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I funded Obasanjo’s campaign, he turned round to ruin my business – Chief Stephen Bakare, Chairman, Oluwalogbon Motors

Posted by By FEMI BABAFEMI and RAZAQ BAMIDELE on 2008/03/28 | Views: 2776 |

I funded Obasanjo’s campaign, he turned round to ruin my business – Chief Stephen Bakare, Chairman, Oluwalogbon Motors


Chief Stephen Bakare was one of the people who bankrolled the presidential quest of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. But today, Bakare, who is the Chairman of Oluwalogbon Motors, is an aggrieved man, as he regrets ever supporting the man he describes as a monumental failure.

Chief Stephen Bakare was one of the people who bankrolled the presidential quest of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. But today, Bakare, who is the Chairman of Oluwalogbon Motors, is an aggrieved man, as he regrets ever supporting the man he describes as a monumental failure.

In an exclusive chat with Daily Sun in his Lagos residence recently, the elderly man had to tender unreserved apology to Nigerians for giving them somebody like Obasanjo as president.
Besides his eight years of misgovernance, Bakare says Obasanjo would always pay good deed with evil. According to him, the former president has succeeded in destroying business empires of hard-working individuals in this country, just as he accused him of concentrating the wealth of the country in the hands of his suspected business partners.
While expressing the belief that Obasanjo would not go unpunished, the estranged friend quoted the Bible, Proverbs chapter 17 verse 13 that reads: "If man repays good with evil, evil will never leave your house."

Yar’Adua administration
I believe people have seen President Musa Yar’Adua as a God-sent. We have seen him as a godly man, and there is no doubt about that. And he has also proved himself to be credible, godly and honest. And furthermore, he is doing his best. Yar’Adua is now the only hope for this country. He is the one sent by God to come and rescue us from the woes perpetrated by the immediate past administration.

Apology
First of all, I have to apologise to the whole nation and particularly, the Yoruba race for having hands in giving them Obasanjo. There is no way I can pretend about my role in Obasanjo’s project.
But it is very unfortunate that the project turned out to be another thing entirely when the man resumed office eventually. I am bold to say that nobody that participated in that project at that time knew that Obasanjo would turn out to be a monumental failure. It is very unfortunate.

I, personally, don’t want to talk about Obasanjo because for the last eight years, I have refused to talk about him. As far back as 1999, I had analysed the man and I had told a lot of people that we had made a great mistake in our judgment about Obasanjo and that the man had nothing to offer this country.
Most of the things I wrote in my letter to the man in 1999 have come to pass today. I faced a lot of problems from Obasanjo. But I thank God I am still alive today. I will still talk about that later. For now, I think the time is not yet ripe for it.

However, the hope we have in Yar’Adua can never go the way of Obasanjo. Never, never. Yar’Adua and Obasanjo are two different persons. Yar’Adua has proved himself to the entire world to be different. From the little he has done, everybody now believes in him.
The case of Obasanjo is different from that of Yar’Adua. The major problem with Obasanjo is dishonesty. He is the most dishonest man I have ever met in my life. And when somebody is dishonest, a lot of things could be built around that. And that was what Nigerians failed to realize when the man started his game immediately he was sworn-in.

I read an interview about him from Titi Ajanaku that most of the people who supported Obasanjo were let down by the man. I could see that as an under-statement. Even some people who did not do anything for him, he destroyed them, too. Virtually, almost 95 per cent of those who supported him, he destroyed.

Knowing Obasanjo before supporting him
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize I never knew Obasanjo when he was the military head of state between 1976 and 1979. I knew him a whole year after he had handed over power to President Shehu Shagari. That was October, 1980. Many people thought I have known him for so long. But I never knew him until October, 1980.
Everybody knew what happened then – people rose against him. And I said, this is a Yoruba man who has risen to the position of a head of state in Nigeria. So, I summoned courage to look for him at his Otta Farm and had a chat with him. That was how I got to know him and since then, I have been very close to him and we used to discuss the affairs of this country.

Having been a head of state once, I believed he could still be playing advisory roles in the country. I thought we should gain from the wealth of his experience. We really discussed a lot of things but one thing I came to realize about him is that no matter how many years you have known a person, you may not likely know his true colour until he has money or gets to a position of power.

