TINUBU, ODUMAKIN AND IBIROGBA
Portrait of The Tiger Ambode Rode (4) By Yinka Odumakin.
Dear Chief Tinubu,
The backpage of your The Nation of Tuesday 12 March where one of your Rottweilers under the FORGED name “Segun Ibirogba” wrote “Odumakin’s anxiety over vanishing feeding-bottles” has un-paused the button on this serial.
I have always wondered why these intellectual almajiris around you always attack me under fake names.It is either they are afraid of me or they don’t believe in you to risk their names doing the dirty job for you .Well,we know many of them hold worst views about you than us but for the free money they have been accustomed to from a Robbin Hood.
The piece referenced was a rehash of same old silly lies and freshly minted ones.In keeping faith with my resolve that for every dart of lie you guys throw in my direction ,I will return 10 bombs of truth I make this response.And for every line I write,I can say like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti “Na true I wan talk again o,if I dey lie o,make Edumare punish me o”.
Since you guys made a failed attempt to impugn my integrity ,I have chosen to use this edition to place your life side-by-side mine on the scale of integrity so we can know if your hen can point at the boil in a hawk’s eye.I intend to show that were it not that Nigeria has become Ceaser’s palace where the leper holds the veil,nobody in your circle should move near that subject.
I am Yinka Odumakin and nobody can say he had known me under any identity in my life .I have led a straight life unlike you that people know under different identities depending on where they met you in your about 80 years on earth .Yes,80!
Those of us who are knowledgeable about you cant buy your 66 claim for so many reasons .The current governor of Osun is the son of your immediate senior sister from Iragbiji and he is 63 while you are claiming 66. Your first wife died in Lagos recently unannounced at 74 .
When the son he had for you died many moths earlier his age had to be doctored to fit into the lie that you live. And there is a photograph of yours at the palace of Soun Ogbomoso in 1974 when the current monarch was installed with a bottle of beer and packet of cigarette in your front. You mean you were 20 when you were drinking and smoking in a palace ?
There is no school I have attended in my life that my classmates would not come out in droves to say “yeah, we were there together!”. From St Augustine Primary School, Ondo to CAC Grammar School, Edunabon and Oduduwa College Ile -Ife down to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife and University of Ghana.
At your end St John Primary School Aroloya you claimed may be created by your new governor in Lagos. The old boys of Government College Ibadan were planning a reception for you when someone asked which set you belonged to .There has been no answer to that till date and the reception was cancelled. The tales by moonlight on Chigago State University and University of Chiicago are all over the place.
My parents are alive in Osun and by God’s grace I will give them a befitting burial. I will not have to send emissaries to bury them since I have not abandoned “moomi” (that’s how we Oyo people in Osun call mummy) to be calling another woman “maami” in Lagos to fit a life of lie and greed. No Mama HID Awolowo would have told me that she knew all the children of “maami ” and that I was not one of them.
My parents are not rich but I am proud of them because it is from their black pot that my white palp has come out. I say proudly among my University mates today that they could not afford more than N60 per month for me throughout my University days .The story of grass to grace is a proud thing among the Yoruba. MKO Abiola was proud of the story that he ate egg for the first time in his life in the home of Simbiat Abiola’s parents.
With the modest means of my parents, they instilled so much values in me that there is no crime attached to my name in all my years on earth. Forging traveling passports had never appealed to me. Neither has my name been linked to a narcotic ring leading to inquiry and forfeiture of assets. All my life, my hands have provided for me. And they have provided for you too.
I recall when you returned from exile in 1998 and running for governor. You were not “Ezeego” then. You had only the Sunday Adigun house and all the four cars you used then belonged to Mr Ganiyu Solomon. There were a lot of printings being done for you by your friends at The News. I saw the price you were being offered and I told you my press could do it at 40%. I delivered and saved you 60%. I recall Mr Babafemi Ojodu complained openly that they could not do the price I offered you !
