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Osoba: God Chose Tinubu To Be Nigeria’s First Progressive President, Democracy Day Portrait Symbolises His Struggle

Osoba says Lagos already honoured Abiola with a statue so no problem with Tinubu being celebrated with an Abuja portrait.

Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State and Veteran Journalist, has opined that the decision to unveil a portrait of President Bola Tinubu at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Wednesday, during the Democracy Day celebration, could have been birthed from a reflection of the struggle he went through to emerge as the first progressive president of the country.

Osoba in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, while reacting to claims that M.K.O Abiola’s portrait ought to have been unveiled during the event in place of Tinubu’s, referenced the Lagos State Government’s tribute to Abiola with a giant portrait at Ikeja, stressing that the first honour was given to him (Abiola).

“I think you will recall that the same Lagos State Government in which President Bola Tinubu is fully involved in, has done a giant portrait of M.K.O Abiola at Ikeja interchange and did a garden where there will be many major political rallies. 

“Therefore, I should believe that M.K.O Abiola was the first to be honoured with a giant statue and if you consider the fact that President Tinubu is the first ever progressive politician to be elected as president of this country…I see it as a symbol that President Tinubu was virtually chosen by God to be the president, because if you look at his emergence, he was not supposed to be president.

 “The party was not on his side. A substantial part of the then government, of which we are the same, was not on his side. Obstacles were placed before him. Midway through the announcement of the result, an attempt was made to abort the continuation of the result in the same way as Abiola’s results were aborted. 

“You will recall that President Obasanjo issued a very powerful statement to President Buhari to stop the announcement of the collation of the results. It was not President Tinubu’s doing that he emerged as president; it was God’s doing and that may be the reason the decision was made to do a portrait to reflect the challenges he went through to emerge as the first progressive president of the country.”

Osoba also acknowledged the pressing economic issues of Nigeria, urging the government to swiftly address the issue of minimum wage to aid the survival of the poor masses.

“All of us are facing challenges. I will admit to you that things are not alright in the country. All of us must admit that and we all need to cooperate.  I sympathise with Nigerians. When you consider the cost of transportation no, I keep wondering how Nigerians have been able to survive. Transportation has gone up, as much as about 200%. Somebody earning 50,000 naira would probably spend about 20,000 to 25,000 on transportation to work. How will he survive on 25,000 naira? That is why we are urging that the government must quickly settle this issue of minimum wage to ensure that ordinary Nigerians will have something reasonably good enough to be a living wage.”

Commending the media for their role in the country, the veteran journalist, condemned the harassment, and abduction of journalists.

He however lamented the current state of journalism, criticising untrained bloggers who often publish misleading information, and urged trained journalists to adhere to professional codes of conduct.

“The entire media in this country must be commended for the role they played in fighting the dictatorship of Abacha. As a journalist, I have fought and will still fight all my life for rights to information and I will always fight and condemn anything that has to do with harassment, incarceration and abduction of journalists. Unfortunately for me, when I fight, I only get embarrassed by a lot of so-called bloggers. Those of us who are trained journalists must know that we have codes of conducts. Many of these people don’t know anything about Journalism and they write things that are even embarrassing to us, so, let’s take it from them.”

Chioma Kalu 

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