INTERVIEW: Lagosians are tired of Tinubu; will defeat him 2015 — Obanikoro

Former minister of state for defence and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, in this interview explains why Lagos people should dump the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on whose platform he seeks to become the state governor in 2015.

PT: Why do you think you lost the 2007 gubernatorial election?

Obanikoro: Well I guess the other side wanted it more than us, it’s all about who wanted it most and they went out and took care of business. Well, I don’t want to cry over spilt milk, they had an advantage and took advantage of it and the rest is history. So we just have to ensure that the same doesn’t repeat itself again, that’s all.

PT: In your resignation letter, you said Lagos is in political and economic bondage, what do you mean by this?

Obanikoro: We have a man who has kept us in bondage for almost 16 years now, and I think it’s high time we liberated our state from him and I’m committed to that, no doubt about that. If you know the amount of tax payers’ money that goes into servicing one person, it’s grossly unacceptable and there is no doubt in my mind that the whole of Lagos will rise against that and usher in a new era in Lagos.

PT: How do you intend to liberate Lagos and Lagosians from these bondages?

Obanikoro: You see, the people are ready to free themselves. Everybody is talking about it, all we have to do is to encourage to work with us them and I believe they are ready from what we have seen all over Lagos.

PT: PDP lost at the Osun election and won the Ekiti election, what do you think was responsible for the loss in Osun?

Obanikoro: Well I think we were rigged in Osun and we will do everything humanly possible to prevent that from happening in Lagos. And if you look at the number of voters that were transferred from Lagos to go and vote in Osun, its criminal, and in addition to that, we have to close all the available loopholes to ensure victory for our party.

PT: You have praised and criticized some actions of the present Lagos government, do you think the administration has done well?

Obanikoro: They have tried their best but we have to move Lagos beyond the best that’s what the challenge is all about. Let me tell you, I know I have sufficient exposure and experience in life to take Lagos to another level; all it takes to change the face of Lagos is the commitment and the exposure I have over the years in terms of what is achievable and what is not.

PT: Some have described some of the projects of these administration as elitist, you share same belief?

Obanikoro: To some extent it is correct, and then we have to return government to the people. Look at the Lekki-ikoyi Bridge, N29.5 billion, how many of that do we have in Lagos? Just that one and then it is the most expensive one in the world. It is expensive because the lord in bourdilon, Bola Tinubu, who these projects must go through before they are done and that is why people like us are in the race to ensure that we eliminate the third force in government which is making life unbearable for the good people of Lagos. The burden he has already inflicted on this state is already huge that we cannot allow that to continue for another four years.

PT: Your campaign slogan is “Greater Lagos”, how greater will Lagos be should you become governor?

Obanikoro: Well I have said it’s going to be greater, let me tell you, Alhaji Jakande is the father of modern Lagos, yeah Fashola has also tried but what we envisage in our first 4 years, honestly, will be unparalleled in the history of development in Nigeria. We recognize that we are going to inherit a huge debt, but we have the thinking capacity to restructure some of these debts so that it doesn’t become a burden towards development.

PT: The debt management office in Abuja has put Lagos debt at 1.2billion dollars, do you think Lagos should be in this kind of debt?

Obanikoro:  I think our debt is more than that, it’s more than $1.2 billion and I am sure that the infrastructures in Lagos are not commensurate with the debt. And it is so because there is a man in bourdilion that must be factored into any project that is executed here in Lagos. That force must be removed so that people can have value for their money.

PT: If you are not given the PDP ticket, who would you rather see become the governor come 2015?

Obanikoro: Well with the people, I don’t have doubt in my mind that I would be elected as PDP flag bearer and eventually has governor of Lagos state.

PT: Do you think the political history in Lagos will favour you in your quest to become governor?

Obanikoro: Absolutely, I have always been for Lagos, I served Lagos meritoriously as chairman of a local government, served meritoriously as a commissioner, served meritoriously as a Senator and I don’t see how I wouldn’t be a better governor than AC or ACN’s governor.

PT: President Goodluck Jonathan has declared his ambition to run for a second term, do you think he has performed well enough to get the peoples vote for a second term?

Obanikoro: He has done very well, he deserves it.

PT: You resigned as the minister of state for defence to join this governorship race, why do you think Nigeria has been unable to win the war against Boko Haram?

Obanikoro: Well, war against terrorism is not a hundred meter dash, it’s a marathon, and we want all Nigerians to buckle up, for a long fight against terrorism. It’s a war without boundary , it’s a war that the perpetrators are faceless, so with that kind of war, you can’t determine when it’s going to be over, but what is gratifying is we have the capacity to end it.


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  • Pointblank

    Editor Premium Times,

    CONFIRMED LAGOS DEBT TODAY IS $3.7 BILLION DOLLARS

    Alhaji Musiliu Obanikoro is dishonest. He said last week Lagos owes 1 trillion Naira.
    It is very dishonest of him to avoid repeating that plain honest truth in this interview.
    Alhaji Musliu Obanikoro has no balls to face up to his Muslim comrades in APC.

