Nigerian politicians seem unconcerned with the health of a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Olusegun Osoba, who is currently on a medical trip to the United Kingdom.
Like his political compeer, the National Leader of the APC, Chief Bola Tinubu, Osoba was said to have travelled to London for a knee replacement surgery.
Governor Dapo Abiodun broke the news when he returned from the controversial foreign trip he embarked on immediately after his father’s burial.
“Our Baba, Chief Olusegun Osoba, underwent knee replacement surgery in the UK and we thank God that it went well, as he is now fine and in perfect condition,” Abiodun made the revelation during the October 1 Independence Day celebration in Abeokuta.
However, findings by our correspondent revealed that one month after Gov Abiodun announced Chief Osoba’s knee replacement surgery, no politician in Ogun State has deemed it necessary to visit the former governor.
Either from Ogun State or other parts of the country, the octogenarian has not been visited, in their usual style, by politicians, especially his beneficiaries from his home state.
Though, Abiodun said he had visited Osoba on September 30 after the surgery, our correspondent gathered that no new effort has since been made, either by Abiodun or the State Government to pay solidarity visits to the elder statesman.
This, some commentators said may be a way of preventing “unnecessary” spending.
However, some wonder why none of the many political office holders has thought of seeing the APC leader where he is recovering.
“Let’s look at Ogun State alone, aside the Governor, we have the Deputy Governor, the Speaker, three Senators, nine House of Representatives members, 25 House of Assembly members excluding the Speaker and 20 local government Chairmen; We also have appointees like the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff, the Commissioners, Special Advisers and many others. Why has none of them visited Baba Osoba?
“If people from other states did not visit our leader, what stops those in Ogun from doing so? We have former governors here, we have former deputy governors, we have former Senators and many other politicians in Ogun. Many of them were made by Osoba. Have they forgotten the man just like that?
“I remember former Governor, Ibikunle Amosun visited Tinubu in London. Why has he not visited Osoba. If he could put aside his differences with Tinubu to go all the way to London to see him, then nothing stops him from doing something similar for Chief Osoba,” a loyalist of the octogenarian told our correspondent in Abeokuta.
Before his return to Nigeria recently, the abode of the former Lagos State Governor in London turned a Mecca of sort as top Nigerians took turns to check on him during his recuperation period.
Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Umar Ganduje of Kano, all visited Tinubu in the United Kingdom.
Just before his return to Nigeria, members of the House of Representatives from the north also visited Tinubu in the foreign land. The delegation of the northern lawmakers led by Ahmed Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives did not just visit the APC leader, they also endorsed his rumoured presidential ambition.
On why it has not been the same with Osoba, who also went under the knife for knee replacement surgery like Tinubu, a political leader in Ogun State, Chief Dapo Adeyemi, berated Nigerian politicians for hypocrisy.
Adeyemi opined that most of the politicians who visited Tinubu in London believed he was in a position to influence their political careers, saying they did not see Osoba in that light.
“That shows how hypocritical our politicians are. Most of them believe that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will continue to influence their political progression in APC while Chief Osoba is not in that position.
“It is also likely that those who visited Asiwaju in London and even when he arrived Nigeria might be after his money. Definitely, Chief Osoba does not have the money to waste for such politicians,” he said.
Speaking on why Osoba’s beneficiaries in Ogun State did not make any attempt to pay him a visit, Adeyemi added that: “I must confess, most of those perceived as Chief Osoba’s beneficiaries are few in the State. Another problem is that even the few are not taken care of in the present administration despite the support given to Prince Dapo Abiodun by Akinrogun Osoba. And his supporters believe that he should speak to PDA, which Chief Osoba that I know will not do.”
In his advice, Adeyemi said: “Honestly, I think Chief Osoba should reduce his active involvement in the politics of the State. One expects his beneficiaries like Chief Segun Adesegun and Hon. Kunle Adeyemi to take over his structure and nurture them. Unfortunately, it does not appear these two are ready to fit in.
“I will also advise the people to be wary of politicians during their campaigns. It is becoming obvious that a lot of politicians seek for positions for their own interest and not that of the electorate. They also find it difficult to implement most of their electoral promises.”
Also, a lecturer at the Lagos State University, who did not want to be mentioned because of the sensitivity of the issue, held the view that Osoba did not possess the political relevance of Tinubu in national politics, asking how many people the veteran journalist groomed in politics.
“Baba Osoba is not in the same level as Tinubu. How many people did he build in politics, especially in national politics? Back home in Ogun State, what we know is that people don’t celebrate former champions. We can only pray that God grant Baba Osoba quick recovery,” the don said.
In 1999, Osoba and Tinubu were both elected as the governors of Ogun and Lagos States respectively. While Osoba lost his reelection bid in 2003, Tinubu was reelected for a second term that ended in 2007