Tuesday, 19 July 2016

How I survived two major assassination attempts on my life — Chief Abiola Ogundokun | Says, “The bullets ran through the car into my skin and flew elsewhere”

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Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika....'My greatest Political regret at 80 is that i followed selfish politicians instead of selfless ones'
In this third  part of his 80th birthday exclusive with Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter Blog, Asabeafrika, Chief Abiola Abiona Akinnpenu Ogundokun the Publisher of CONSCIENCE International magazine spoke about his near death experiences as a politician on nine different occasion and two of the worst hits in Abuja during General Sani Abacha’s reign and the other in Osun State during the build up to the 2007  gubernatorial election between PDP’s Olagunsoye Oyinlola and A.C.N’s Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. 
The Iwo, Osun State (South West Nigerian) born political titan was caught in the volleys of hot rattling bullets but how he managed to escape is what you will find out in this Part Three of his 80th birthday exclusive. In this interview, Ogundokun regretted that he had largely followed people with wrong political intentions in his career which spans over 5 decades. . Ogundokun again, for the last time reiterates how ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola despite his loyalty and sacrifice to his government rubbished him and how he in turn cursed Oyinlola and his candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore. This interview promises to reveal many other things that will shock you. Enjoy.

Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika...'I gave Oyinlola three months ultimatum to be relevent in politics and two weeks before the date he was sacked as Osun State Governor'
Let us go into the issue of assassination attempts on your life; on two occasion assassins…
(Cuts in) Nine occasions
During the reign of General Sani Abacha, assassins attacked you in Abuja and reigned bullets on you inside your car and till date, analysts agreed that you simply used Juju to disappear from the car…
(Cuts in) Please, don’t let us go into how God works.
In 2007 again, you were captured in Osun State with two police men killed and guns were pointed at you and again they said they didn’t see you again…
(Cuts in) Young man, those are the act of God. You can’t ask how God does his work.
The Chief reading his early morning papers
How do you mean sir, act of God? How will you describe this act of God?
No, it is the act of God because I am doing good to God.
Sir, you left me confused than ever. I mean for heavy shootings directly into your car and you didn’t have a cut and the other occasion, you simply disappeared. Sir, I am really, really confused about this act of God thing you talked about?
You see when God is not ready to take you nobody can kill you.
How my advice to Abacha got me into trouble
Kindly tell me what led to the Abuja assassination attempt on your life in 1997. Is it that you did a deal and didn’t settle others?
No, that was in-house. I was invited to NICON Hotel for a meeting by one of the associate who was very close to the system. I didn’t know there was a grand plan to eliminate me. I did one thing that time. Abacha called me, because I am the one doing his international campaigns for him. He sought for my advice about people asking him to come and succeed himself. But we have promised the international community that Abacha will not succeed himself. So, what do you expect me to say? I told him, I said ‘for your credibility, it may be better for you to find your stooge and put him there.
The Chief shows the GDA an article inside his publication
The Chief and the GDA in a tete-a-tete before the interview
Let him win election and maybe you can conduct another election later that will bring you back as president. Those who were clamoring for his continuation in office find it unpalatable for me to say that. They said I have used Juju to convince him because the man was beginning to reason with my suggestion; that a promise made to the international community should be maintained. And the man seems to feel inclined and that was how I offended those people. And they organized these soldier boys and police to mount the attack and they opened fire on me as I was coming from the hotel back to my Apo residence and God so good; the bullets will come into the car, it will wine into my body and it will fly into another direction. The poor girl who was sitting in front of the car because it was my Sivia Sport Nissan car and I was the one driving, this girl sustained heavy gun wounds. They broke her leg with the bullets and immediately it happened, they taught they got me. The tires were punctured, yes. But I was very close to Garki hospital, I move down and I turned round into the hospital and they taught my car went into the ditch. But I went into the hospital and I called Al-Mustapha right there in the hospital that they wanted to kill me. He now sends some security details to me. I didn’t have a scratch. I didn’t have a single scratch from their bullets.
General Sani Abacha; Chief Ogundokun didn't want him to survive himself but he got bullets for it'
The GDA and a copy of Chief's CONSCIENCE Magazine
Can you tell me about the Osun State attempt, how did it happen? I know we were in the election year at the time?
