WHY APC WANTS TO DESTABILISE LAGOS
Alhaji Abdul Razak Rafiu Otto is the National Coordinator of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (SURE-P/FERMA Task Force). In this interview he spoke on several issues including why he defected from All Progresives Congress (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Jonathan's re-election bid and the face-off between SURE-P/FERMA and Lagos State Government.
Why did you defect to PDP?
When you have not had the experience with two wives, you wouldn't know the one that is good. When I was in PDP, there was only a minor rift between Bode George and Adeseye Ogunlewe. I was then in charge of FERMA Task Force. I later learnt that they were bringing another person to come and take over from me, a retired police officer, Kehinde Oyenuga. So when this man came, he started intimidating me . Then, one Police Supritendent Bayo Sulaiman was in charge of the Governor's Monitoring Team under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. And there was a show of force and power play between the FERMA Task Force and the Governor's Monitoring Team which Sulaiman headed. When they discovered that there was no way they could subdue us , they came to me and started pleading that I should come and join them if I knew they were intimidating me in PDP since the job they said they gave me had been given to another police officer. Bayo and the then aide-de- camp to Tinubu, Gbolahan, who is now the Commissioner for Agriculture and Muiz Banire, who was my junior in secondary school decided to take me to Tinubu at Bourdillon, Ikoyi where they gave me a grand reception. Tinubu called all the cabinet members, including Tunji Bello, Oresanya, Pedro, Gbajabiamila and everybody was present. They pleaded with me that I should come and join them that they were ready to develop the state; whereas I did not know they have another intention to loot the state and not to develop the state.
I didn't know, and because of the way they talked to me, I accepted. They offered me money but I did not accept. What I requested from them was to be made a Special Adviser to be able to carry my boys along or they should let me be in charge of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) to be able to integrate all my boys. They accepted and asked me to go and defect. When (Joe) Igbokwe (Lagos APC Publicity Secretary), I do not know when he started politics, learnt that I've defected back to PDP, he said I was an unknown security man. Let me show you this evidence because I don't think he knows what he was saying (displaying some photographs); this was when I was defecting from PDP to Alliance for Democracy (AD); you can see the Special Adviser to Tinubu, then in the Ministry of Finance, (now Finance Commissioner). You can see everybody was present on that day with over 7,000 followers defecting with me and I did not collect any kobo from them. Where was this Igbokwe then? You can see Baba Eto making a speech on the day of my defection to their AD then. One thing I know is that one day the truth must surely prevail.
Sir, what can you say about the way the Police and Lagos State Task Force invaded your office and made away with several documents recently?
What happened I will tell you today and what we are doing today is episode one of the event . We are going to episode 100 after this I want their reply, then we can now continue in episode two. When I defected to PDP with over 10, 000 followers, they were shocked because at that time I was then the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Security Matters. You can see me (showing his pix with Governor Aregbesola) discussing with the governor because today they call me a tout , they call us different names, that we are area boys but when we were with them, we were not area boys or when I was the Head of Body Guards to Governor Fashola, I was not a criminal ; then they entrusted their lives to us, we secured them and guided them without police until he became the governor. After he became the governor, we left them because they disappointed us on what they promised us even some of my boys died while protecting him. Seyi died while protecting him at Agege, he fell down while the area boys were trying to attack Fashola . What did they do? They only gave Seyi's wife N150, 000. Now they know what we have done for them, we made them what they are, we made them to be Governor of Lagos, we made them to be Governor of Osun, we made them to be Governor of Ekiti but now we know they are criminals, they are hooligans, they are the ones causing this commotion in the country because they don't want President Goodluck Jonathan to come for the second time. They want to die in the office but they don't want another person to spend another term. Nigeria is still going to spend billions of years before God will demolish the whole world and out of the billions of years someone just want to spend eight years, We Yoruba, produced Obasanjo, who was president sometime in 1976. Again, he did another eight years during this democracy dispensation. Also, the Northerners. Everybody has done. This minority, this is their first time of coming to power and they have spent a year and you are now claiming they have spent two years and they said they have gone to school. We voted for Jonathan as the president for the first time, Jonathan has spent just three years, let him do their (minority) own after all we have gained a lot from their territory there. We get fuel from there to manage Nigeria, so why don't you want these people because you want to retain power by all means so that dubious characters can be covered up. You come from Osun and how can you come to our state to destabilise it and destroy it and turn us to slaves? See their cabinet in Lagos State, how many Lagosians are there; see all the Local Government chairmen there, how many Lagosians are there, all these Lagosians there cannot tell the truth because they are collecting dirty money from them? Because Jonathan wants to come for a second term, you want to destroy him. You now went to bring somebody you now merged together formerly, you abused Obasanjo, you abused everybody now because you want to cover up your loot. You now went to meet Obasanjo again to work with him. Are they human beings? But God's word must surely prevail and by the grace of God, Jonathan will become the President and we Lagosians are going to support him, nobody is going to distract us. He (Tinubu) is not a Lagosian, he should go back to Osun and fight for whatever he wants to fight for and I know that the Yoruba people love Jonathan. You can see the election while I was in APC, they won APC out rightly in Lagos State. See the result of the election and they still collected money from the PDP deceiving their people, deceiving their followers.
