New Dawn Nigeria

Moneybags have taken over our parties – Chief Dipo Jimilehin

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The secretary of the 1994 constitutional conference, Chief Dipo Jimilehin, has described the recent comment attributed to the Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Nasir el-Rufai, that he knows how to fight a godfather, a statement many felt he directed at former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as his (el-Rufai’s) personal opinion, which he is entitled to.

Chief Jimilehin was speaking in an interview with the editors of Newdawn, Messers Tunde Abatan, the executive editor and Charles Okogene, the news editor, in his Gbagada residence in Lagos State.

Chief Jimilehin bemoaned the current state of things in the country and attributed it to the dearth of ideological politics. According to him, what Nigerians should be worried about is the fact that moneybags whom he kept refering to as, political gladiators, have seized Nigerian political parties, especially the two big fest parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“I think that what should worry us more is the fact that moneybags ‘gladiators’ have taken over the parties and not what el-Rufai is saying and, which is his personal opinion that he is entitled to.”

To buttress the fact that moneybags are now in charge of the parties, especially the two biggest ones, he took us down memory lane of how he returned from the UK with some money and had gone to the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, seeking to contest election into the House of Representatives but instead of buying his way with money, the late sage, he said, asked him to go and start from the basis by seeking a counsellorship election.

According to him, “What you see now is a system where somebody will come from America, Canada, the UK and buy his way to a governorship ticket and so on.”

On whether his party, PDP, truly won the February general elections, the ijebu ode born politician said that, that was a difficult question to answer because he does not have the facts that the party’s presidential candidate at the presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has that made him believe he won the election that made him go to the tribunal.

Asked if the country is better off economically than it was when PDP was in charge, he said, “ this is a difficult question to answer. Some people will tell you that in Nigeria of PDP time, ‘there was money. Money flowed. Businesses did well but that in today’s Nigeria under APC, it is a different story. People will also tell you that the present government of President Buhari is fighting corruption but will fail to tell you that the instruments it is using to fight corruption are creations of PDP – Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others. They will not tell you that the rail lines the government is revamping, the telecom companies were started and established in PDP time. So it is a tricky question to answer.”

He also stated that the energy and time people are dissipating on the balkanisation of the Kano Emirate is a needless one as a similar thing had happened in other parts of the country, especially Ijebuland and ended up by saying that the issue will not escalate to other parts of the country but die a natural death.

watch out for the full interview soon.

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