A former governor of Ogun state Segun Osoba, says governors who served under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were able to cage him and stop him from doing a lot of unconstitutional things because of their maturity and unity among them irrespective of political affiliations.
Osoba spoke at the 80th birthday celebration of former Akwa Ibom state Governor, Obong Victor Attah on Tuesday.
Speaking on behalf of other former governors present at the event, Osoba said the governors spoke with one voice and stood against the antics of the former President and dragged him to court on a number of occasions and won.
His words: “Today we are happy to celebrate a man of honour. In our time we do not know the differences in the party you belong to and Obasanjo then dare not play with any of us governors. I am happy to say that Obong Attah was from the PDP, I was from the AD.
“The AD group made up of the late Lam Adesina, and Bisi Akande. When we speak, to our surprise, Obong who is of the PDP will take it up from there contributing intelligently to the issues we raised. It is on the ground of his style of leadership that we were seriously able to cage former President Obasanjo.
“I used the word seriously because first of all, Abdulsalam Abubakar left a huge sum of money that was to be distributed to the governors. The first thing Obasanjo did was to seize the money and use it to buy vehicles for local government councils.
“We kicked, went to court and we won. On the fiscal responsibility Act, he (Obasanjo) said he will not implement section 8 where all revenues were to go into an account from where it will be distributed according to the constitution. When it became almost impossible, we went to court and we won. In all of these, it was not resource control. Obong Attah was in the fore front of all these struggle.”
The former governor who recounted how governors in those days rallied behind Attah and his other Niger Delta counterparts to agitate for resource control, expressed reservations on the quality and character of those aspiring to become governors these days.
“I want to appeal to all us. We should go back to the characters that formed government in 1992 and 1999. 26 years ago, most of us who were governors have had exposures. John Odigie Oyegun was a former permanent secretary, I was former Managing Director of Daily Times, I can go on to give you backgrounds of all those who became governors in 1999. None of us were people you will say where you are coming from. We need to go back to that this days of governors of any kind should stop.”