Could there have been political reasons as to why the LASTMA and men of the Lagos State Police Command invaded your office?
There would be reactions; there is a bad motive behind it. I told you this Supro Bayo Sulaiman, the present chairman of the Lagos Task Force was the one that brought me to AD then. As a policeman, he and Gbolahan came to me and pleaded with me that Asiwaju gave them an assignment that they must convince me to join them and they came to me and convinced me that this man was about to cleanse Lagos State, make Lagos good. I was suspicious then that this man was going to destroy Lagos State but as a human being, the way they talked to me, I was convinced not knowing that they came to deceive me. When they now saw that I have defected to PDP, they now gave him assignment to convince me. There was a phone conversation which I recorded, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information then called me, I was in Abuja. We spoke for about 30 or 40 minutes pleading with me that I should not destroy the house I built back, they pleaded with me that I should come back. But I too wanted to deceive them and I told them I was coming back but I don't want them to know my mission; so when they gave them an assignment to convince me to come back and I refused to come back, that is why Bayo wanted to prove his loyalty to them. He now mobilised police and all these hoodlums at Fadeyi and brought guns to our office, Government Office, if you know what you are doing, it is legal, the Federal Government is supposed to come and do its duty and not Lagos Government.
You see since the mobilisation to PDP, we have over 47, 000 followers, when they saw this, they now say the only thing is to come and destabilise so that Bayo can prove himself that he is loyal. A policeman that is serving in government for over 15 years of democracy, he has been there and was never posted out of Lagos State. He has made billions of naira even more than the governor. They are there collecting salaries from the Federal Government and still want to destabilise that Federal Government.
When they came to your office established by the Federal Government, it was alleged that they made away with several uniforms, valuable documents and they destroyed things. What would you say about this?
Their motive, we know everything, as they have informants within us, we also have informants within them, they are recruiting people within Lagos and Ogun State so that these uniforms they stole from us will be given to criminals and hoodlums with guns so that they will start causing commotion within the communities around Lagos so that people will start saying the Task Force that is supposed to rescue them from Lagos Task Force and KAI have started causing commotion and they will not know it is APC that is causing this. It's just a divide and rule game. When they want to build a market, they will go there and burn it and say the market is burnt, that they want to rebuild it and the next thing they will say is that they want to start selling it in order to make money for themselves and they will now be sharing our properties among themselves. This is episode one and we are still going to episode 100. I just want to say a little; then after they have replied me, I will now continue. Then you can call me or you call them (APC) because we still have so many things to tell the public.
