Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has not been very happy since he left office – and you can always deduce that each time he speaks. In this second part of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE’s interview with him, the handsome billionaire and owner of Kresta Laurel talks about the pains of being labelled a violent person as well as how former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole allegedly betrayed him…
WHY PEOPLE THINK HE’S VIOLENT AND KILLED DIPO DINA
I’m not a violent person and I have never been violent. I can’t be violent; there’s nothing I want to get from being violent. Then, later on, they said I killed Dipo Dina; I said stupid people! Dipo Dina, nitori kini? E wo ile yellow yi, to wan leyin ile mi (look at that yellow house behind mine). That’s Chief Dina’s house. Baba to bi Dipo; aburo e, to je pe owu wa ni baba Dipo leyin tin baba Dipo ku; Chief Dina, ile e ni (That house belongs to the younger brother of Dipo’s father). This yellow house! When I was building this house, he came to me and said look, OGD, the spate of armed robbery (here) is high o; let me give you an opportunity to put an escape door on this fence so that if there’s anything that happens, you can run in, because this place leads to Ikorodu Road, but that leads to another close, which has better (Mende) security. That’s Chief Dipo Dina’s house. That’s how close…Now, people are saying I killed Dipo Dina. Okay, you want to win election, you must put it on me; you put it on me. All manner of articles were written…The media, not all, have not been fair to me. They have not been fair to me and they are still not being fair to me. Even when I’m not there again. (What exactly did I do). Kini mo se ga gan? They now said I killed Dipo Dina! I then looked up to my God, I said God, if there’s one murder that you must help me to unravel, it is this Dipo Dina’s murder. Then, February 2010, one of your people, he’s a crime reporter called Rotimi Williams; he says OGD, I have news for you. What is it? I have information. Tell me! To cut a long story short, they found out the killers of Dipo Dina. I said good, good, good…Don’t bring it to me o! (General laugher). Bring it to police; police hierarchy. Not even to Eleweran (in Ogun), take it to IG in Abuja. Because they said the people have escaped; they said they are now in Cotonou and they need Federal Government to state to state collaboration to do what they have to do. So, I kept quiet, because if we report it, they will say ah, Compass lo report e! Other people that would have reported it; it has not happened till today – and this is the 3rd or 4th occasion that I, Governor of 8 years, has publicly spoken about this matter. And then, they now opened the case and charged it to court in Abeokuta. But once they charged it to court, ah, court process will soon complete. That is what we are going (through) until I now had to do my battle; battle of G15. It was Speaker Egbetokun, who is a Senior Special Adviser to Amosun today. Who were the people who collaborated with G15? It was Tunde Oladunjoye, who last week was appointed a member of the board. Why can’t you people open your eyes for once and say these are the issues, let us look at them. So, I was busy doing what I was doing and then election wahala. We moved and got to find out; come to think of it? What is going on about this case? Why are we not hearing anything about it? Only for us to hear that when they got to court, they now said they wanted the Attorney General to take a decision on whether they should proceed. I didn’t even know why that one was necessary, because there’s a new Governor. He now said he wanted the opinion of the Attorney General, whether they should proceed with a criminal case! And till today, the Attorney General of Ogun State did not do anything. He left! Another one is now there, they’ve not done anything. And then I was hearing that the prison is congested and Amosun now wants to go and release some. I then shouted again. I said yes, the prison may be congested, there are people who are facing murder (trial) of a public figure in Ogun State; those people must not be released by any omission or commission. Let the Attorney General give a rule that they should continue the prosecution. The people of Ogun State want to know what happened, who killed him and till today, it is still being swept under the carpet. There are media (people) here. All the people who reported that I was the killer, where is the backup story to the injustice that was done to me?
ON IYABO OBASANJO BEING SLAPPED BY HIS MEN
They said our security men slapped Iyabo. How many people remember the story? Right inside the church, and luckily, somebody took a video and put it on youtube. It’s still on youtube till today. So, where is the violence of OGD?
ATTACK ON ALABA LAWSON
Aha! Alaba Lawson was attacked, Iyalode and her security guard was killed. So, it’s OGD! So, we just want to go and kill the security guard to prove to her that we are powerful?
