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‘Soyinka told me to prepare for war on my autobiography’ – The Nation Newspaper

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Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka foretold the controversies being generated by ‘My Participation’, the autobiography of ex-Osun State Governor Chief Bisi Akande.
Akande, in his preface to the book, narrated how he met Soyinka in Glendale, California and he told him: “With that book, Bisi, be ready for war!”
Soyinka, in his foreword to the book, said: “There are books whose very handling must be done with heavily insulated gloves since, virtually every page sizzles with contradictions between attestable reality and impudent claims, attempts to cover past crimes and dodge responsibilities. Not so, this contribution from the Wise One of Ila-Orangun.
“If there is any sizzling, it is simply the fire of truth’s passion that leaps at the reader from between the covers. Akande’s fire prurifies, being a flame of illumination carried over from real life to brighten the pages of saga of service to Nigerian humanity.”
Aside Soyinka, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora also observed that the revelations in the scripts might provoke litigations.
“He quickly constituted a committee of our children: Oluwafemi Akande, Esq., Oyewole Akande, Esq, and Ayobamidele Akande, Esq who are lawyers to have a second look at my presentation of facts,” Akande wrote in the preface.
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Among many revelations, Akande claimed that the nonagenarian Afenifere leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo’s Lekki home was built for him by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He also said President Muhammadu Buhari reneged on his promise to make Tinubu his running mate in 2015.
He also had harsh words for former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-Deputy Governor Iyiola Omisore. He added that N-PDP members snatched the leadership of the National Assembly in 2015.
The author also revealed how former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was nearly stopped from joining the then fledging APC by his former colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had decided to team up with the new party in 2012 ahead of the 2015 elections.
“When the party (APC) was ready and we were going around to all the leaders, someone reminded us that we had not seen Obasanjo and Babangida and asked them to join us.
“We also decided to extend the same courtesy to Atiku Abubakar, being a former vice president. But we were a bit reluctant about Atiku because he was being avoided by the new-PDP.
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“In the end, we decided to meet him. The team met him in Abuja. He did not make any demand on us. He participated actively in all the congresses and tried to help the APC grow in his area.
“We wooed all the leaders of the new-PDP and visited all of them. They told us they needed to hold a meeting and take a decision.
“Nyako of Adamawa told us at a stage that he would leave them behind and join us on his own.
“Some of them felt they were being stampeded.
“One morning, Tinubu and I were in Abuja and we learnt that the leaders of the new-PDP were meeting at the Kano House, Asokoro, which was not far from where we were staying.
“We decided to join them. We phoned Buhari to join us too. Ogbonnaya Onu joined us too.
“When we got there, it became a joint meeting between the APC and the new-PDP. It was a day of our National Executive Committee meeting and all our people were waiting for me at the APC national headquarters.
“When we got to Kano House, the New-PDP leaders had prepared a document listing conditions under which they would accept to join us. They gave us a copy. Tinubu read it and said all these were unnecessary.
“He reduced the two-page paper to one page of about three sentences. After some discussion, it was agreeable to both sides. We reduced the agreement to a communiqué and both sides signed it.
“Though he also attended the meeting, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State escaped and was not there when we were addressing the press. That was how the new PDP joined the APC,” he wrote.
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