By Tunde Rahman
Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, bared his mind for the first time on the bitter disagreement between him and Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko, saying they both had an understanding that Mimiko would after a while join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). but the Ondo governor broke it, he alleged.
Tinubu also called for a review of the revenue allocation formula, kicking against the 52 percent of the total revenue accruable to the federal government which he described as ‘absurd’.
The former Lagos State government spoke on a wide range of issues in an interview with THISDAY on Saturday to mark his 60th birthday, which was on Thursday, March 29.
On the alleged agreement between himself and Mimiko, which the latter was said to have broken, Tinubu narrated his story: “When Mimiko was cheated, he cried to me in this house. I was a governor then. My advise was that we should fight the injustice through democratic means if he believes he has been cheated. I said let’s fight electoral irregularity together. He said we should unite to do that. And we did. I put in everything I had. We brought in finger print experts from outside this country. When his ballot papers were being examined, we were paying fifty pounds an hour to a number of people.
“Then the understanding was that we were one party and part of the progressives. The understanding was that he was coming to ACN given that he could not change as a candidate of the Labour Party while fighting a matter in court. It doesn’t make sense: why should I be working for Labour Party? That promise was betrayed, reneged and broken.”
The feud between Tinu-bu and some ACN governors and Mimiko has grown increasingly bitter in the build-up to next year’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State. Mimiko has reportedly denied having struck any agreement with the former Lagos State governor.
But Tinubu insists there was one.
“I hate to have been used. If you say you belong to Labour and Labour is not part of us in any alliance are you saying my party cannot compete? They contested election in Lagos, we didn’t quarrel with that. So, why are they quarreling with the fact that ACN is contesting election in Ondo? So, even if there was not a written agreement, is that how you reward the goodness done to you? The other aspect is we cannot say we are clamouring for democracy and fail to pursue and promote democracy. We’re simply competing where we should compete. We had a political bond and when that bond is broken we must compete”.
Speaking on the call for a review of the derivation formula by some leaders of the North, Tinubu said he would rather want a ‘vertical and horizontal review of the revenue allocation formula” not a review of derivation.
He said the allocation of 52 percent national revenue to the Federal Government was absurd.
“It’s not because the call is coming from one section of the country; but there is need for a vertical and horizontal review of the revenue allocation formula. We have not done so in many years,” he said.
“It’s not about derivation; I’m a proponent and supporter of derivation. When I was the governor of Lagos, I moved the motion at the National Economic Council for the enforcement of the constitution with regard to the 13 percent derivation. Also, during the FAAC, Ogun State moved a motion to actualize it and Lagos supported it. But the federal government is still holding on to 52 percent of the total revenue accruable to the entire country. That is absurd,” he added.
Tinubu spoke on reports which claimed he had fallen seriously ill, the move by ACN to secure victory in the entire South-west, his call for true federalism, renewed calls for a national conference and his frequent criticism of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On his thoughts about the country as he clocks 60, he said: “I feel very good health-wise and grateful to God Almighty that despite all abuses, the odds, the suffering and struggle since I got into politics and as a career person prior to that, I’m still very well. I have reasons to thank God. But I’m a little disappointed about my country.”
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