On your description by Lagos Government as an unknown politician…
I have told you severally that when I was defecting to AD (displaying some of his pictures while defecting); this is me, this is Special Adviser to Bola Tinubu, Oyinlomo Danmole, raising up my hand when I was defecting with over 7,000 followers, Baba Rufatu was there, Baba Eto was there, all the executives were there, Asiwaju was coming there but while he was on Third Mainland Bridge, he discovered there was no place for him to stay because of the large crowd, then he turned back. They have never in their lives seen such defection and they know what I have done for them to make them to be where they are today. That is why they are jealous. They promised to give me N250million and a house at the GRA, I said I don't want. I am 50 years old and I can die anytime from now, I have told my wife and children we have to do something now so that when we die we can enter into the kingdom of God, I don't want to perish now because I want something. If I collect the money today and God says I'll die in a motor accident or I run mad or I become paralysed and in the hospital, will I spend that money in the hospital? So the best thing is that let us say the truth. Go and check all Ibeju Lekki lands, they have acquired everything and they said they are acquired at the end of the day, they all served it round. They have come to destroy this country that is why you see all these problems confronting Jonathan. If Jonathan was in their family, it has been said in the Bible in Mark 12: 28-31 when somebody came to ask Jesus which was the fourth commandment? Jesus now answered him: 'The Lord our God is one Lord, the second one is 'love your neighbour as yourself.' If Jonathan was their brother, if Jonathan was their father, if Jonathan was their son, will they be wishing him bad? Jonathan is a human being, if he makes mistake we can advice him, he has special advisers and you as elders can call him and advice him. But rather, they want to destroy his government so that people can hate him and that is the only thing that is bringing problems into Nigeria. I have been in politics since 1983, I was the one watching Awolowo House from 1976 to 1980s and all these Baba Ijebu, you know, they have all been in the system so long and we all know the tricks. There was a day their men told me there were some people in police uniform, normally some of these policemen love me and you know we have some reliable people in the police when they know how you are struggling and they know you are not a criminal they will like to associate with you. So there were some policemen who used to come to my area, they will ask from me if there was any problem in the area or if there was any information for them in the area. So when some people came from Lagos State Government to alert me that some people were coming to kill me in the morning hour, I did not tell the police but I only called the police at 'Area H' because the police were still there, I told them to come and carry me around 12 or to 12 midnight, I did not even tell my wife. I went to sleep somewhere and I told the police to come and carry me in the early morning. That early morning, they came in police uniform and pointed their guns at the boy washing my car and they asked for where I was. The boy told them I was not around and they said it was a lie that he should take them upstairs but when the boy insisted that I was not around, they now left. So there were series of attacks but God kills and nobody can kill except God. A leaf can never fall from a tree except with the permission of God. They are planning, God is planning but the best planner is God so let's see who God is with, whether it is them or it is with Jonathan let us wait and see.
Despite the fact that you are not vying for any political post, why do you think you are being confronted with these problems?
Anybody who is over ambitious must surely misbehave. Since I was born, I have never attempted to vie for any political position, I never contested for councilorship, or chairman and I don't even have the intention of doing so. My own aim is to have a good government in Lagos and Nigeria and God has given us the president who has human feelings but because of his human feelings they think he is a dummy, they think he is 'mugu', they do not know that you have to humble yourself so that God can elevate you. So for these people, I don't know what to say about them but what I know is that I am not contesting but I will fight for Lagosians to have good government and drive away those who came to loot. Look at the Durbar Hotel at Mile 2 that has been there even before they were even born , they have bought the place and changed the name. Everybody is now sharing the property of Lagos State as if they will not die. They will say they are doing roads, when you are doing roads you are making way for robbery; when you award road contract of N1 million and you put N2. 5million you are making your own money. It is acquiring money.
The security vote of Lagos State is N1. 5 billion every month, is that not enough to employ the unemployed indigenes in Lagos State?
They cannot do this because they are planning to be in the Senate today, they are planning to be President tomorrow. They don't know when God will kill them, so I don't know what to say about them but I know I am not contesting but I'm praying to God to help us drive these people away from Lagos State so that Lagosians will have good governance and have peace.
We still want you to talk more on SURE-P/FERMA
Since its establishment in Lagos State, it has been in existence for the past three years now. Does the president complain to you that we are doing illegal thing here? Does the State Security Service complain we are doing something illegal there? It is the hoodlums in the Federal Ministry of Works that are associates of the Lagos Government that bought people. They went to buy some people in FERMA; they went to buy some people in the Federal Ministry of Works, they paid them. We had Mobolaji Johnson in Lagos State, how many property did he acquire, we have Lateef Jakande, how many property does he have, we had Oyinlola, the late Raji Rasaki, how many property did they acquire during their tenure ?
Amid these controversies, what should we expect from you?
There is nothing else, wait and see for yourself. When the Federal Government was trying to employ people, they know that Lagosians are suffering and was trying to assist. There was a day when the President had a discussion with some people that he even promised that if possible, he could use his personal money to assist Lagosians. Go and see the boys in the South South, these people are assisting them, engaging them, but because they don't want this man to come in and assist Lagosians, they now started blackmailing him, bringing confusion. I have more to say, this is part one out of part 100.