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BODE GEORGE SHOCKER, TINUBU SENT ME TO JAIL

By NBF News
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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and a strong pillar of the rulling party in Lagos State, Chief Bode George, seems to have put his recent jail experience behind him. He has returned to the political turf and resumed the battle for the soul of Lagos. In this interview with Magazine Editor, SOLA OSHUNKEYE, he talks about his recent travails and reveals that former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, master-minded his journey to Kirikiri Prisons. Excerpts:

In your first interaction with the press, you said that you went to the University of life

Absolutely.
What were the subjects that you took and passed?
Perseverance, Patience, human behaviour, because I saw the best, the worst and the most ugly of Human being. I saw people who didn't commit any crime were roped in there. I saw those who committed crime there also going through spiritual cleansing.

And so, having being at the helms of affairs of this country, and also have the rare privilege to have being to the bottom of the worst valley, it further strengthens my faith in the almightiness of our creator the Almighty God. He showed the almightiness in him. That in the same environment, He could use people of all sorts. And you know, to be a political leader, a policy maker, I never knew what could happen at the lowest level. I cannot do a complete work without being there. So it was a very rare privilege and I'll tell my experience to people.

You'll write a PhD thesis on it?
Absolutely. It will even be more than PhD. It is not somewhere you go and come back and you don't appreciate something.

In your friend ex- president Obasanjo book entitled: This animal call man, which side of this animal called man did you rediscover in prison?

The only thing I could discover while in prison was God.

When we were young, in my language Olodunmare nikan leyan le soro si. My parents kept telling me that, but I took it for granted. When I found myself in that kind of condition, I looked round and wondered: what did I do? What did I do to deserve this? Of course, I was so angry initially. I would say what the hell! But then, in my dream and my spiritual devotional time, I also learned the Almightiness of God. He gave me that grace to survive. I have reached the highest level of life, sat in president's bedroom and have also seen the worst.

It is a rare privilege. You know I am not the first and will not be the last to be politically railroaded to jail.

What do you mean by politically railroaded to jail?

Simply put, we were charged with a disobedient to federal circular, Federal circular by the board of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA). NPA is a Federal parastatal. I was a part-time chairman. The Federal circular, which we never got, which they never operated in NPA. This so called circular that they are claiming, if you talk about a federal circular, an administrative instruction, codified criminal code; can the executive arm make law?

Now the man who railroaded us was Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It wasn't the Federal Government. We were convicted by Lagos State Government headed by Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. It wasn't the Federal government.

Wasn't it a Federal Court?
No, it was Tinubu and his gang
How can you substantiate that?
The law they charged us with was law of Lagos State made by the state Assembly for their own civil servants.

…. But not made by Tinubu
It was made by Tinubu and his gang. Made during his time. It is a politically motivated conviction. For now, when I look at the noise: Bode stole 100 billion naira where is the money? They said we split contract, splitting contract of a parastatal of that stature, a multi-billion naira corporation in this country? The legal department prepared their requirement. It has to go through different levels before it would come to the board for consideration. The executive director (engineering) who also was aboard member by virtue of his appointment presented the memo and the requirement, the whole board deliberated. It wasn't a secret society. They deliberated on it on it and even after that, the approval will have to go to the ministry of transport. If they didn't agree with it, they would have stopped it, but they didn't. They were waiting for Bode George to be crucified. Of course fine, they went into their cubicle, they went into their net, and we were railroaded. Convicted.

How would you say you, a Federal officer working for the Federal Government on part-time, would now be convicted because of disobeying a federal circular? I did that for providence. That experience of going down there, like I said, was a rare privilege. They've been shouting over the pages of the newspapers and they are the same people, a gang of cali-cabal talking Bode George, Bode George. I was even shocked to hear that when I left the prison, there was a lavish party. These bunch of devilish people. Of course I know that fellow, the emperor little of Bourdillion. The emperor without gown.

Who could that be?
Bola Tinubu. He is the emperor without the gown. We need to go back to our creator. We are running in a fast track to oblivion. The misinformation that is perpetually pumped into the mind and heart of our people.

They are not fair. Those who came to welcome me, they branded as celebrating corruption. What a joke. They call me ex-convict, look; I won't be the first and won't be the last. Mandela was an ex-convict, Baba Awolowo was an ex-convict, and these are great men. They made it look like you being there, you are finished. If you don't go through fire, you can never rise beyond mediocrity and ideology. You cannot!

For me, I thank God. I was the grand patron of the church there. There is a non-denominational church there where we worshiped. You meet with the people relaxing themselves there seeking forgiveness from God. I want to thank some of the governors who came, who examined the situation of some prisoners and granted them pardon through my intervention there.

So, God used you in a way to even offer service.
I tell you a story if you go into my own book. Every Sunday, there was this section, Ololade was in charge. During service, anytime it was time for praise and worship, he was always in the front dancing. You see him internally full of joy dancing and it was like the spirit of God was all over him. So one day, as he finished the service, I called him. I said where do you come from? He said Ondo State. What did you do? He said he's been there for 28th years. On the death row. So everyday when he hears call from the warder, he thinks that it is time for him. So every Sunday, he will come to worship and thank God.

