Chief Felix Kolawole Ogunwale represented Osun Central in the Senate between 2003 and 2007. The Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, who is also the Asiwaju of Iragbiji, Osun State, talks to YINKA KOLAWOLE about current political issues and declares that the ancestral home of President Bola Tinubu is Iragbiji, Osun State
You have a special relationship with PDP’s Presidential Atiku Abubakar. Tell us more about this?
To answer your question well, I am an unrepentant Atiku apologist and I hold him dear to my heart but it does not reduce my high regards for the person of President Bola Tinubu, though the music may change tomorrow. When I was in the Senate, I did oversight functions on parastatals that were under Atiku when he was the vice-president and I saw him performing well and that was why I fell in love with him. Atiku has the capacity to rule this country right and reshape the entire system.
As Asiwaju of Iragbiji Land, what do you know about President Tinubu’s speculated links to the town?
Tinubu is a Lagosian who has his roots in Iragbiji. We cannot deny him of this. Remember that so many Lagosians have roots somewhere. My self and Asiwaju Tinubu are proud Yoruba sons. I am Asiwaju of Iragbiji and Tinubu is Asiwaju of Lagos. So, we have a few things in common. That, we cannot run away from.
I am quite sure that Tinubu in his memoirs, in the nearest future, will give the public a clearer picture of his heritage and lineage, since God has taken him this far in his life journey, as a golden fish that has no hiding place. Also, President Tinubu is a world citizen and any part of the country Nigeria will be very proud to associate with him, no matter his short comings like everyone. However, many people have raised questions about his root. Such people are entitled to their opinions, subject to their convictions. Also, without any sentiment, President Tinubu affinity with us in Yoruba land, particularly in our own ancestral home of Iragbiji, is one we hold genuinely.
How would you rate President Tinubu’s performance since assumption of office?
As for me, Tinubu so far is killing Nigerians with his recent policies on petrol. The drastic measures taken so far are killing. If Atiku is the President, he would not act like that. But if Atiku is able to reclaim the mandate, Nigerians would be taken out of this hardship. Also, on the issue of palliatives, can N8000 feed a single person talk less of a family for a month? Atiku would not partake in such nonsense.
Would you be interested if President Tinubu invites you to work for him?
Well, I will prefer to be a councilor in my Local Government Area in Boripe, Osun State than to be Minister or any other thing under Tinubu. I also prefer to be Godfather to all political officers in my state. But if get an opportunity to serve as a Senator again, I will not hesitate to take it. I can’t work under Tinubu.
Recently, you were appointed Board Chairman, Ilesa College of Health Technology. Don’t you think that position belittles you?
Thank you, some of my friends had recently challenged me on why I consented but I informed them that I would accept the offer because I don’t want to insult the government of the day that is performing. Adeleke’s Government is performing. Also, as an expert in the health sector for over 50 years, I would strive hard to re-invigorate the system in all ramifications.
According to the governor, I was appointed because of my experience and because I have been running my own hospital since 1979 when late Obafemi Awolowo commissioned it. I have accepted the appointment in good faith and would ensure perfect infrastructural development as well as the well-being of both the students, teaching staff and the entire publics of the college.
What can you say about the appointments so far made by Governor Adeleke?
I want to commend him for the wisdom he employed in the selection process. All the people picked are good. I am certain that Adeleke’s period will witness dramatic changes and even development in the entire state. We in PDP before lost to other political party in the past, but today we are at the helms in Osun State. Governor Adeleke is performing well. Osun people love Adeleke, but I want to advise that the governor should not forget the people who stood behind him.
– THISDAY: Text, Excluding Headline