By Lateef Adegbite
Barely one and six months after Olabode George, a retired Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Commodore and one-time deputy National Chairman of the Opposition People Democratic Party, PDP, who had served as the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, had said that he will go on’’ exile ’’if Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state becomes the Nigerian President he is still in Nigerian looking for ways to enter into pebnetrate into the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, government.
George, had vowed in 2022, to take the citizenship of the West African country of Togo or relocate to Ghana and be watching with the binoculars from afar what is happening in Nigeria. He had said that ‘’it would be the most illogical and most disruptive issue to have the former Lagos state governor as the President to manage both the human and material resources of the country.
He has called on Abdullaziz Bawa, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC, ‘’to investigate Tinubu’s tenure as Lagos state governor and his alleged involvement with Alpha Beta Consulting , a tax firm’’, in the state but that was how far he could go.
He had said that ‘’people wishing the former Lagos state to emerge the next Nigerian President after the February 25, 2023, Presidential election would need for ‘’medical examination’’, asking the question that if he becomes the next Nigerian President after Muhammadu Buhari, what investment would he be bringing to the country, considering what ‘’they had had put at the Bar Beach’’.
He had said that the erstwhile Lagos state governor, who many believe drew the roadmap for the development of Lagos state is not’’ the kind of person that we can handover this massive country to manage’’. He has alluded to the fact that if he finds his way to the national government , Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady will become the Senate President ,his son will be the governor of Lagos state and the daughter , the Oloja of Nigeria’’ to create another Alter-Beta that would siphon the country’s money.
Retired Commodore George, appears to singing a different song about Tinubu, his political rival in the nation’s Commercial nereve cntre, describing his performance in office between May 29, 2023 and now as ”reasonably much better compared to his time as governor of Lagos state”.
The former PDP, deputy national Chairman, who has repeatedly said that he is not an ‘’enemy of the Nigerian President had said that they could not agree because of the latter’s ‘’methodology and managerial style’’.
He noted that as someone with a military background and as logistician, ‘’you don’t carry your men to the war front without adequately doing your serious planning and intelligence gathering’’. He may have done his planning and intelligence gathering and found that the Jagaban of Lagos is not as bad as he has made people to believe.
, Going b his comments on Tinubu, in the recent to project him in good light clearly shows that he is looking for relevance in the new Administration. He appears to lobbying Lagos state born Nigerian President to give him an appointment either as a Special Adviser since the former Senator Ahmad Lawan, led 9th Senate, had approved 20 special Advisers for him and he has already appointed ten, remaining an additional ten to be appointed or be given a ministerial portfolio.
Appearing on Channels Television, on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the former deputy National Chairman, of the PDP, who could not hide his feelings had said that he would seek ‘’the permission of the PDP Leadership both at the state and national level should Tinubu ‘’approach him ‘’to work together for the good of the country’’.
Many believe that President Tinubu would find it difficult to bring George closer because they are two parallel people. Indeed, the President’s appointments so far shows that he is only compensating those who had worked with him in the past either as security details or have remained in his political Camp between 199 and now, and retired Commodore George may not have fitted in. This may have informed why most of his political appointees at present are picked from the Yoruba race.
It was not surprising why he has appointment of Kayode Egbetokun, who will retire from the service on September 24, 2024, as country’s new IGP, against the provisions of the 2020 Police Act, signed into Law, by formermer President Muhammadu B Buhari.
The Police Act has made it clear that someone to be appointed as the country’s next IGP, to replace Usman Alkali Baba, the outong IGP, must have at least four years in the service before retirement, to serve a complete four- year tenure.
He was said to have appointed AIG Hakeem Odumsu, rtd, a one-time Commissioner of Police, Lagos state Command as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC, following the suspension of Abdullaziz Bawa. Unconformed report said Babajide Samwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, elected for a second term in the March 1, governorship election in the state may have influenced his appointment following their close working relationship when he was the number one Corp in the state and helped in curbing crime in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, had described him as ‘’nemesis’’ of criminally –minded elements, noting that ‘’the retired AIG, as Commissioner of Police in the state had deep knowledge of the nooks and crannies of the state that he could fish out the criminals from their hideouts’.
The Lagos state governor was said to have told those that cares to listen that AIG. Odumosu attended’’ to his Constitutional duties with vigour, courage and without giving excuses’’. It was therefore not surprising when the position of the Chairman, of the EFF, became vacant, and the President needed to fill it, Sanwo-Olu, quickly chipped a word him as someone who could deliver on his mandate if given the opportunity to head the Commission. He had his way.
While George, a former NAF Logistician had said that he can work for Tinubu if approached, Henry Ayoola, a retired Major General and former Chief of Defense Research and Development , had said that Tinubu has demonstrated Leaderhip in a grand style within the last three weeks in office.
He noted that asides from the zonal and regional balance in the selection of his Aides, Service and Intelligence Chiefs, the quality of The officers Bear eloquent testimony ‘’ to what must have gone behind in thinking and arriving at the list’’.