I was accused of masterminding the rigging of Oyinlola’s election against (Rauf) Aregbesola. Aregbe is like a son to me. When he wanted to contest I took the pain to go and meet him in his Alausa office when he was commissioner for Works in Lagos. He has been to my house in London with (Senator) Afikuyomi. They are like my brothers or my children. The two of them, he and Afikuyomi were very close to me and I took advantage of that relationship to talk him into not contesting. I said ‘don’t contest now, let Oyinlola finish. I will support you after the reign of Oyinlola’ and he said ‘no’; he said no and I left him. Before I got to Oshogbo, they have told Oyinlola about my visit to Aregbe. Luckily I informed Oyinlola and Fatai Akinbade before I met Aregbe; the news has started making rounds that Ogundokun has gone to meet Aregbesola, maybe he wants to jump away from the party but luckily I had told Oyinlola and Fatai Akinbade (Osun State SSG at the time) that I was going to meet him. With their consent I went, so, the news was washed off anyway. Now, the election was near and I had to ensure that Oyinlola wins. I was the chairman of the tactical committee to ensure the victory, with Gani Ola-Oluwa and Ibukun at Ilesa and Imolede who came from America. I put up this strong body that was determined to ensure victory for PDP at all cost. So, I ran into trouble. I was leaving this house one evening to go to Iwo around 8pm in the night and somebody called me. The man asked me where I am, I said I was in Lagos and he said ‘tonight we are going to kill you’ they boasted and said so many things and I replied him, I said ‘now, I am waiting for you to come and kill me. I am ready’. 
Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika...'Money can not do anything God can do many things'
So, I was going and I started calling them, I told them I was on my way. As they were calling me, I was calling them. But I didn’t know truly that they were planning. So, when I got to Iwo I told everybody that I am under threat of assassination. I left Iwo the following day and I didn’t want to use my car. Tactically I was invited over by Oyinlola to come and the late Landero (Demola Landero PDP State party chairman) wanted to see me as well. I now called Funlola Lamuye to position her car at Ori-eru so that I will not use my car. I did that after briefing all my supporters. So, I instructed my boy who is a counselor to take my car and drop it in front of my house. I didn’t know, truly, this people were actually monitoring our movement. So, Funlola Lamuye has gone to park at Ori-Eru on the way to Oshogbo. Wasiu (his boy) now took my car to pick me down there. As we were approaching Funmilola Lamuye I came down from the car, took the car from Funmilola. She actually wanted to drive but I said to her ‘there is danger in front, you can’t drive’. So, I took the car wheels off her and I was driving.  Not quite eight to ten minutes there was a section of the road that was very, very bad and that was where we saw two cars coming from the other side (Ede) and about 6 other buses and cars were following me behind. We got to this terrible spot and these cars coming from Ede just crossed over to my side and they blocked us. So, I tried to maneuver the car unknown to me that there is a gutter. The car is a small car and we fell into the ditch and that was how they got hold of me. They were firing bullets into the sky and the confusion grew bigger.  Even Ebenezer Babatope’s brother who teaches in a polytechnic was caught in the confusion. So, everybody that came after me was made to lie down and they collected the keys of their cars. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that even Landero that called me to come for the meeting with Oyinlola was at Bowen University, Iwo to see to his son. We were caught, they held me down and they said ‘No, iwo Baba Agbaya yi’ today we no longer fear you. We used to fear you, we are taking you to Lagos before we deal with you and we are taking this car’. So, they wanted to take the car.
Chief and the GDA talk on political current issues before the interview started
As we were trying to take the car out of the pitch, there came this beautiful Chevrolet American car. We didn’t know it was Landero’s car. And there were three police men with him as Landero was the one driving. They saw these policemen and that really caused a diversion, they opened fire on the car and they killed two police men. That diversion saved me because those people who were guiding me and held me to the seat left me. They were equally afraid. So, I came out. Their boss held an AK-47 pointing to me and I told him ‘Ogbeni, I am sure you know me’ he said ‘I know you’ I said ‘but dog don’t eat dog, I am not the person you are after’ he said ‘no, you are the one we are send to bring’. I said ‘is that what you want? Ok, let’s go’. So, they were pushing the car and the car was not moving. So, I joined them and I don’t know how God just took me away from them. And God took me away from them into the bush. Immediately I disappeared, they all ran away.
Ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola...the man who needs deliverance from Chief Abiola Ogundokun
Few minutes later, on coming out to the road, I saw a 504 station wagon from a distance; I didn’t know it was the police. My boy who drove my Mercedes Benz has gone to Ede Police Command and brought them. By the time I came out of the bush, I saw this car and I wanted to jump back into the bush but I heard ‘Daddy, daddy, we are with the police, we are with the police’ and I came out. By the time we now walked to the scene of action, it was Landero standing with the only survivor policeman whose stomach was bullet ridden. So, I went to the car. Landero was not hurt but the two police men were dead. I went to the car and collected their riffles before taking the survivor to the hospital. Up till now, I have the lace clothe that I wore that day with blood stain of these police men. So, we carried the man to Oshogbo hospital where he was operated upon and laboratory operation was done on him. I thank God the police man is living today. When we got to Oshgbo we talked to the press and the press announced it. As a matter of fact, Landero was not part of the target. I and Funmilola Lamuye were the victims and we thank God. They could have killed Landero if they knew he was the one driving the car you know he looks boyish. So, they taught he was the driver and they didn’t kill him. That was how we became guests of the Government House. Oyinlola said we should not go home that we should be living in the government house. He put us in one of the government’s guest houses and later we were not too comfortable with the restrictions of visitors and that was how he put us in the first governor’s lodge used when the state was created until they asked me out because I said I am not supporting Omisore. That was the beginning of my trouble and I was not patronized for years and I spent a lot of money for the election. At the end of the day, Oyinlola defended himself that he instructed Akinbade to give me contract because he is the chairman of the Tender’s Board which he did not do. And he promised to give me something else.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Chief Abiola Ogundokun wants him to join other political leaders to find solution to the problems of Nigeria'
