365 days in Power; Tinubu should tell Nigerians his gone subsidy has returned through the back door- Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi.

He is in a revered class of theological apologetics. A lone voice that fought APC Muslim/Muslim ticket like a rattled snake. An Apostle and Patriot of the House of Nigeria, a self styled Nation Builder and profound analyst on politics, governance and governmental affairs, Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi, Convener, Apostolic Round Table, Initiator, Community Ambassador for Peaceful Election, CAPE a project of PVC-Naija. He serves PVC-Naija as the Board of Trustees Chairman. A strategic Communicator with core competence in political marketing. He is also the C.E. O MasterBuilder Communications. He was cornered again by Ejikeme Omenazu in what turned out to be an explosive interview on Edo, Ondo Election and Tinubu’s 365 days in office.

1 Sir, you and some experts just concluded an assessment of the administration of the incumbent Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki. Could you let us know your findings?

well in the wisdom of the Board of PVC-NAIJA, the GIA Committee was reconstituted to exclude me. Because the video of my confrontation with the President over Edo election in 2020 went viral. Though, I am trusted and by a larger session of the public too. Members of APC should have an unbiased view of the Committee. The Committee will now be led by the President of PVC-NAIJA, Madam Paula Bellgam, who is presently away in the UK. The report of the assessment will now be made public in August.

2 With your findings do you think the performance of Gov Obaseki will make PDP have an edge over other political parties in the coming governorship election in Edo State?

I can only speak in my personal capacity as Bolaji O. Akinyemi in this instance about Obaseki’s assessments since the expert committee put together by PVC-NAIJA are still sitting.
Assessment of governance impact in Edo State in my thinking can’t be limited to professional estimation, beyond the indicator set by relevant global bodies on Governance Impact Assessment are expectations of the locals; those trapped within the geographical space of such Government’s influence. I said that to say this; challenge of Governance Impact Assessment is complicated by the benchmark global indicators; freedom of expression, respect of the rights of individuals, the rule of law and adherence to separation of powers. You, judge Obaseki with those indicators and rate his performance in the last four years. The next person to Obaseki in the state is his Deputy, we don’t know if there are other personal issues between them but what is known to the public is, Shuaibu’s problem started with him expressing his desire to be Governor, which he is of course free to. All the drama that followed that are unnecessary. A Democrat must learn the diplomacy of practice. Ambode’s ambition was subsumed through democratic diplomacy. You may say the primary wasn’t free and fair but he was allowed his right of expression to contest at the primary.
Should we talk about clampdown on the Legislative Institution for the better part of his 2nd tenure.

Local Government Administrators as with other states were hirelings, stooges put in charge of the third tier of government by their pay Masters.

The usefulness of the legislative arm for his personal agenda against his Deputy is one of the amusement of politicians. Unbelievable!

Now to the context of the needs of the people of Edo State who voted him to be Governor. How has he fared in the eyes of the people? Obviously, he should be above average based on my personal interactions with friends from the grassroots. Reason a professional assessment should be done. I said in an earlier Interview granted another medium that politicians are capable of drilling a borehole beside a river! Meaning; the people will still travel their usual distances to the river bank to fetch the same water. It may be cleaner in appearance because it has filtered through the soil to flow through pipes but it’s still the same water from the river with all its impurities. But the fact that the water is flowing through a tap is enough to excite the poor and illiterate among us!

Reason the Intellectual Elites who are beacons of integrity must come to the aid of the masses to be part of political education platform that Community Ambassadors for Peaceful Elections, CAPE is setting up in all the Wards of Edo and Ondo states.

3 How do you see the candidates taking part in the coming Edo governorship election?

Absolutely impossible to do what you requested of me effectively on 17 candidates in the race for Osadebe House,

Though 2024 is looking like a 3-horse race, we can’t ignore the miracle of Daman in a political context where a team presumed to be out of the game plotted a come back half way into the match to carry the day. The possibility of that can only happen through structures. Osagie Ize-Iyamu has the strongest political structure in Edo State as of this very day. Though he is in APC, his reason for withdrawing from the Governorship aspiration is relatively unknown. On which side will he be playing at this election?

ADC as a political party has a structure linked to Senator Roland Owie stint with the party.

Mr Solomon Edebiri, though silent politically, the initiator of Responsibility, Integrity, Transparency and Accountability as value giving virtues in government and he still remains a force to be reckoned with in Edo politics. Am speaking of the very first candidate whose integrity seduced me into the role we are known for today in Edo politics since 2010. He is still very much a portrait of Responsibility Integrity Transparency and Accountability. Those 3 latent political forces are capable of swinging the pendulum.

