A two-time Governor of Ogun State and former Managing Director of Daily Times, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, has scored Governor Dapo Abiodun high on performance, describing the Governor’s effort at ensuring that peace reign supreme in the State as superlative.
Aremo Osoba who gave the commendation in a chat with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also disclosed that the President had given instruction that the Central Bank should give Ogun State maximum support in agriculture.
“I took the time to brief him on the efforts the governor is making to ensure peace in the state. I have told him that Governor Dapo Abiodun is starting on a very good note.
“On politics, I briefed him and told him that never again that incident (stoning of presidential entourage) that occurred in Ogun state, would ever happen again and he thanked me. “The President said that he had given instruction that the central bank should give Ogun State maximum support in agriculture” he stated.
Chief Osoba, who is a Chieftain of the APC was at the State House to present his book – “Battle lines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics” to Buhari, who featured in it prominently.
Speaking on the issue of restructuring, Osoba disclosed that President Buhari had endorsed the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led committee report, appealing to Nigerians, especially statesmen and other activists agitating for restructuring of the country, to be patient with the President and the APC.
According to him, steps would be taken to get the National Assembly to start work on legalising the relevant aspects of the report, reminding that the ruling party had restructuring as devolution of powers from the Federal Government to States in its manifesto.
His words: “I am part of the presidency because the President is our President. I can tell you, all this noise about Restructuring, we APC put devolution of power, true federalism in our manifesto and we have moved far from there to where a committee was set up, headed by the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai.
“That committee has submitted its report, that report has been presented to us in the caucus and the President was there. The president endorsed the outcome. I want Nigerians to please, give us time. I hope and pray that at the right time, the government or the party would send that report to National Assembly for debate.
“I will say with all authority that restructuring lies with National Assembly. The President is not a military president; he cannot change anything by decree. Sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly.
“Those agitating for sovereign national conference must go through the National Assembly and unless the National Assembly surrenders part of its powers by an Act, there can never be sovereign national conference.
“Secondly, agitation for referendum; there must be an act of the National Assembly to create that referendum. It is not the president that would by fiat or by Executive Order, order for referendum. It must go through the National Assembly.
“That is why I plead with our elders: Pa Edwin Clark, Pa Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoye, all across Nigeria, who met the 8th Senate and heard what that National Assembly has done in terms of the review of the constitution – they should come back and tell us!
“We cannot move forward until we recognize the importance and the powers vested in the National Assembly. For restructuring, let us go through the legal route.”
On his relationship with Buhari, the APC chieftain said, “the President and I have been close since the Civil War, he was a young officer – a lieutenant in the 1st Division, that started the Civil War from Nsukka end and as fortune would have it, I followed the President till when he was a governor in the North Eastern region and became the oil minister.
“From there on, he appointed me on June 12 1984 as the Managing Director of Daily Times. It was the crowning peak of my professional life that prepared me for governance.”
Chief Osoba noted that a portion of his latest book featured Buhari’s riding on the train from the North to Ifo, Ogun State to spend his holiday when he was in Form One (secondary school) in 1946.