The Borehole Contract
“Then, there was a borehole contract they were trying to do on direct labor and he said if I can just accept that. Everybody know that direct labor cannot give you profit. I said ‘ok, I will do it’. The borehole that he is giving out for N100, 050; 000 (One Million Fifty Thousand Naira per unit) but because they said they don’t have money. So, they gave it out to me on direct labor at N750, 000 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) and I choose to do it. I did it; I completed it in a jiffy. In fact, Oyinlola claimed that was his best pubic project work and he declared me as the best contractor. But I waited for something else and it never came. I lost seven million Naira out of that contract. I want to thank the man who was then in charge of due process, Mr. Abiola. He helped me a lot to make sure I saved the losses. Because when I finished the first 60 boreholes, the man gave me an address in India to go and buy the raw materials in bulk. I travelled down and that opportunity saved me a larger percentage which would have amounted to a great loss. The first seven million I lost was before I took that advice. But Oyinlola at the State Executive meeting, declared me as the ‘Best Contractor’ during his regime. But what will I have to replenish? I was producing all these campaign materials with my monies, the billboards, the T-shirts, the receptive jackets, the hijabs which were produced from China, I did all these with my money. I have to come to Lagos to sell some of my houses including my biscuit factory on Badagry road to sustain because he told me that somebody was blackmailing me, he was destroying me and I kept on pumping my money to succeed. He cannot forget what I have done for him.
Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika...'I was waylaid and ambushed by my assailants but i simply disappeared'
You mean Olagunsoye Oyinlola?
But I cannot forget that he has not treated me fairly. I have decided to forgive him two months ago. My sin was that I refused to support (Iyiola) Omisore that he presented, I was barred from seeing him and that provoked Chief Afe Babalola’s anger, who told Obasanjo. So, Obasanjo invited us and that was how we met and quarreled and I cursed him that he will not last three months. And two weeks to my three months that I gave him, he was removed. I told him anything he touches in that party he will never get. He wanted to be secretary, he failed.  Anything he asked for. Now, I am not happy that he has been losing. Although his family came and Obasanjo instructed him to pay me back but he never did’
Chief Abiola Ogundokun in a rare pose with the GDA with a copy of Conscience International Magazine'
I regret following Fake Politicians…
So, what are your great regrets about Nigeria and the political class?
My regret is that I followed people who lack discipline, honesty and who are self centered. People who do not wish anybody well but their pockets and their family. These are the people who have destroyed Nigeria. People who believe money can do everything money cannot do anything, God can do many things.  The way I spend my money is the way God replenish me. I just have to continue it that way because God has never allowed me to land into any problem. When there is no kobo on me, in few minutes, God will just open the door and bring money. Now, my Conscience Magazine is 20 years now, I have not failed publishing it. People believed it will die but something good happens and when I feel this is not coming out, something will just come. I am a specialist image launderer. Before anybody in Nigeria, the first magazine to do image laundry in Nigeria and people are now copying is CONSCIENCE INTERNATIONAL.
The GDA meets Chief Abiola Ogundokun
Well, I will say, I want Nigeria of a better dream, a united, progressive, loving, trouble free society where we will love each other according to the injunctions in the Holy Bible and the Quran that ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’; a society that will have a sense of belonging so that we can give our lives to the society. Go to America, every American man thinks of US before anything. We must create a country where we can put Nigeria first and others later. I will appeal to the government and I will make mention of some particular leaders, the president himself, Tinubu, Saraki and leaders of the PDP. They must fashion out a way of bringing everybody to a round table talk and find a lasting solution to Nigeria’s problems.
Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika...'My Abuja assailants taught their bullets got me'
Are you aware that the masses are suffering?
Oh, if they come together now and find a solution, the masses will not suffer again. They will be able to work and concentrate and find alternative routes to bring peace and unity. Not ‘I must rule, I must rule’ tendency everywhere. 
Chief Abiola Ogundokun to Asabeafrika..'I got a threat call over my support for Oyinlola'
Chief Gists with the GDA as he receives a call on his phone

The Chief with the GDA after the chat

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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