That should tell you and your attack dogs that I have always separated the cause I believe in from what I would eat unlike you who always mix the two. You pose as a June 12 hero today but Kola Abiola is alive to tell the story of what happened to MKO’s money as Bashorun is no longer alive. In 20 years, there is hardly any boundary between Lagos treasury and your private pockets. Your “O to ge” moment is coming some day and all the dirty deals will be out.
Like a rapist, you can tell your victims to shout “O to pe” for as long as stolen funds and drug money rule Lagos politics.
I have noticed that because you and your followers have no abiding principle and you are driven by only lust for money, you assume it is so for everybody. Your being glued to the lowest of all spirits (money) makes it difficult for you to make the right judgement about people thinking they are all about money. Was it that you didn’t have money when I told you in December 2006 that it was over between us politically? Have I ever looked in your direction ever? There are men who may not be able to give N10,000 to a cause but if they say they want to see me at 8AM I would be there at 7. Can you summon me with all your bullion vans?
I recall how you said to me in 2006 about Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and I quote you “Adiye ni Tokunbo, yin agbado fun a pada” (Tokunbo is a fowl, throw corns and it is U-turn). Has he not turned his back at you today? You don’t have “corns ” again? This was the man who was your fall guy when you made all the forgeries in 1999. He was among the team that went to bury your biological mother in Iragbiji when you could not show your face, has his exit not shown you there are men who place value on principle than money?
I have lived my political life on the basis of the fact that an adversary today can be an ally tomorrow and vice versa. I am not beholden to any person outside the core beliefs we share. One of the men I had an open disagreement with was President Obasanjo and when we reconciled it was an open thing. That differentiates me from you who walk both sides of the streets simultaneously. You were with NADECO and also in bed with Abacha through whom you forged friendship with the Chagourys who are your business partners till date.
The political buffoons around you would hold you out as an anti-third term person today but you know what happened between us on May 2, 2006. We had a meeting at Airport Hotel in Lagos where you were dictating the communique against third term unknown to participants you were at a meeting till wee hours of that morning to work third term in another way.
I was reading the communique to the press when you called me. I gave the phone to the late Rev Tunji Adebiyi but you told him you wanted to speak with me. We didn’t get to talk till late in the night. I had with me in the car as you spoke with me from VGC to Ikeja then President of Egbe Omo Yoruba in North America, Mr Odusanya. Let me quote you verbatim :
“I hope you have not released that communique. We need to manage this third term carefully. Obasanjo is a blind cat. If he causes problem now and they kill one Yoruba graduate in Kano and we kill 200 people selling onions in mile 12 it is not equal. I am therefore proposing that we have a win-win situation. Instead of outright third term we can have the confab recommendation of one six-year tenure starting with the incumbent having 2 extra years and so with we the governors. We can use the two years to empower people like you and handover to one of you. I have asked General Alani Akinrinade to come and I am going to meet Prof Soyinka to discuss it. I want you to think about it”
I told you as a matter of fact that the proposition was unreasonable and there was nothing for me to think about as I would prefer outright third term where we would have elections to automatic two years extension. But my eyes were opened to how unreliable you are that night. Here was a man dictating communique against third term in the morning having this conversation with me at night.
I made up my mind on you that night. The conversation I had with you minutes after Funso Williams was killed and the way you handled your your succession made me to severe political links with you within six months .
Odumakin’s anxiety over vanishing feeding-bottles (1)
One would have thought that a recent strong-worded rebuke by a moral authority and erudite professor of law, Itse Sagay, would serve as a cautionary tale to Mr. Yinka Odumakin, to turn a new leaf. In the article under reference, Professor Sagay dismissed the self-styled spokesman of Afenifere as the very opposite of the high principles that the Yoruba socio-cultural organization founded by Obafemi Awolowo is supposed to stand for. He likened him to a jackal addicted to carrion, dead meat.
