembly during the late Chief Bola Ige’s time as the governor, said if he has the chance, he would advise President Buhari to go back to the basic in repairing the economy, fighting corruption, insurgency and other evil in the polity.
“It is regrettable that insurgency is increasing. The Nigeria Army is trying and the soldiers should be encourage in this regard.
He said President Buhari should organize a conference to define corruption and how to fight it at all levels of the country.
“After this is done, we will all know how to address the situation and I implore President Buhari to look into this.”
The Former Minister also added that given the challenges facing the country, the present admiration of Buhari is doing its best. Saying that only those who are privy to the situation can pass judgment.
He observed that compared to previous governments in Nigeria, “after Awolowo nobody love Nigerians like Buhari, he even slashed his salary which is “Halal” which is lawful for him to take. Before he came on board, the price of crude was about Ninety-Eight dollars. Then it came down to twenty-three dollars. It is just like somebody using twenty thousand naira to cater for his needs and the value reduces to two thousand naira.
With COVID 19, reduction in oil revenue and refining oil abroad and these people are dictating are much we buy the product, the matter is a great challenge. What I can say is that we all need to pray.”
On whether he would contest the governorship post again come 2023 or not. “I don’t know if I want to contest for anything now. That is not my priority for now. Though I am qualified to be President, Governor, Senator, and Member of the House of Representatives. Senator Abiola Ajimobi was afraid that if I become a Governor, he might go to jail even with President Buhari as President of the country.”
When asked about his relationship with President Buhari presently. Shittu has this to say, “I am still very close to President Buhari. I still wrote him even when I was not re-appointed, thanking him for bringing me to national prominence”.
On people’s perspective on his lifestyle and all. “People say a lot of rubbish about me that I did not have any phone with me when I was appointed in order for the President to contact me. Of course I give out phones to people willingly because I have in abundance.
Remember, I was an honorable member of the Oyo State House of Assembly and Oyo State Commissioner for Information, culture and Home affairs in the Second Republic and an Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja Adminstration.
I have a flourishing school in Saki and Garage Olode among others. I have junior colleagues who are SANS and Judges. I live in one of the best estates in Ibadan, so what are they saying? It is good thing that Oshiomhole was removed as the National Chairman of the party, that he was not allowed to run riots.
The spirit of democracy must prevail. During the time of Ajimobi there was no internal democracy in operation, people were imposed and they did not buy nomination forms. The Edo and Zamfara case should be a lesson for all.”
Shittu said he sees politics as a service to the people and that he was encouraged to join politics because of the ideas of the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.