To my analysis; keeping it to the political parties, it will be APC, PDP and LP but you know I don’t do parties but Candidates. In order of candidates it will be Ighodalo, Monday and then Akpata.
An ideology fanned the last election that saw Obaseki triumph; “Edo no be Lagos”! This is still very much alive. As a matter of fact it is the Goliath all catapults are swinging and aiming for its forehead. I said that to say that Ighodalo doesn’t look like a Saul dressed in David’s war armour but another David with similar profile like Obaseki.
Asuerinme Ighodalo, a lawyer from Okaigben, Ewohimi, Esan South East LG, the zone to which the spirit of the streets in Edo have decided the next Governor must come from.
He, alongside Femi Olubanwo, founded the law firm; Banwo-and-Ighodalo, a corporate and commercial law practice in Nigeria specializing in advising major corporations on Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, Energy & Natural Resources, Mergers & Acquisitions, Banking & Securitization and Project Finance. He is the chairman sterling Bank, Director NSIA – Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Chairman NESG – Nigerian Economic Summit Group. Understand that Asue has come this far giving advices to Corporate Organisations who have made success of the inspiration from this individual’s professional counsels. That goes to show the quality of his personality; a round peg for Obaseki’s drilled hole of the last 8 years.

The twisting and turning of APC primary that saw the Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodima suspended as a partyman and Chairman of APC primary in Edo State. That drama saw Okpebholo emerge as the candidate is a confirmation of how strong the force of justice for equity and fairness is on the streets in Edo State. Aside from APC adjusting to the yearning of Edo for justice for Edo Central, the desperation shown by Mr President to have control of Edo State in 2020 is far from been over. This may be an asset to Monday bearing in mind that the Institution empowered by law to supervise the electoral process are vulnerable to the Presidency. There is no excitement about Monday; the only achievement to his name when a quick check was made on Google is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria since 2023. And of course information about his birth; “Monday Okpebholo (born 29 August 1970) and the line; a Nigerian businessman and politician concluded the man APC is presenting as its governorship candidate in this information age.

Akpata is looking like the competition against Ighodalo, but the street vibes of Justice for Edo Central is his biggest hurdle to becoming Governor. He is on the ticket of a party Nigerian youths are presently in love with at the moment. Not for the party but for Peter Obi and his phenomena connection with the youth in the last General Election.

Olumide Osaigbovo Akpata is the youngest of the trio, born October 7, 1972, from Edo South Senatorial district, same zone Obaseki is from. A Nigerian legal practitioner and politician. Senior partner and the Head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group at Templars law firm in Nigeria until his resignation on 31 August 2023 to enable him to pursue partisan politics. Akpata no doubt a political strategist who plotted his way at becoming the first non-Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 28 years to be elected president of the Nigerian Bar Association in July 2020.

He is however at the mercy of the street’s movement for Justice for Edo Central as far as the coming election is concerned.

  1. Would you say the recent impeachment of the Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu was necessary and would not count against the PDP in the coming governorship election?

the impeachment was needless! In the context of PDP and Shuaibu; Politics is primarily marketing and alignment. What is PDP marketing and which group is Shuaibu aligning with; APC or PDP? Whatever electoral value Shuaibu has left can only be proven through the group he will align with outside the PDP. Politically within the PDP he has no life nor value. His best chance is with Labour party. He can’t be trusted by men he once betrayed in APC.

One strong but proven allegation that Asiwaju made about Obaseki is his being autocratic in disposition which is not good for the development of our democracy! Shuaibu is a real life result of that. If APC will tolerate Shuaibu he may be a great voice at demarkerting PDP and Obaseki though Asue Ighodalo is the product to sell, not Obaseki.

But the burden that APC honestly constituted to the development of our nascent democracy we mustn’t ignore. How do we in all honesty support APC, a party that is already showing preference for one party system to hold us to ransom.
The Development of our Democracy is stranded presently because the best opposition institution we have ever had in APC is now in power running government with media propaganda tools which the opposition should be doing. And PDP as the leading opposition are contented with the arrogance of “the people can see what we are doing”. They are out of the Government but have refused to accept their new status as Opposition party to galvanise Nigeria for serious business of civil oversight of the government. Many individuals are doing better than PDP as a whole as “opposition”, questioning and interrogating government policies.

If I am to consult for PDP in Edo election, my move will be to shut Shuaibu up. With media partnership and investment in political propaganda on who Shuaibu is to the public.

Politics is talks, if you understand that, you can talk yourself into trouble and talk yourself out of trouble. Between PDP and Shuaibu, the side with this understanding and how to deploy it will carry the day during the coming election.

Take a clue from the almighty America politics.

Trump talked himself into power. Talked himself out of power and now he is doing so well at talking himself back to power!
What agenda are both sides setting for the narratives they want to communicate to harvest people’s political patronage?