    On May 21st, 2014, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Ayodeji Gbeleyi,
    himself confirmed that Lagos state debts, as at May 2014, stood at N435 billion;
    including N275 billion in bonds – equivalent to 2.7 billion United States dollars.
    Now, discounting monthly interest rates on the commercial portion of this debt,
    gross Lagos state government debt is now equal to all of the expected federal
    revenue allocation to Lagos state in the next three and half years, now at $3.7 billion,
    based on the additional one billion dollars loan Raji Fashola took four months ago.

    All these without equivalent benefits on the ground to show in Lagos state – dollar for dollar.
    If the bank loan portion of this $3.7billion is separated and calculated at the current
    exchange rate, Raji Fashola would be seen to have recklessly burnt up Lagos state finances.
    Now, for every one billion Naira of this loan, Lagos state now has to look for extra 130 million Naira.
    So, multiply130 million Naira 320 times (of equivalent $2b dollars) and you’ll see Lagos is bankrupt.

    • Omo’oodua

      “Everybody in Yorubaland is looking for a way to liberate themselves once again from (APC)
      – the pretenders who claim to be progressives but are the opposite of anything progressive.
      They say they are ‘progressives’ but they admit all the corrupt people from the PDP
      and bring them together to form the All Progressives Congress [APC].”

      “What is progressive about ex-Governor Nyako, for example? Now that the Yoruba people have
      known that the APC is worse than PDP – in corruption, impunity, and, lack of internal democracy,
      we have to vote against APC”

      ……………..Senator Femi Okunrounmu

      (Yoruba Leader and Co-orodinator of the last National Conference)

      [July 26th, 2014]

      • Jimi Savage

        ……RAJI FASHOLA AND THE THEFT OF $40b REVENUE OF LAGOS

        Lagos state government under Alhaji Raji Fashola is the headquarters of stealing.
        Between 2007 and now, Raji Fashola received more than seven [7] billion dollars
        in federal revenue allocation. He also received another 11 billion U.S dollars
        in internally generated revenue in the same period; totalling 18 billion U.S dollars.

        All this money without a single functioning public school or running city transport
        to show for it. The state’s BRT bus system (a pilfered idea) has all but collapsed,
        with barely 15% of the BRT bus fleet left, due to ruinous official thefts in Lagos,
        all within three years of the (shambolic) BRT operation.

        Alhaji Raji Fashola sank Lagos state with his financially un-accountable governance.
        Despite the 18 billion dollars he’s received from 2007 till date, and without rendering
        Lagos state public accounts to the people till now, Alhaji Raji Fashola has today
        incurred a whopping 3.7 billion dollars in debts on the necks of all Lagosians.

        Taking into account that between 1999 and now, Lagos state earned $40 billion dollars
        in revenues, nobody in Lagos state today, not even the most rabid Islamists in government
        offices, can point to 40-billion-dollar worth of amenities or services provided Lagosians.
        Between Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu the 40 billion dollars was instead split, shared,
        pocketed and squandered through self-owned companies.

        • Yoruba Ronu

          “APC regime runs Lagos State with impunity and has turned Lagos State into an animal farm
          where some people are more equal than others. In Lagos state where workers earn N18,000
          as minimum wage, and where the daily living income per family hovers around $2 (about N325),
          tuition fee as high as N150,000 represent a death sentence for the educational aspirations of the
          Lagos youth population. This must not be allowed. Lagos also has the worst transport extortion
          regime in Nigeria, Africa and perhaps the world.”

          ……………Dr. Frederick Fasheun

          (Founder O’odua Peoples Congress, OPC)

          (July 21st, 2014)

      • Jemi Anene

        “It would come as no great surprise if Bola Tinubu’s boasted great wealth

        did NOT derive from any stupendous inheritance – ancient or modern.
        I have also become aware that he (Bola Tinubu) is a beneficiary of most

        of the lucrative contracts in all the (Yoruba) ACN states, without exception”.

        …………Chief Tom Ikimi

        [August 26th, 2014]

    • Raymond (Journalist)

      @ Pointblank:

      Well, but for me, i refuse to accept that the journalist who grossly understated the Lagos debt here
      has no ability or opportunity to have ascertained the actual figure of $3.7b dollars, to avoid misleading
      the reading public. Who’s going to gain from this deliberately false figure of $1.1 b the journalist mis-stated?

      • Vandu

        “The only way to stop us from stealing is to stone us. The Nigerian followers are as guilty
        as the Nigerian leaders. The Nigerian institutions are all compromised; and there is no alternative
        to them as it is. Nigerians appear not to be against stealing and corruption but only against how
        long you stay stealing and being corrupt. Don’t ever expect those in public office to fight corruption
        on these facts.”

        .…..Governor Rotimi Amaechi
        (Rivers state)

        (June 30th, 2014)

      • Ms. Vivian

        Journalists are APC payroll; they cover up these thefts and help turn Nigeria into an Islamic State!

        • Ireti

          So sad. Nigerian journalists let Nigeria down. In journalism facts are supposed to be sacred.
          But in Nigeria journalists intentionally mangle the facts and twist it to their own cash benefits.

