Friday 3 April 2015

Anyone who is against the pipeline contract is an enemy of the Yoruba – Gani Adams

National Coordinator of the Yoruba Socio-Cultural
group, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani
Adams, in this interview reveals that his rusty
relationship with the leader of All Progressive
Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was as a result of
his resolve to free himself and his group from the
servitude of the opposition.

He discloses how the leader of the party truncated
the peace move brokered by Governor Aregbesola
of Osun State; the pipeline contract President
Jonathan awarded OPC. This interview was on the
eve of the last Presidential election. Excerpts.

OPC is believed to be a social cultural organisation,
but the recent rally organised by you in support of
Jonathan shows that it has become partisan.

Why is
OPC delving into partisan politics?
Well, every human being is a political animal.

Politics is everywhere even in your homes. If you
have four children, there is possibility that two of
them will support everything the father does while
others will pitch their tent with the mother.

That is
politics within the family.
]You also have politics with your community or in
landlord associations, social clubs including your
business ventures. We were only supporting a
candidate without involving in what went on within
the political parties. Here in my office, you cannot
see anything reflecting PDP as a party.

We also did
not use the symbol of PDP, or that of any other
party. I am a leader of Oodua People Congress and
convener of Coalition of Concerned Nigerians and
the Convener of Oodua Progressive Union in abroad
as well as the Promoter of Olokun Festival
Foundation and Chairman of Donyx Global Concept,
all these are non-partisan organisations.

Human resources are the most lucrative resources
in the world but we don’t even appreciate the value
of what we have. In the 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011
elections, we did not issue a statement that we
were going to support candidate A, B or C.

followers were scattered in all political parties
without co-ordination. We later realized that when
these politicians get into power, they don’t even
bother to know whether we are existing, they don’t
even believe we are relevant with our human

How do you mean they did not believe you are
We gathered from a reliable source that ACP as a
party, under the instruction of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
will not empower Gani Adams and OPC.

The belief
is that Gani and OPC are growing and you can only
stop him when you starve him of their needs.

months to the end of the tenure of Bola Tinubu as a
Governor, he asked Dr Fedrick Fasehun to collapse
his structure into the then ACN and promised he
would provide everything he (Fasehun) wanted.

Fasehun ignored him and you know no reasonable
person will honour that agreement.
Somebody asked him to contact Gani Adams’ group
who has 90 per cent of the men, Tinubu maintained
that Gani was stubborn and he would not accept
that arrangement but resolved that the only option
was to starve the group of funds, drain their pipe of
resources and they will come begging.

This was
shortly before Tinubu’s exit as the governor of
Lagos state. We realised that somebody who could
go to such extent can do anything to suppress you.

The truth also is that, there is hardly anything you
do without money, just like the Bible says ‘Money
answereth all things.” So, an organisation that has
over 6million people with structures in over 33
states needs money to survive. Any part of the
country that you have Yoruba, you will have OPC
led by Gani Adams. We dissipate a lot of energy to
mobilise people. We work not like those who do
theirs on pages of newspapers. What you saw on
the Monday we demonstra
ted was just three per cent of our members, about

How did your relationship with Tinubu get to this

Nobody was close to Tinubu than I was. I used to
stay with Tinubu and I would be the last man
standing with him. We ate on many occasions
around 3am on the same table. Most of my
meetings with him were during the wee hours.

know Tinubu very well and Governor Aregbesola of
Osun State.

My take is that you cannot continue to enslave me. I
am a breadwinner of my family. I am a stakeholder
in my State and my community. My followers also
want freedom. We give them various opportunities
to make a living and they are happy with what they

I cannot continue to donate my resources to
somebody who do not want to empower me. Politics
is about interest. It may interest you to know that
about seven to eight months to the election, the
president sent some people to consult me in Lagos
on his intention to run and seek my support.

immediately debriefed the National Co-ordinating
Council on the issue, we deliberated on it and we
agreed to support him.
Did you consult with other Yoruba elders before
taking that decision of supporting Jonathan?

Do we have a Yoruba leader now? There is no
Yoruba leader. And on what capacity do you call the
Yoruba elders to take a decision on election?

It has
never happened in the history of Yoruba and I don’t
think it will ever happen. This is because if you
have 70 per cent going a particular way, you will
have others going another direction.
So, you will still have majority and minority

You saw there was a summit in Akure,
another one in Ibadan and yet another summit in
Lagos formed by the APC where they goofed by
saying Olubadan endorsed Buhari which was
immediately refuted by the monarch through a paid

So, it is not easy as you said but the limit
we have is our own organisation, OPC.
Why didn’t you meet him on your grievances and
reconcile with him?
We met about three years ago when Aregbesola
tried to broker peace but Tinubu was not ready to
reconcile with me. His response that day proved
that he was not ready for reconciliation.