WALE ADEDAYO’S ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
We are in court, we are in court. I’ve sued him for libel. We are in court. But thank God, there’s nowhere that the Babalawo (his nickname) said he has a small cut in his hand. So, where is the violence? And you heard the action film? While they were trying to kill him, he’s driving, and they were trying to kill him. He got his pump action; he’s still driving o! And they want to kill him o! And he’s still driving, then he got it and then he was spraying (Demonstrates it). The Shina Rambo! Then, he killed three of them, and then he’s still driving and then he escaped. They didn’t even shoot his tyre…Those are the stories that are paraded internationally just because somebody feels that OGD has become a threat again.
FACE OFF WITH DIMEJI BANKOLE
You heard about the Ota episode? How I was there in my bus and the Speaker of the Federal Republic came into the bus and was actually wrestling with the driver for the steering of the car, in the presence of Minister of State for Works, Engr. Ogienwonyi, one other minister and somebody else. No, Daggash. And then the Speaker came and did all his drama. My ADC was livid. He said look, we will… And we sat down like this. And after he did all the drama, he was then persuaded to please, just disembark, let the vehicle of a sitting governor move and nothing happened. For a boy that I picked and with the grace of God single handedly put in Abuja, single handedly supported against all odds; against OBJ, to become Speaker. So, they said we are violent towards him…
BITTER FEUD WITH OSOBA AND AMOSUN
Osoba went into exile for 8 years. In all of these, nobody has mentioned the name of one or two people that was killed. When the Governor (Amosun) was doing his inaugural address, a sitting Governor said 56 supporters of his were killed in the course of his struggle to become Governor. That is the most hostile takeover in history. The Director of State Prosecution, the Attorney General, The Commissioner of Police, the court, everything is at his disposal. And he has not been able to even file…I have lost my immunity. And then when they said they wanted to do Truth Commission, that was the opportunity for everybody to bring their petition and then when the Truth Commission finished their report, they said Mrs. Daniel slapped Oladunjoye. I said so, of all these ‘killings’ that went in Ogun State, the only thing that you were able to see is Mrs. Daniel slapping somebody. I then wrote Tragicomedy Unlimited and I dared them; I wrote it 2 years ago. It’s public knowledge that I am waiting for them to be bold enough… They have not given me any response to any of the three Tragicomedy Series till today. Not one! And I will distribute as many copies as I have. If you do a Truth Commission where you wanted to expose violence and killings and you came out of that Truth Commission, you were not even able; even the Ozogula that they are mentioning, for God’s sake, this man is still walking freely on the streets of Abeokuta. This so called (man) is supposed to be the head of my ‘killer squad’. You still have not been able to pick this guy and say, come and answer to this one charge; not even killing; of assault. This propaganda must have limits! But the tragedy of the propaganda is that the people who are educated, believe it. So, what am I saying? Leave this! This is a small matter. The bigger issue is how are the media people going to help us to ask questions? Not to take things hook, line and sinker as the propagandists would have presented. If we solve that in this country, half of our problem as a country is solved. But they look at all of us here as gullible; we call ourselves elite, I say no, elite means educated illiterates, because if we are educated and we don’t seek and find information, then where is the education? I submit myself to any question whatsoever. There are no issues; I’m not a saint, but I went out of my way in Ogun State to do good and to do right. Anybody can make mistakes. I didn’t steal a dime of Ogun State money. In all my 8 years in Ogun State, I did not even ask a police (man) to go and arrest anybody. It’s not my duty, it’s the duty of the police to investigate. They can arrest if necessary. There was no political victimization in Ogun State and there is nobody in Ogun State who can say that as a result of his political conviction, he got victimized during my tenure. Nobody can say he lost his job because of his political belief during my tenure and I’m challenging you, bring that person out, let him come and say what happened. When I took over in 2003, a week before he left, Osoba signed about 2500 letters of employment, which he didn’t do in 4 years. I absorbed all of them. What else do you want a man to do that I’ve not done?
Bo ya won fe pa ketekete ni? (Maybe they want to kill the horse)
(General laughter) Oooh!
(To be concluded next edition)
NB: First published August 2014