If I knew him when he was in office as our head of state, probably I would have known him very well. I did not know him until 1980 when we were talking about the welfare of the country and how this country could move forward. And I started going round to talk to a lot of people laundering his image. And I did that for him for almost 20 years. But nobody has suffered in this country during this last Obasanjo administration to the level I suffered. Nobody. I repeat, nobody!
Message from inaugural speech where Obasanjo asked those who invested in his success to count their investment as a loss

Well, of course, I got the message. But personally, my expectation was not to get anything in return for supporting him. I never expected any special thing from him. All I was thinking about was that he would create an enabling environment for all and sundry to excel.
When any government provides an enabling environment, every hard-working individual would have the opportunity to progress and grow. People don’t need to expect the government to give them special preference. It was an enabling environment we thought he would provide. But unfortunately, he did not provide that.

It is only him, I believe, that can understand the kind of government he ran for eight years. If I am to comment on him, I would say the man was there for eight years as a dictator who messed up all aspects of the country’s life like the economy, security and rule of law.

He destroyed everything.
Collapse of my business empire
Destroying people and their business empires has been part of Obasanjo’s characteristics. Whenever you do good to Obasanjo, he would pay you back the size of your good deed with evil. I did not bother myself about that because I believe I did not come to this world with anything and I am not taking anything away.

Unfortunately, I sympathise with him because he would pay for everything he has done. God says in Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 13 that, " If you repay good with evil, evil will never leave your house."

Possible reconciliation
I think you have to excuse me over this issue of Obasanjo. I don’t think reconciliation between Obasanjo and I can ever happen in this world. The last time I saw him was in 2003 when I went to the villa. I told him that I needed to let him know that he did not know me. He might have been having the erroneous impression that he knew me. I told him that, look, I am an orphan. I lost my parents when I was four years old. I did not know any of them.

And since then, in all my life, I don’t fight people. I will never report anybody to the police. I will not take anybody to court. I always file my petition to the Almighty God. That is the one who has been fighting for me and He will continue to fight for me. That was what I told him.
So, with what he has done, I don’t think anybody would entrust anything with Obasanjo any more. Why would you entrust anything with someone who is dishonest? With such a person, you can’t rule out anything. Nobody needs to still be conjuring in his mind whether he is capable of doing this or that.
It is very unfortunate that Nigerians have not realized the extent of the damage the man had done to this country. And that is most unfortunate. By the time Nigerians understand it, then everybody would realize what I am trying to say.

Probing Obasanjo
I believe for this country to move forward, and to guarantee stability, Obasanjo’s administration has to be probed. But whether he is probed here on earth or not, all what I know is that God is going to probe him.
Those hardworking people, who built their genuine business empires with their sweat, the man has destroyed them. He has tried to mop up all the assets of the nation and narrow it in the hands of a few Nigerians who are more or less his business partners. So, to probe Obasanjo is the only answer to our problems.

Should Yar’Adua take advice from Obasanjo?
This man has nothing good to tell anybody. I don’t think Yar’Adua needs any advice from Obasanjo. And Yar’Adua himself, from the little he has done, one can safely say he is on course and that he has something to offer this country. But he has to beware of Obasanjo because he is not an honest man.
When Obasanjo was the President, the BOT Chairman of the PDP was from the South. Now that the Presidency has shifted to the North, why can’t they shift the BOT chairmanship position to the North also? This man’s dishonesty is so high, the PDP should find a way to take his hands off the affairs of the party if the party is to progress and for the country to move forward. He still has a hidden agenda for this country. But I believe Yar’Adua himself must have seen the handwriting on the wall.

Presidential election petition tribunal verdict
The judges must have taken into consideration the way Yar’Adua has been handling governance of this country and also, the way the people of Nigeria have been receiving him and his policies that are in consonance with the rule of law and due process.
I think they don’t want to give a verdict that would be contrary to the public interest and negate the popular opinion.

And one has no option than to appeal to the petitioners, Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari to accept the verdict in good faith and join hands with Mr President to move this country forward. And President Yar’Adua has duly extended his hands of fellowship to them.
Liquidation of Metropolitan Bank
That was also a sad development. Obasanjo was a shareholder in the bank. And I put in all my life savings into the bank to make it a success and it was a success. But he decided to liquidate it in spite of all I have done for him.
I used all what I had for him when he needed to be assisted. And today, he used all his power to destroy me. He has destroyed many people in this country. I wish you knew Obasanjo, it is then you would understand what I am talking about.

Advice for Nigerians
My advice is simply that Nigerians should learn from their experience under Obasanjo’s eight years of misgovernance in this country. We were living witnesses of his dishonesty.
I would advise leaders of this country to be honest in their own interest. Anybody that is not honest would, at the end of the day, suffer for his or her dishonesty because no sinner would go unpunished.

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