5 How do you see the coming governorship election in Ondo States and some of the candidates that have emerges so far?

Ondo is a two horse race, the surprise element of a 3rd will be determined at the end of PDP primary holding at the Dome in Akure. To use the word emerge for the process that threw Ayedatiwa up is to insult the lexical nature of the word “emerge”, that word speaks of a process. Crisis was what APC planned and that was what it was. The APC primary was far from been transparent. Not a single Aspirant apart from Ayedatiwa knew the rule of the game. The confusion of their supporters didn’t help matters. Who were calling their Principals to clarify information that they were equally kept in the darkness about. I challenge Ayedatiwa to produce pictures and video clips of the process through which he emerged, ward by ward. It is sad that the media is silent on such a rape of our democracy. Let INEC publish their observation report of APC primary. We should all be mourning for the conspiracy against democracy witnessed in Ondo State as masterminded by APC!

6 What is your take on the crisis that erupted in the Guber primaries of the APC last Saturday?

that wasn’t an eruption of crisis; It was mechanical, but the faces and mind behind the machinations is what we should be asking. The amount of gun shots in Ondo State that day was more than the shots fired during the kiriji war. That is not an eruption but a premeditated evil!
There are two principles that define what you can get or give to life. One is from the Bible and it was initiated by Jesus Christ; who your neighbour(s) is or are; determines what you will get or give. The second, the English adage says show me your friends and I will tell who you are. Evil communication they say, corrupt good manners, it’s only a matter of time before Ondo will become Kogi if this trend is not checked. Ododo the political son and protege of Yahaya who hours before the Primary in Ondo backed his mentor like a baby and hid him from EFCC. Action for he should have been removed as APC primary chairman for Ondo immediately. That was a grave error by the APC. Unconfirmed reports said he sent his Deputy to Edo. Haba! For such an individual to declare someone a winner from wherever he was with somebody declared wanted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria shows impunity of the APC family and discredited APC before Nigerians. That declaration made by Ododo if based on the report written for his deputy is an hallmark in electoral fraud in Nigeria perpetrated by APC Primary in Ondo State. If they know what is good for them that primary should be cancelled. Ododo’s conduct of standing in the way of justice is a spell on him for now whoever he touches or touches him should be an anathema in the Nigeria project for now until he provides Yahaya Bello. Let them produce pictures and video clips of the process of APC primary in Ondo. Ododo who backed Bello out of EFCC snare is the same person who backed Ayedatiwa in. Ondo should expect Bello’s kind of treatment if this is allowed to stand. Same way Rome was built in a day; no city had fallen in a day. This may be the beginning of the final fall of values in Ondo State. Contrast that with the PDP primaries that held on Thursday 25th April 2024. There was no eruption of crisis or violence! During the APC primary I rooted for Prof Dayo Fajuyile, at the PDP election today I did same for Bosun Arebuwa. It’s been difficult to accept APC results because it lacked transparency but I have no choice than to accept the results from PDP, where my beloved candidate Bosun Arebuwa, received 2 votes. Ajayi Agboola a political gladiator by his own right and who is not new to me had 264 votes to win the primary, others were, Akinjo Kolade- 157, Olusola Ebiseni-99, Akinboye Bamidele-24, Akinwunmi Harrison-64 and John Mafo-9 votes. PDP made a loud statement with this primary that power indeed belongs to the people. My congratulations to Ajayi Agbola.

7 How do you see the way the federal government and the CBN are running the economy, especially with the Naira rebound which some analysts say is giving false hope recovery?
You shd know it’s all experimentation. What I enjoy about this government is how they keep trying one system or the other including appointments and disappointments. Now, far from sarcasm, I believe it’s a general economic sense that if we do everything to make the economy less dollar dependent, the naira may hold sway. To say it may not last is to be a prophet of doom which I am not. Where I have problems with the political class is when they make laws for the poor but they themselves do something else. I saw a video recently of one legislator having a party and his friends with political associates and cleverly throwing money at him to avoid being culpable in the area of naira mutilation.

8 Would you say that Labour’s demand of N650,000 national minimum wage is realistic, considering the
high cost of living?
The 650k is about $600. Is that a realistic minimum wage in a country where the government is doing virtually nothing for her citizens? It should be looked at within the context of cost of living. it’s like a carrot and stick system. Firstly, I know the federal government would not accede to that but bring it down further. The other issue the lack of regulations that protect the populace. Let’s look at electricity tariffs approved at about 250% increase and the closing of eyes to Multichoice madness in the name of price increases. What am saying is that there shd be a way that whatever is eventually agreed by both parties as minimum wage would carry a degree of value and not blown away by the wind of costs of living.

9 What do you think of the recent revelation that the government is still paying petroleum subsidy, which the president declared was gone on May ,29, 2023 during his inauguration?

There are various speculations but I am an ardent believer in the postulations that subsidy is a scam. I refuse any government fingering my brain. There are statistics we have requested several times but they won’t provide though we have access to them in the global space. I have praised President BAT in one of my writings that one quality I admire about him without mincing words is his ability to heed advice for U-turn when he’s made to see where he goofed. So, if the subsidy is back, the same man who said subsidy is gone on 29th May 2023; would soon have another 29th May, let him tell us it is back!