Alhaji Misbaudeen Adekojo is one politician who has been around for quite some time. Right from the days of the Unity Party of Nigeria, where he served as Organizing Secretary, Adekojo has been a man perceived in different ways, to some, he is a trouble maker, to others; he is a rabble rouser while another group of people see him as a man who simply loves to be heard. At the beginning of the Third Republic, Adekojo joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP). By the time the 4th Republic started, he pitched his tent with the Alliance for Democracy. But along the line, he became a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Surprisingly, Adekojo has today tilted towards activism.
In a recent interview monitored on an Ibadan based radio station; Adekojo stated that Chief Tony Anenih and not General Ibrahim Babangida should be blamed for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election which was adjudged to be free and fair.
Adekojo who many saw as one of the trouble makers in the UPN was reminded that as GOC of the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier Sani Abacha invited him. He didn’t deny. “I was invited and I even thought I would be detained. When I got to him at Agodi, he told me that they had security report that the riot we caused here assisted them to take over government and I had to be compensated. And he did, he gave me N 5, 000 that day. Out of the N 5, 000 I bought a Volkswagen Beetle from Adegoke Motors for N 1, 200 and he handed me over to one Colonel. In fact if not because of June 12 election, Abacha was very good. ”
Adekojo was taken up on the democratic values he professes. “If you were a democrat, why did you go to dine with a military government that overthrew a democratically elected system?”
Cutting in, he replied “yes I am. What we need is a government that will take care of the people, that will make the people live well. If it is a military government that will take care of the people, that will make their welfare better, why not?”
The anchorman quickly chipped in that Babangida who annulled the June 12 election had Abacha as his Chief of Defence Staff. “Babangida, Abacha and all these people did not annul the election”, Adekojo stated. Offering an explanation when he was asked who annulled the election, he said “it was Anenih, he was our chairman. When we were in Jos for the primary presidential election, the three contenders, Chief M.K.O Abiola, Atiku Abubakar and Kingibe. They were there for the second election, to choose one of them. The northerners joined together to ease out M.K.O Abiola so that Kingibe would have his way. When it was clear that M.K.O Abiola would win, they dragged the police to the scene.
Ask anybody to confirm, Jubril Martins Kuye and Senator Adefuye were the agents of M.K.O Abiola. They asked me to go out, I said no. They threatened me with their bullets, shooting up and down. I said kill me, I will not leave here. They said are you the agent? I said I am the agent. As we were doing that, M.K.O Abiola and Chief Lamidi Adedibu arrived and they met me with the ballot box. So the problem e had was that because of the failure of the Yar ‘ Adua group that was supporting Kingibe because of the northern influence, they failed.”
When it was put to him that Chief Anthony Anenih could not have annulled the election and that it was the prerogative of the military President to do so, Adekojo disagreed. He said “it was because of the Yar’ Adua group. You know Babangida convinced Yar’ Adua that if the election was annulled, then there would be another election in which he would allow Yar’ Adua to participate and that was the reason why the group decided that they should support annulment. If they did not support annulment, if our Chairman did not annul, it wouldn’t have been possible.”
Adekojo also took time to explain his political journey which saw him working with Chief Bola Ige and later Chief M.K.O Abiola. He later found himself with the Strongman of Ibadan Politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu. He narrated thus, “Chief Kolapo Ishola who was the gubernatorial candidate of the SDP had problems. We needed up to N 1 million at the time so it was Dr. Dejo Raimi who was sent to Rashidi Ladoja that assisted Chief Kolapo Ishola to get a loan of N 1 million from Ladoja. So Chief Kolapo Ishola got that N 1 million at least to keep up with the programme.”
On how he met Senator Rashidi Ladja, he said “I coordinated the gubernatorial election of Chief Ishola and we used to discuss all events. So I accompanied Chief Kolapo Ishola to Chief Rshidi Ladoja’s place. That was how I first met him. He assisted us with N 1 million.”
“Was that why he was given the senatorial ticket for Oyo South?” the anchorman asked. Adekojo’s response was “first and foremost, he was asked what he needed when we won the election. He said that Dr. Dejo Raimi who introduced him to Chief Kolapo Ishola should be given Secretary to the State Government and that was against our agreement with Ibarapa. It was Chief Aderohunmu that was promised the position of SSG because for Ibarapa to work for us, it was on agreement that we would give them SSG and that was in person of their leader, Chief Aderounmu.” Speaking further, he said “Dr. Dejo Raimi was given that SSG but there was a serious disagreement between Chief Kolapo Ishola and Chief Lamidi Adedibu but the N 1 million that was sent to Chief Kolapo Ishola by Babangida for the party, to take care of the people, that N 1 million was given to Chief Adedibu to convince him to accept Dr. Dejo Raimi as SSG because Chief Adedibu insisted that Chief Aderounmu who he negotiated with should be SSG. So Chief Lamidi Adedibu was given that N 1 million and the N 1 million that was supposed to be returned to Chief Ladoja, Chief Ladoja did not take it.
That was why the N 1 million was given to Chief Adedibu. Later, Chief Rasheed Ladoja was appealing to the Governor that he wanted to be senator and we had a senatorial candidate already in the person of Professor Soji Adejumo. But because Chief Lamidi Adedibu was the leader at that time, he was trying to convince Prof. Soji Adejumo to change but his senior brother, Barrister Richard Adejumo refused that no, they had had gone far with campaign. So we went for primaries and His Excellency, Dr. Lamidi Adesina was the chairman of the primary.”
When asked who he voted for, Adekojo said “definitely I would vote Prof Soji Adejumo. Majority of us voted for Soji Adejumo.” The reporter went ahead to ask how come Prof. Adejumo did not win. Adekojo simply replied “ah, it was rigged. Another result was announced. That’s the truth. It was totally rigged. Let me tell you there would have been bloodshed on that day because of the rigging. If not because of the total respect for our leader, Chief Lamidi Adedibu at that time, there would have been bloodshed.”
Adekojo also admitted that as the candidate of his party, he worked for Senator Ladoja to become senator. He was also with the Alliance for Democracy when Nigeria returned to civil rule.
On how he felt when Chie Bola Ige was schemed out o the presidential ticket o the Alliance for Democracy, he said “I felt very bad and I extended serious confrontation against the Afenifere who betrayed Chief Bola Ige. I made sure that I faced them”.
He continued, “I insulted Senator Abraham Adesanya because he was a betrayer. Chief Bola Ige made him leader of Afenifere and he did that because of his presidential ambition. In fact, if Chief Bola Ige was not betrayed, Chief Bola Ige would have won the presidential election and what we are having in this country today would be similar to the United States of America.”
The anchorman asked how he solved the issue when Chief Abraham Adesanya took him to court for defamation of character. He said “I told him that I was ready to go to court. I was asked to make a retraction, I said no, I will never write anything that I will not defend. Nigerian Tribune invited me because his lawyer wrote a letter of libel to Nigerian Tribune, malicious damage and so on.
When Nigerian Tribune invited me, I told them I will never sign any publication without good defence. I told Nigerian Tribune, let’s go to court that Nigerian Tribune will even claim money from Abraham Adesanya. His lawyer now came to me, trying to convince me that I should write apology that he would not want me to be taken to court. I said I was ready. I said I would never apologize. I told him what I wrote was okay.”
He was again asked why he consistently took Adesanya to the cleaners despite the Yoruba tradition that young ones don’t insult their elders, especially in the public. His defence was that “that man, it’s a pity he’s not alive. It’s just money, money, money. I don’t want to say much but AD would not have had problem. It was Senator Adesanya that caused AD’s problem.”