He justified
his position that he had assisted me on several
occasions and saved me from possible death. I
tried to make some comments but Aregbesola
stopped me, asking me to accept everything Tinubu
said for peace and I obliged. But, Tinubu himself
truncated the peace move.
During my 43rd birthday celebration, I was advised
to meet him and I went to him, gave him an
invitation letter. I waited at the reception for about
three hours. I couldn’t have waited like that to see
Jonathan. When I eventually saw him, he called one
of his aides and said: “Dare, give him N1million”

Then, I said, it is not about money, but your
presence or you send a representative.
Then, he said, he would send a woman to the
ceremony. But surprisingly, nobody came.

Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola also
did the same on my 40th birthday. I called him
severally to the wee hours of the day of the
programme. He assured me of his presence, but he
later disappointed me. My investigations showed
that he was instructed by his boss not to honour my

The Speaker of Lagos State, Ikuforiji also did the
same. His was very surprising because, he had
already sent his advance team to the occasion, an
indication that he would come, but he did not show
up and his advance team left suddenly before the
end of the programme. It was only the then
Governor Gbenga Daniel that attended that

As a Yoruba man, we value recognition
more than money.
Another scenario was during the burial ceremony of
his mother. I was offered a seat by one of the
honorable members but I decided to go and greet
him (Tinubu). To my greatest surprise, his head of
task-force, Bayo Lawal stopped me while Tinubu

I was surprised to see Tinubu behave as if
nothing had happened. I walked out of the place

It is not in my character to hero-worship. If I don’t
have enough money on me, I swallow my pride and
stay at home. There are other issues that I cannot
tell on the pages of newspapers for now so that,
people will not think I am being petty. As Yoruba,
we should strive to lift one another.
Tinubu was assisted by Afenifere and within one
and half years that he got into power, he kicked
them out. Within two years, he impeached the main
Afenifere product, Kofoworola Bucknor. He used
three deputy governors during his tenure because
of his intolerance.
The only people Tinubu wants are boot- lickers,
paupers and people without conscience. The Yoruba
race is being misrepresented by those who profess
to be Yoruba leaders. I am a long runner and a
trained fighter, you can’t rubbish me. I have more
than 20 means to fight my enemy, not with weapons
but with different strategies. I have the structures
on ground and I will use them to the letter.
About the pipeline contract
They are only calling for change on the basis of
fallacy. We are not fools, we are not desperate. We
did not negotiate with Jonathan. The pipeline issue
they are talking about started two years ago.

Several organisations submitted proposals to NNPC
and because the heat was so much then, they
slowed down the process.
They arrived at a conclusion on it last December
and we could have gotten the contract in
December, but it was delayed because of logistics.

The problem was that the Bayelsa State Governor
insisted that they should incorporate some guys in
the project, which was one of the reasons for the
delay in President’s assent. It was not awarded for
the purpose of election and it was never made to
induce us to compromise our principle.

If it was
because of the election, the President would have
given cash, if not in naira, it would be in dollars
instead of contract.

I have been in relationship with Jonathan since he
was vice President. He knows how to manage
people and maintain relationship. He would call me
and say: ‘Gani, how are you doing?” Ask Tinubu
who is a Yoruba man, the last time he called me.
Only Aregbesola and Gbenga Daniel do that. Daniel
is wonderful, he will tell you the last time you called
him or visited him and ask you if you are angry with

Late Agagu was another caring person. I was in
Brazil sometime ago when he asked Femi Agagu to
call me to send the CV of my candidate, and he
gave Segun Ajiboye an appointment. So, if we play
politics like that, we will not hesitate to die for you,
we will stick out our necks for you.

You are now
complaining that Jonathan gave us contract, a
contract that will empower no less than 15000
youths in the South West.

The leas will get N50,000. As big as Lagos State, its
work force is not up to 30,000 and how much is the
minimum wage? The people of the Niger Delta have
been enjoying these benefits. The budget of
amnesty is about N90billion every year and they
have been disbursing this money to that region for
the past six years. We are not part of the amnesty
package because there was no reason for that.

are only freedom fighters.
Thank God for that and that was the reason we
were favoured. At least the presence of OPC has
helped other agencies to reduce insecurity even on
the meagre allowance of N15,00 to N20,000.

we have to empower another 15,000 young men.
My group is 5000 men, Dr. Fasehun has 5,000 while
Gen Shuwa in Ondo has 5000 too. Do you know
how many families that will touched? They tried to
stop it two years ago and now they are harassing

You do not empower us and you don’t want
Federal government to do so.
If a Yoruba Governor did not empower the Yoruba
and someone from South-South decides to do so, I
wonder what such people want.

Anyone who is
against the pipeline contract is an enemy of the

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