A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, says those protesting and kicking against the inauguration of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, on 29 May, should not turn the country into a “banana republic”.
Mr Obanikoro, a former ambassador of Nigeria to Ghana, made the remark while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of the 9th Ramadan Lecture of Anwar-Ul Islam College, Agege, Old Students’ Association (ACAOSA), on Saturday in Lagos.
NAN reports that the Ramadan Lecture had in attendance various alumni of the school including Mr Obanikoro, Tunde Balogun, former Lagos APC chairman, civil servants, technocrats, entrepreneurs, legal practitioners and academics.
The lecture was titled, “Islamic Perspective of a Good Governance: Any Lesson for Nigeria?”
Mr Obanikoro said: “They are daydreaming. There is no perfect election anywhere in the world.
“For anyone that is not satisfied, what is next is to go through the judiciary. If you feel aggrieved, go to the court.
“We cannot turn Nigeria into a banana republic.
“Our system is not perfect, it is a work in progress, we have to continue to work at it until we get to a situation that all of us will be comfortable with.”
Describing as sad and unfortunate the calls by some people for an Interim National Government, Mr Obanikoro said that those calling for it showed that they did not appreciate democracy, hence not qualified to lead such a government.
“It sounds crazy to me,” he added.
Speaking about the Ramadan lecture, Mr Obanikoro, who described good governance as the teaching of God in the Quran and Bible, said good governance should be about putting people first.
“The idea is to help the vulnerable among us and create a society where we will be our brother’s keepers.
“That is the essence of governance, and that is what the religion of Islam or Christianity is preaching almost on a daily basis,” he said.
Mr Obanikoro, who was presented an award by ACAOSA for his contributions to the school through the association, said it was a privilege to give back to the school that had given them so much.
“Giving back comes naturally. I commend the ACAOSA for honouring us and we shall do more.
“Anytime you are recognised by your peers for doing something special, you have to appreciate it because you are not the only one, there are others too,” he said.
Commending the organisers for their tenacity, Mr Obanikoro said that the association would continue to do more for the college.
Similarly, Lawal Pedro, the president-general of ACAOSA, also told NAN that those protesting against the 29 May inauguration of Mr Tinubu were not democrats, saying “they are people who do not mean well for the country”.
Maintaining that the election was relatively free and fair considering the number of states each of the major contenders won, Mr Pedro urged those who lost to plan for the next electoral cycle.
“These people should not be tolerated, in fact, the necessary authorities should go after them. If they have evidence of being rigged, they should take it to the court rather can constituting nuisance,” he said.
Also, Tunde Balogun, former Lagos APC chairman and another recipient of the ACAOSA LifeTime Award, said that the college had done a lot of positive things for him in life.
“My life was shaped and given foundation by this college. I came into this school at age 14 and left when I was an adult.
“It is was a great privilege for this school to have helped me in building my character and preparing me for what I do now,” the former senior prefect boy of the college said.
The Chairman of the day, Fola Adeola, said that the school had produced so many great personalities in Nigeria.
Mr Adeola, who was represented by Yinka Adeola, his brother, noted that the association was proud of the feats of the college in the area of academics, sports and others.
NAN reports that other awardees include S. Adeyanju, the first College Imam (1960-1963); A. Omofade, a former Permanent Secretary in Lagos State and Alade Akintonwa, former Dean, Faculty of Basic Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
Others are Rasaq Yusuf, a retired civil servant, and Abdul-Ganiu Ajala, a surveyor among others.
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