    • Shaun

      Sir,

      ….Lagos state debt increased by at least ₦26billion on Tuesday

      You have a strong point but your math is a bit confusing. For every one billion dollar loan,
      Lagos state needed to repay ₦155 billion before Tuesday’s currency devaluation. Right?
      At 168 Naira to a dollar, Lagos government now needs to repay ₦168 billion, and that means
      an extra 13 billion Naira on every one billion dollar loan (less compound interest). That does
      mean that if just two (2) billion dollars of the 3.7 billion dollars Lagos debt today consists of
      commercial bank loans, Lagos debt has jumped up by a whopping 26 billion Naira two days ago,
      less compound interest repayment.

      • Shonsho

        Yepa! If the whole 3.7b dollars is bank loan nko? That means Lagos debt shot up by 50b Naira, eh?
        Ha, my people Raji Fashola has destroyed Lagos. This is a financial crime to the illiterate Lagosians!

        • Public Records

          “In Nigeria, the pauperised many have sent a memo to the criminally-rich few:
          ‘We will not allow you to enjoy your ill-gotten gains in peace. We will hound you

          and pursue you everywhere you go. When you buy your Hummers, we will snatch them.

          When you send your children to expensive schools, we will kidnap them. When you retreat
          to your billion-Naira homes, you will have to sleep with one eye open. With every knock,

          you will panic and tremble, fearing it could be nemesis at the door”.

          ……………Femi Aribisala

          (Vanguard Newspaper)

  • karl marx

    ”What an old man sees while sitting on the ground, even if a boy climb an iroko tree he will not still see that thing” Obanikoroooooo…… go and sleep you are talking nonsense and you will still suffer another unrecoverable defeat. APC ALL THE WAY……..

    • Del Roy

      Political parties steal Nigeria dry – but Nigerians clap for their preferred set of thieves in a party.
      Nigerians thus operate mentally below animals, since animals show intelligence for self-defence.
      Nothing evil is nowadays alien or startling to Nigerians – inured to evil as they’ve mostly become
      – as rapes, incest, kidnapping, murder, assassination and mass illiteracy render Nigeria un-liveable.

      • Barony

        “The January 2014 global study of cities in the world done by the British Economist
        Intelligence Unit has ranked Lagos, Nigeria, as the 3rd worst liveable city in the world.
        Lagos has degraded further from its awful status in 2012 as the 4th worst city.

        On a scale of 100 Lagos now has the third poorest score of 39.0 of all cities in the world
        assessed. The study titled ‘livability’ assessed particular characteristics of each city,
        such as its crime levels, the threat of conflict, the quality of medical care, the levels
        of censorship, the city temperature, the quality of its schools and its transport links.”

        ………Reported by British Telegraph

        [January 2014]

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Is your freedom from the Tinubu economic monopoly and political enslavement not more important than “Obanikoro”

  • balogun adewale

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    • Toyota Hilus Pickup-N850,000
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    • Toyota Coaster Bus 32 seaters – N1000,000
    . Toyota highlander- N500,000-1000000
    Toyoya sienna — N300,000-900,000
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    • Toyota Venza –N1000000Prices of some Peugeot Cars
    Peugeot c230 N200,000
    C300 N300,000
    prices of some Honda cars
    Honda Civic cars – N250,000
    Honda Accord – N300,000-750,000
    Honda Odyssey – N320,000-650,000
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  • F.T Akinlo

    WHAT IS PROGRESSIVE ABOUT APC GOVERNMENT IN LAGOS STATE?

    Do Nigerian journalists do the math to assess if a particular public project is prudent;
    honest, and, worthy? I doubt it. It’s terrible but no journalist ever tells us just one thing
    that’s functioning well and is progressive in Lagos state. What sort of journalism is that?

    Are Lagos primary schools functioning or progressive? No! Are Lagos secondary schools either?
    No! How about Lagos hospitals? No! Even Lagos state APC officials flee abroad for knee injury.
    How about Lagos bus system, BRT – is that one functioning and progressive? Of course not!

    So what’s progressive about APC government in Lagos that’s cost Lagosians 40 billion dollars,
    plus another un-precedented debt overhang of another $3.7 billion dollars today for God’s sake?

    • O.G.B

      Oh, oh. Have i not said it here before? I told you guys.
      Stealing is the ideology of Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu.

      • Brekederemo

        “The financial revenue Nigeria received for the
        whole of 2012 from the sale of crude oil is more than the total foreign aid the
        entire sub Saharan Africa received in that same year; so, where is the money?
        Where is the improvement in Nigeria?”

        ……British Prime Minister, David Cameron

        (January 24th, 2013)

  • Buhari/Okorocha for President

    Obanikoro the dreamer….. who will vote for a rogue like you as governor

  • Bola Iyiola

    I agree with you that the fraudulent man (Tinubu) must be jailed but I don’t want PDP governing my state.

  • Liegeria

    This is a watery interview by all standards.

  • Maria

    He is not even going to win PDP primaries. Rather tan focusing his energy on how he will emerge PDP flag bearer… this yeye Alhaji is busy running down opposition he is not sure he will contest against.