Sunday, February 22, 2015 9:17 am
Yinka Odumakin, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group clamouring support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election, has described General Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as an honest man.
Odumakin, who was Buhari’s spokesman prior to the 2011 general elections, but shifted base to President Jonathan just before he was nominated as a delegate in the National Conference which held last year, said he decided to leave Buhari because he (Odumakin) could not function in the APC, which he called a new environment.
He denied allegations that he dumped Buhari because he had been financially motivated by President Jonathan since the impression about him is that he frolics with the highest bidder, but said his support was because Jonathan convoked the National Conference and has promised to implement its report.
“There are so many shiftings. Gen Buhari himself has shifted. When I worked with him in 2011, he was the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change. In 2015, he is now with the APC. APC is not CPC. The characters around him in 2011 are not the same characters around him in 2011.
“In all honesty, Buhari is an honest man. I have made my feelings known to him that I cannot function in a new environment. I was with him in 2011 within a period of six months. I have been on the public scene for two to three decades in Nigeria. I have my goals and objectives. My being in politics is not for any pecuniary means. It is about issues that I think are fundamental to me, what I represent and the people I represent,” he said in an interview in the Sunday Punch.
Odumakin said those who canvass that his services are for those who could pay are people of low intellect who cannot understand him.
“What did Buhari give me in 2011 to support him?
“I see a lot of childish comments all over the place. Interestingly, many of the people that are saying these things read themselves into others. Those who clearly have taken a position based on pecuniary interests begin to point fingers at other people or what they would do if they take such a position. That is what I see in Nigeria.
“I see a lot of false moral grounds in this election. The truth of the matter is that I see a lot of funny people all over the place now congregating or taking positions and trying to demonise others as if we do not even know what is going on.
“For me really, between the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, there is no difference. The only difference is that we have Jonathan who convoked a National Conference, which we had stood upon over the years. We have the report of the confab on the table.
“Now, on another side, we have those who campaigned vigorously against that conference; who worked tirelessly against it; and who said nothing about it in their manifesto. And now, they are promising us change. Which change? Change from what to what? Who are the change agents? You take half of PDP and you sprinkle it.
“The only change that we need before we can move to any other policy change is to change the structure of Nigeria. The current structure of Nigeria cannot work except we change it.
“People of low intellect insinuate things. They do not react based on convictions. The best thing is for one to pursue one’s goals and history will vindicate who is right and who is wrong,” he said.