Mutiny: Government must address root cause as a priority – Otunba Oladele

Mutiny: Government must address root cause as a priority – Otunba Oladele – First Published on Vanguard News Nigeria on October 18, 2014 – By Bashir Adefaka

Oyo State All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftain and immediate past Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Otunba Bosun Oladele has lampooned politicians for their incessant defections from one party to the other saying that it retards development.

He among others told Saturday Vanguard in an interview that the crisis ravaging the APC in Oyo and Ogun states would soon be resolved. The former Oyo State legal adviser of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, also spoke on the military mutiny trials and need for the Federal Government to get military officers and personnel properly equipped, kitted and funded.

As a lawyer, what is your take on the military mutiny trials as a lawyer?

Ordinarily you are looking at it the way things ought to be. But what ought to be should also be a function of what it is. And when you talk about what it is, are we not having mutiny in the whole of the country as well? Are things going on normally as they ought to be in the country?

And in most circumstances, you cannot reconstruct or start a new construction without demolishing the old structure. The old structure must be tampered with. And if you look at the whole thing critically when the military will say, “we are adjudging you guilty of mutiny”, somebody somewhere should also be accused of murder because when you send people out to go and stake their lives for their fatherland, you should equip them. You should equip them so that even when they are fighting and their blood is dropping, they will be sure that, not only has the nation given them its best, they have also put in their best for the nation.

You should always do unto others what you would wish others to do unto you. The whole arrangement of trial and sentencing, to me, does not address the root cause. It will only aggravate the same trend rather than deterring such in future. You should go on and address the root cause and you will see that it won’t happen again.

And what is the root cause?

Underequipped, underfunded and bastardization of morality. If the root cause is not addressed there will be more mutiny in future. It is human nature. Why do you want to push us to the front to be slaughtered like chickens when you are safe in your comfort zone? 

Some people attributed the problem leading to the mutiny to the top military hierarchy and not the GOC 7 Division that the soldiers wanted to kill…

That is what I am saying. You see some of us like to scratch the surface. We love to adopt scapegoatism. If you don’t deal with a situation, definitely the situation will and deal with you.

And whose business is it really to dealt with the situation?

It is the business of the Federal Government and the military high command. The Federal Government must release budgeted funds timely. It has been a practice in this country, every year we have unspent budget allocation when the things it is meant for are left undone

On his removal as Commissioner for Information and Orientation by Governor Ajimobi and raging political migrations in Oyo State ahead of the 2015 polls

I think it is now time to talk. On issue between the governor and I, let me first and foremost start by saying that in politics there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. That saying is true. What is also true is that politics is an institution made up of the parties.

If we choose to be defecting the way people are defecting, have we ever sat down to ponder: In order countries, how many people defect from one party to the other the way we are defecting in Nigeria? How many of such have happened in Ghana, for instance, in our neighbouring West African country, in South Africa?

But you can also see that some of these countries tend to learn one or two things from Nigeria. In due course I just hope that they will not learn some of these politics of defections because it does not augur well for any country.

On claims that politicians are defecting in places like Oyo and Ogun states because the governors have frustrated all efforts to resolve the crisis especially within the APC

It is a two-edged thing. If a politician is being frustrated out of somewhere, the next thing is that he has an option to either quit politically or to find another avenue or political platform that would be acceptable to him. But do not forget again that rather than defecting, at times, you can also wait until when there will be an avenue for you to ventilate whatever grievance or for you to realize your ambition.

On the crisis in Ogun, I am not a politician from Ogun State but I would look at it that it is not something that cannot be resolved. It behooves on the leadership to really do a critical assessment and determine what we have gained so far and whether we want to put an end to it. I believe sincerely that nobody will jubilate that his party has lost a member to another party.

No matter what, politics is always a game of number and if we talk about number, the highest number will always be in the majority. If people keep leaving all the time, then there is need to stand up and face the situation. Foundation members of the party know where the bones are buried. They know what makes the structure thick. You cannot just wish them away. Since they have made overtures, make the necessary arrangement to reconcile whatever the grievances are and have them back in the party.

On his 2015 political ambition

Primarily, I would say that my activities while I was in office as Commissioner for Information and Orientation were without blemish. The records are there; not just the record of service but also the record of performance and achievements and that alone gives me satisfaction.

This is the party that has propelled me. I mean AD, then AC, ACN and now APC. That is the party that has given me the opportunity and this is the governor that has given me the opportunity, at least, to showcase what I am capable of doing. The governor did not say I did anything wrong to warrant my removal. I think, from what he said to me, it was about the need to balance political equations.

So, having said this, I am consulting over the call on me by my people to go and represent them at the Federal House of Representatives. I need to know whether or not the time is ripe for me to do such and if it is, I will make my intention known shortly after.

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