The father of Vice President Osinbajo’s wife, Elder Olutayo Soyode, speaking in an exclusive interview with the Punch stated that he isn’t a big fan of visiting with his daughter.According to the close associate of the Late Obafemi Awolowo, going to the villa to visit his daughter was like going to jail, given the way his movement would be monitored and he would need to sign various forms before he could go out, for security reasons.
Soyode, then explained that it was the will of God that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo rose from being a university lecturer to become the Vice-President, and that all her daughter wanted to be was a confectioner despite being a qualified lawyer.
He recalled that by the time his late wife, (Dolapo’s mother) was delivered of Dolapo in the United Kingdom where they met, he was believing God to have a male child, as it was customary in his family to have a male as their first child. However, he said if she had been a male, he might not be as close to her as they are today.
He then revealed that the late MKO Abiola wrote the name of ministers for the late Abacha..
When asked if he had any reservation joining his father in law,Late Obafemi Awolowo, in politics, he said;
It was my father who told me to say yes immediately. He said many people would be dreaming of working with Awolowo. In fact, before I agreed, my father had said yes on my behalf. I have never regretted that decision. He made me to know everybody, including people like Chief Lateef Jakande and late Chief Bola Ige. I was among those who formed the Unity Party of Nigeria and we went to all the states.
During Abiola’s electioneering, I was in charge of his campaign in the eastern states. He won the election but General Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election. When Abacha came on board, we expected him to install Abiola as President, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. All the ministerial nominees in that military government were hand-written by Abiola himself. Ask anybody, the best friends of Abiola were mostly military people. All our people were made ministers.
Are you saying that Abiola wrote the names of ministers for Abacha?
Yes, he did, when the man said he would not give Abiola the presidency. Where trouble came in was when Abiola went to declare himself President.
Those who told him to declare were not even part of us. We were the ones who worked for Abiola to win the primary.
We even voted against our former chairman, Baba Gana Kingibe. Mama HID Awolowo told us to work for Abiola, who was never one of us. He was in another party before but many of the people who took the credit were never there.
We were surprised that the Abiola we supported started drifting towards other people. When Abacha had to pick his cabinet, Abiola was given the option of listing members of the cabinet. Ebenezer Babatope was our minister of transport and Alex Ibru was the minister of Internal Affairs, who was in charge of prisons. Initially, Abiola was not locked up in a cell but was given comfortable places to live outside the prison. Abacha left Abiola to enjoy himself, but something happened that changed all these.
The so-called people who misled Abiola told him to continue to claim his mandate and reject the bail conditions. Ibrahim Coomasie was the Inspector General of Police and he was given the bail paper. Abacha said people should ask Abiola if there was any bail on earth that did not have any condition. We wanted Abiola to be flown to Lagos by an Air-Force man.
There was another suggestion that he should be driven to Lagos but he was afraid he might be kidnapped. We were making another arrangement when we learnt that Abiola had rejected that bail in writing insisting he must be declared President.
We were weeping when we got back. That was the first time Abiola was put in a proper prison. If you noticed, within three weeks, Abiola’s health had started deteriorating. That was the end of Abiola. We lost contact with him.