The last has not been heard of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary in Lagos State, as the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has asked a former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, to seek rehabilitation for post-traumatic stress arising from his stint in prison.
Mr. George, alongside five others in 2009 were found guilty by a Lagos State High Court of contract splitting and inflation during his time as Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and sentenced them to a thirty month jail term without option of fine. However, the Supreme Court has since quashed the charges against him and declared him wrongly convicted, three years after serving a two year jail term in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
The former minister was responding to Mr. George’s recent statement that he (Obanikoro) was a lunatic for accusing him (George) of manipulating the recent primaries of the PDP in Lagos.
Mr. Jimi Agbaje, reportedly favoured by George, was declared winner of the primaries ahead of Obanikoro, who has rejected the outcome.
In his statement, which was in response to an earlier one by the aggrieved governorship aspirant, George had said “For Obanikoro to claim in sheer ludicrousness that I, even remotely, identify with any intimations of violence is utter lunacy and blind, vindictive madness. Surely, Obanikoro is possessed and obsessed. He needs immediate psychiatric treatment. He is a desperate sinking man, grasping and thrashing in self-inflicted chasm”.
In a scathing reply, Obanikoro said, “Indeed, there is nothing unexpected about the recent tantrums by Chief Bode George targeted at me in spite of the ignoble role he played in the fraudulent outcome of the Lagos PDP gubernatorial primaries. For whatever it is worth, it is to Chief Bode George’s credit that his family name is tainted and now constitutes a generational blemish as Nigeria’s leading metaphor for gross moral deficit, lack of integrity and public dishonour”.
Continuing his tirade, Obanikoro said: “As Chief Bode George embarks on his feeble attempts at painting a picture of me that exists only in his perverted imagination, let someone remind him that the post-traumatic stress disorder that comes with a time in jail would take more than just an unholy alliance with a pharmacist to heal.
“It is instructive to state here that not only that I am properly raised in the best of Yoruba tradition, I owe a large part of my successful public service career to a childhood and education built on godly principles and sound moral values.
“In all my life and public service career, I have never been accused, arrested or convicted for fraud whether at home in Nigeria or abroad and I have been happily and responsibly married for 34 years”.