But Yinka is far too steeped in political hustling to be dissuaded by the sobering words of an elder. Otherwise he would not have shamelessly accepted his latest hatchet job nicely packaged as “Orange Movement advocacy” in Lagos even after the cat had already been let out of the bag that it was an agenda of vendetta hastily put together by the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) after seeing their dream of returning to Aso Rock ending in smokes on February 23 on account of the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari by the Nigerian masses who endorse his anti-corruption stand.
Having been displaced by the “Otoge” movement in Kwara State the way the “Arab Spring” swept tyrants from power in the Arab world in 2011, Yinka’s clients recruited him and other political hirelings to try a similar experiment in Lagos. But they forget that Lagosians are enlightened people who appreciate conscientious and visionary leadership, not the feudal lords who impoverished the people and rode on their backs like tin-gods in Kwara.
If they were still in doubt, the results of the gubernatorial poll in Lagos last weekend which gave an emphatic victory to APC should show political neophytes like Odumakin that Lagosians know quality and know the party that best serves their interests. Only the blind and the deaf will not see or appreciate the remarkable transformation of Lagos in the last twenty years it has been under a progressive leadership inspired by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It is not for nothing that Lagos is acknowledged today as the “Center of Excellence” and a good model which other states proudly copy from.
But, out of malice and envy, the Odumakins of this world would abuse Tinubu rather than salute him for the progress report in Lagos. Yinka is hardly restrained in calling the Jagaban names. But it is the essential unconscionable Yinka who instinctively bites the finger that fed him once he finds a juicier offer elsewhere. Who will believe that Tinubu that Odumakin calls unprintable names today is the same man who had provided him a lifeline years back when he suffered a life-threatening affliction that almost led to his arm being amputated. In his usual generosity, Tinubu provided the funds for ailing Yinka to be flown abroad for proper medicare.
Having apparently found new paymasters, it is the same arm that Yinka now uses to write lies and libel against Tinubu.
Today, many are quick to chant Awo’s name in vain and also make a show of putting on Awo’s cap. But Awo was known for consistency. Not so with self-proclaimed inheritors of Awo’s legacy like Odumakin. That explains his career in political harlotry. Awo played the politics of principle, not convenience or “stomach infrastructure”.
What is quite amusing is the self-delusion of the likes of Yinka, totally oblivious of the fact that most Nigerians are now too sensible to be deceived by the antics of fake activists who wear fake Awo caps and mouth Awoism in vain but who, in reality, are nothing more than hungry hustlers looking for what to eat.
The story involving Pastor Tunde Bakare years back perhaps illustrates this better. Of course, at some point, Odumakin was following the convener of Save Nigeria Group all over the place. During a visit to then President Goodluck Jonathan, typical of the culture in Aso Rock at the time, a fat envelope containing dollars was passed to someone on the entourage of the Latter Rain Pastor as the usual “appearance fee”. The information of the illicit collection only reached Pastor Bakare after he arrived back in the hotel in Abuja.
A highly principled man, Pastor Bakare instantly ordered that the unsolicited money be returned to the sender. We challenge Odumakin to deny that he was not the one ordered to return the “Egunje” to the Villa.
Today, Nigerians are certainly a lot wiser to distinguish true activists like Gani Fewinhimi or Chima Ubani who led conscientious lives from the cash-and-carry ones. We are surely not dummies not to recognise fake comrades with couterfeit khaki now derided as “come-and-raid” who are not ashamed when addressed today as billionaires without visible source of income other than the “struggle”.
For instance, stories have been flying around about a gargantuan printing press located in one of the South-West states which ownership has been traced to an “Afenifere activist”. Again, we challenge Yinka to deny he is not the one being referred to here. If in the affirmative, be sure that the next question he will have to answer is whether merely issuing press statement in Afenifere’s name has become so rewarding to make him afford that, since he is not known to be engaged in any other gainful employment.
