Akande, A Victim Of Diabolical Double-Cross Perpetrated By Obasanjo’s Govt—Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, described Chief Bisi Akande, a former interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a ‘perfect public officer’ and the type of person he could go into the jungle with.
He said the former Osun State governor along with other former governors of Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a victim of a diabolical double-cross perpetrated by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
President Buhari spoke at the public presentation of ‘My Participations,’ the autobiography of Chief Bisi Akande, in Lagos State.
Reflecting on the political history of the author, particularly his bid to seek a second term as Osun State governor, President Buhari said: :It is common knowledge that Akande was the victim – along with other AD governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial career. Only the steadfast Asiwaju Bola Tinubu escaped the electoral massacre masterminded by President Obasanjo.
“Desperately disappointed though he was, and being a good Muslim, he accepted this setback as part of the trials of life. He looked to the future of service to the country.”
The president said the author has retained his ‘inflexible integrity,’ in and out of public office, never accepting or offering bribes.
Buhari, who heaped praises on Akande, further described him as a decent, truthful, and friendly person as well as an administrator of the first order, whose leadership qualities made him the unanimous choice as the first Chairman of the APC.
A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), said President Buhari used the occasion to narrate his first meeting with Akande, his passion for Nigeria, achievements, and disappointment as governor of Osun State as well as his many battles to wrest power from the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said: “My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006 when preliminary consultations were coming to fruition for a grand coalition to unseat the PDP government.
“Those efforts eventually came to nothing. Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up as, in Chief Akande’s words: ‘the country was going down and down under PDP’”
The president also narrated how Akande rose to prominence from his participation in the Constituent Assembly established by the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Buhari further said: “He was always in the thick of things through the difficulties and political discontinuities of the 1980s and 90s. He emerged as Governor of Osun State in 1999 when the military handed over to the civilians.
“Chief Akande had a horrendous baptism as governor of Osun State with discord from his own party; his State Assembly (including an attempt to impeach him without any reason whatsoever); from the trade unions and from his own deputy!
“On top of that, he inherited a deeply indebted treasury, huge arrears of salary, allowances, and pensions. Enough challenges to overwhelm many aspiring leaders.
Bisi Akande stood four square and faced all the challenges head-on and overcame most of them.
“His first action was to stop payment of ‘critical allowances.’ a euphemism for government money customarily shared by the big boys in Osun State. This set the tone of his administration,” the president said.
Recounting the achievements of the former governor, President Buhari noted that it is on record that within one year, Akande paid off all the salary and other arrears, showing his mettle as a competent and serious administrator.
“By 2003, Chief Akande had virtually sanitised governance in Osun State having cleared some of the troublemakers from his government and, though reluctant to serve a second term, he was persuaded to run again,” Buhari said.