Former APC Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday stated a former interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Bisi Akande is a ‘‘perfect public officer,” and a person he could go into the jungle with.
Speaking at the public presentation of ‘My Participations,’ the autobiography of Akande, Buhari said that the writer has retained rigid integrity out and in of public workplace, including that he by no means accepted or provided bribes.
The President additionally described the previous governor of Osun State as a good, truthful, and pleasant individual in addition to an administrator of the primary order, whose management qualities made him the unanimous selection as the primary Chairman of the APC.
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“My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006 when preliminary consultations were coming to fruition for a grand coalition to unseat the PDP Government,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a press release issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
“Those efforts eventually came to nothing. Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up as, in Chief Akande’s words: “the country was going down and down under PDP” (p.396 of My Participations).”
While noting how Akande rose to prominence from his participation within the Constituent Assembly established by the Military Government of General Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari stated the ex-Osun governor was all the time within the thick of issues by the difficulties and political discontinuities of the Nineteen Eighties and 90s.
According to Buhari, Akande emerged as Governor of Osun State in 1999 when the army handed over to the civilians.
“Chief Akande had a horrendous baptism as Governor of Osun State with discord from his own party; his State Assembly (including an attempt to impeach him without any reason whatsoever); from the trade unions and from his own deputy governor!
“On top of that, he inherited a deeply indebted Treasury, huge arrears of salary, allowances, and pensions. Enough challenges to overwhelm many aspiring leaders.
“Bisi Akande stood four square and faced all the challenges head-on and overcame most of them. His first action was to stop payment of “critical allowances” a euphemism for presidency cash usually shared by the massive boys in Osun State.
“This set the tone of his Administration. By 2003 Chief Akande had virtually sanitised governance in Osun State having cleared some of the troublemakers from his government and, though reluctant to serve a second term, he was persuaded to run again,” he stated.
The President mirrored on the political historical past of the writer, significantly his bid to hunt a second time period as Osun governor.
Buhari famous that Akande was the sufferer – together with different AD Governors – of a diabolical double-cross which ended his gubernatorial profession.
He added that it was solely APC National Leader and ex-Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, whom the President stated escaped the electoral bloodbath masterminded by President Obasanjo.
“Desperately disappointed though he was, and being a good Muslim, he accepted this setback as part of the trials of life. He looked to the future of service to the country.
“Chief Akande was in the thick of further attempts in 2011 and 2014 to fuse together different groups and dislodge PDP from governance.
“The key to his thinking which coincides with mine is that Nigeria can only be successfully managed by alliances between major groups.
“Although we failed in 2011, by persistence and knowledge that PDP was driving the country towards disaster, several major parties were able to finally coalesce into APC in 2014.
“Chief Akande was unanimously chosen as the first Chairman of this great coalition. Throughout the difficult negotiations, I found Akande truthful, steady and always with an eye to the ultimate goal.
“In or out of office, he has retained his inflexible integrity. On p.400 of his book, he wrote: ‘I never gave to or demanded bribe from anyone all my life.’ A perfect gentleman. A perfect public officer,” Buhari said additional.
Quoting a well-known Hausa saying, ”Labarin zucciya a tambayi fuska” (loosely translated -if you wish to know what’s in a person’s coronary heart watch his face), President Buhari affirmed that Akande has a everlasting smile on his face, saying ”He is the sort I will go into the jungle with.”