You could see his appreciation of the Almighty God. What did he do? He said he was a hunter. When hunting one night, he shot, it was an antelope and by the time he went there, it was a human being that he shot. It was also in prison they removed one of his eyes. Why will he not be grateful to God? The Governor of Ondo State, Agagu, Oyinlola, Akala came they gave him amnesty, he couldn't even find the way to his house, so the governor had to send car to pick him. When you see that kind of experience and you get back to the high mountain, you'll remember those good people down below. That was a real privileged for me to be true.

When the trial was going on, what was going on in your mind? I remember I was in Abuja then, when EFCC under Ribadu began investigation, after they submitted the report, President Obasanjo directed that they should go and re-investigate. When all these things were going on, and granting your pivotal roll In whe PDP especially in the Southern West, considering president Obasanjo, what was going on in your mind?

I don't know, I swear to God Almighty, I don't know.

Do you know where the tide was going?
I never, until EFCC stormed my house in Abuja to arrest me. I didn't know what was going on.

Do you know they were investigating you?
I know they were investigating. They came back and said it was a system problem. I knew very little about it. Why would they ask me? As part time chairman I didn't even know how many bank accounts they had, I don't even know who sign the cheque. It was just for you to direct their affairs during the board meeting. I don't even know all their contractors. I thank God one thing came out by Justice Oyewole the young man. I remember Papa Awolowo judgment in the court. I shook my head.

What is all this hullabaloo? My interpretation when he said the court sentenced me. The court said it was misdemeanor. Now, there was no penalty, no option of bail. But one thing came out of it, that nobody, none of those sentenced benefited financially from the said fraud. At least God will look at this and forgive them. I said this at the court, so why these pundits are now shouting corruption, corruption. If you did not benefit financially from them where is the stolen money?

My brother, I want to stop this whole thing now because we are still going to have so much. I just want Nigerians to have a deep breath, look at what is prudent. The same group, these cabals! They are the same cabal, their media people and their spokes persons are the same people who have been orchestrating it. But I pay that Almighty God will let them get to my age, because he is awesome God and He will work his wonders. All my faculties are even more razor-sharp than even when I went to university.

When this trial started, Obviously, some people rejoiced, they said 'Olorun mu', you know, they felt you are being paid for the conquest of the South-west. In 2003, how do you respond to that?

Everybody will have their opinion. If members of the cabal that organized and orchestrated my ordeals are thinking that this man must be punished, they are not God. Judge not so that you shall not be judged. Even God the Almighty says in Proverb 25:15 if you did something that is bad to human being, it is God that will judge.

How would you react to Obasanjo comment that he was tricked into coming to your reception and that PDP should distance itself from you?

I didn't know about that and I didn't think he said that. Obasanjo was at the reception. It is the same cabal that is saying all this nonsense. We were at the rally together. You saw Baba, and Baba came to the rally. What about millions of others that came? Were they also tricked to come to the church? They want to create friction between Obasanjo and I. (Obj's statement was not yet public when George spoke)

Are you bitter about the whole saga?
No, I said it that day, why would I be bitter? When I saw the crowd? You know that was the people's verdict. The voice of other political party is a tribal party and we are going to move away from the Nobody is going to take me away from PDP. It was by providence that PDP came up. Remember immediately after Abacha's death, there was formation of G19 and it metamorphosized into political party. For the first time, North, South, West communicating without hindrance.

The only party that gave a man from the minority South-South to have a shot at the presidency. Wouldn't you like to be in tune with the party rather than the type being run like a private company, by people who have no believe in democracy? Listen to Bisi Akande, what they said in their convention that they do selection, if you don't like their party, get out. They don't believe in primaries. Where in the world would you say you don't believe in primary?

You see, this people are fake. They don't believe in democracy. And if we want to move from party of perfidy to a civilized party, like what is practiced in civilized countries, then we must move away from the party of Tinubu to his wife, daughter, family, his in-law. What are they doing? Is it now familyotrocracy?

No, let them go. Those who left haven't they come back? They went there and they drove them. Let them go to the other political party and find out what they do there. It is one man sitting there. Emperor little, emperor without a gown, cap. Emperor Bourdillon. He is distributing, moving people from Ebute-Meta, to Ikorodu, to Yaba, is that what we call democracy Nigerians must know what is happening.

Those who are falsifying and misinforming the public, if they fear the Almighty God, have to be careful because the prayer of the common people, those people who are being hounded, will get to God. Okada men are being maltreated. You are not a limitary governor. Even those of you who serve under military government never do those to your fellow Nigerian.

The time for those people to have their ballot. The electorate are the employers of those people. Let us tell the people the truth. Bode George is not contesting for governor, senate, but I believe in the cause of this party. I will work and fight for this party. We'll educate the public that the party to follow is the party that is truly Nigeria. All other party is tribalistic. How many other states have they been to? That is my take on the issue.