The same challenge was thrown at him pointedly years back during a media war with the publisher of THISDAY, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena. While decrying what he described as an attempt to blackmail him, Obaigbena alleged that Odumakin had tried to “hustle” him for some bucks during an encounter. He, therefore, asked the “highly principled” Yinka to explain to Nigerians what else he did for a living apart from parading himself as “Yoruba/Southern leader” by virtue of being Afenifere’s “spokesman”. —a charge Yinka is yet to respond to satisfactorily.
Nowadays, Yinka chooses to be intemperate when criticising President Buhari, often resorting to gutter language. Yet, the same Yinka was Buhari’s hyperactive media aide and errandboy while the General was vying for president on the platform of CPC in 2011.
But this cheap hireling has no stomach for any cause that does not bring him “stomach infrastructure” in the short term. Hence, after Buhari lost, it did not take long before loquacious Yinka migrated to a greener pasture in Goodluck Jonathan’s kingdom. Once the price was right for Yinka, without shame, the same Jonathan he had abused thoroughly as “clueless” during the 2011 campaign became “Awo’s reincarnate” worthy of his praise and worship. What a shame!
The same inconsistency could be seen in Yinka cringing sheepishly while appearing in newspaper photographs with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo today as “Afenifere spokesman” in an orgy of political opportunism. Suddenly, to Yinka, OBJ is now a sage whose statements should be treated as Holy Grail since it is anti-Buhari. Yet, this is the same man Yinka literally took to the cleaners with his commercial fountain-pen in a watery piece of hagiography commissioned by his paymaster as at 2014. Since Obasanjo was opposed to Jonathan’s bid for second term then, Yinka went to town with his hatchet job.
Today, this shameless hack writer has made a complete somersault by praise-singing OBJ. Both are brought together by nothing more than common hatred for Buhari.
Of course, the story of how this political quisling literally forced himself on Afenifere as “spokesman” is now all too familiar. According to a NADECO hero and Afenifere original, Ayo Opadokun, Yinka used to be like an idle “verandar boy” who showed extraordinary enthusiasm once the real leaders had risen from a meeting and drafted a communique and were looking for someone to help them circulate the statement around media houses in Lagos. With time, he started allowing himself to be introduced as “Afenifere spokesman”!
That Afenifere platform is what Yinka has used for social climbing. What is supposed to be an honorary, “part-time” commitment is what he has now turned to full-time job for meal ticket.
Column-writing is supposed to be dedicated to canvassing views without doing any violence to public sensibilities or morality. Not so with Odumakin who has turned the space given him in Vanguard weekly to either marketing his “jeun-jeun” (chop-I-chop) rackets or peddling falsehood or embarking on ego-trips by dropping names or telling fables portraying him as rubbing shoulders with the high and the mighty or on first-name basis with truly recognised Yoruba elders.
We live in a free society where free enterprise is assured. So, ordinarily, one should not begrudge Yinka for looking for where his bread is buttered. But what I find rather sickening is his attempt to masquerade his purely commercial ventures as a noble cause done to further Yoruba interest. Of course, he was errandboy and hitman for the PDP gang that wrecked some Yoruba states until the APC hurricane of 2015.
For instance, when thuggish Ayo Fayose was busy storming courts and beating up presiding judges for delivering unfavorable judgments, Odumakin did not see anything wrong with that, as long as the gates to the Government House in Ado-Ekiti were not shut against him.
But with the enthronement of APC in most of the Yoruba states in 2015, the “pipelines” of patronage that sustained commercial activists like Odumakin were blocked, hence their hysterical cry and maniacal agitation against APC. Now, with the re-election of APC for another term, Yinka and co. are terrified by the prospects of spending another four years without PDP “feeding bottles”.
So, when next you hear Yinka say “Aluta”, you have to probe who he just had lunch with or who he is hoping to have dinner with.
Mr. Segun Ibirogba is the Executive Director of Youths Leadership Training Centre based in Lagos