From Ibidapo Balogun in Lagos
Barring any last-minute changes, former Minister of State for Defence in the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro from Lagos State, is set to formally join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obanikoro, former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Export Promotion and Investment, Mrs. Dupe Shasore, and their large army of supporters are set to join APC on Saturday, November 25, 2017.
The declaration ceremony, which has received the approval of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the party’s Chairman in Lagos State, Chief Henry Ajomale, is billed to take place at the Campos Square, Lagos Island, Lagos.
Following his decision to reconcile with his political leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, many had speculated that Obanikoro had dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for APC.
In reconciling with Asiwaju Tinubu and returning to the Tinubu political family, Obanikoro had said he had expected the APC National Leader to call him back when he went ‘astray’ but he did not.
“I discovered that each time I went farther from Tinubu, I had gone farther astray and down the alley. I knew I needed to return home. Asiwaju is my political leader and would remain so,” he had said.
He said his decision to reconcile with Asiwaju Tinubu was irrevocable, explaining, however, that the whole world would know anytime he decides to declare for APC.
Already, all arrangements have been put in place to ensure a successful declaration.
Obanikoro was said to be a member of the ‘kitchen cabinet’ of Asiwaju Tinubu, whom he served as Commissioner for Home Affairs for four years before he parted ways with the later.
He was also Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District.
He later hopped on the PDP train and was appointed Minister of State for Defence by former President Jonathan.
Obanikoro remains extremely popular in Lagos. He has since wormed his way back to Tinubu’s inner circle.
Speaking on Obanikoro’s return to Tinubu political family and the plan to defect to APC, Chief Ajomale had told The Sun Newspaper in an interview.
“You know he (Obanikoro) was one of us before he decamped to PDP. When we were in the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD, he was with us. He benefited a lot from the party because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu loved him – Tinubu made him a commissioner in his cabinet when he was governor of Lagos State and later Obanikoro was also given senatorial ticket by AD and that was how he became a senator on the platform of AD – but suddenly for reason best known to him, he decamped to PDP.
“But all along nobody took offence to his action because we all knew that Obanikoro will one day come back. Obanikoro is like the prodigal son in the Bible who bite the fingers that fed him, but just like the biblical prodigal son was forgiven by his father, we have also forgiven Obanikoro – that’s to tell Nigerians that Asiwaju Tinubu has a large heart. Tinubu is very accommodating. With what Obanikoro did to AD, ACN and later APC when he was in PDP, some would have thought Tinubu and other APC leaders would not forgive Obanikoro, but Tinubu doesn’t bear grudges.
“He forgives easily. He is not an autocrat or a dictator that some people portray him to be. With Obanikoro now in APC, the next big fish we are expecting in APC is Chief Bode George. He is coming to join us very soon, to join APC in helping to transform Lagos State into Dubai of Africa”.