October 3, 2019

Akinrinade to Obasanjo: Stop writing ‘inciting’ letters

Lt-Gen Alani Akinrinade

A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd), on Thursday advised former President Olusegun Obasanjo to stop putting inflammatory statements in public domain.



He also asked the former President to check his records before rubbishing other people’s achievements.

Akinrinade, who celebrated his 80th birthday at the weekend, stated these in an exclusive interview with Vanguard.

In one of the letters, Obasanjo accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of ineptitude, corruption, and nepotism. He also asked President Buhari not to seek re-election.

He said: “He (Obasanjo) was my senior in the army and he is also older than me. We were both farmers. The only advice I have for him is that he should stop writing letters. He should not be making public statements that could be inflammatory. He was there before. Let him check his records. He should do that before throwing stones.”

Akinrinade also described the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, as a collection of people that are still entangled in difficult philosophy.
According to him, Afenifere is leaning on a philosophy that cannot work presently.

He added: “Afenifere is still what it is. It is still a collection of people of all ages from all walks of life, who are speaking Yoruba. Part of the problem is that we are not breaking out of a cocoon and getting entangled in a philosophy that is difficult to realise.

“For instance, I was in Kaduna in 1979 when Chief Obafemi Awolowo came to campaign for the presidency. I just came back to Kaduna from the Staff College. I was interested in catching up with what was happening. He was asked where he was going to get the resources to fund the free education that he was always talking about.

“The old man said if the population of Nigeria at the time should be brought to America and the American population brought to Nigeria, our country would become like America in five years. He said that was the value of the population. I also know that because of politics people are saying that there should be free education at all levels. Apart from Cuba, no country has ever done it.

“We are just leaning on a philosophy that cannot work in the present time. It was possible at the time of Awolowo because the population was small and the earning of the Western Region could sustain it. Where are the philosophers?”