Friday, 18 August 2017

What Dad told us before his death—Oredein sisters, Abiola & Odunola + How Shagari & Ekweme released Awo’s man

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The Oredein Sisters, Abiola & Odunola with Scion of the Oredein dynasty, Dr. Babafunmilayo Oredein

In this second edition of our exclusive encounter with children of the late politician and co-founder of Action Group, Chief Samuel Taiwo Oredein (Asiwaju of Ogere) two of his daughters, Mrs. AbiolaOlatunji and Ms. Odunola Oredein gave more revelations to debunk wide spread opinion that their father was a criminal as revealed by a recent blogger.
Abiola and Odunola who reside in the United Kingdom spoke with this blog amidst contributions and interjections from their elder brother, Dr. Babafunmilayo Oredein and his wife, Mrs. Modupe Oredein. Enjoy the excerpts.

We found out that you flew into the country from your United Kingdom base. How would you react to the allegations on social media about your father being a robbery kingpin?
Ms Odunola Oredein meets the GDA
Thank you Olugbenga, how can I describe my father? My father, my hero and a great man; you know everything written about him on the blog, we are not bothered because iwofa l’enu, nkan to ba wu elenu lo le fie nu e so’. A lot of people will like to be famous by writing such we are not bothered. What we are concerned about is to correct any wrong impression that might emanate from the report. We are not going to answer anybody, whatever they write. I will just say truth will prevail and truth has indeed prevailed. I didn’t know my father to be an armed robber. He was a disciplinarian, a straightforward man. The history I heard, in fact, what I knew about the entire saga was that, it was envy and jealousy that set in and the same thing is still happening to us—his children. That is one of the reasons I don’t have close friends, my siblings are my friends because people are so envious and that is what really happened to Baba. Because my father was a very successful man, a successful man with 36 children, none of his children is not a graduate all of them are graduate. Is it a man who has such a dirty heart as an armed robber who will want education for all his children? A man that makes life good for his people, a great politician, would he be the same man that will harm his people?; I supposed to be a politician, I am one by nature but I refused to join politics because of what our father said.
What did he say?
Mrs. Abiola Olatuni meets the GDA
My father said none of us should be a politician because politics is a dirty and deadly game. I did not get to know my father until he got into the prison. Of course I was born before he was arrested. But anytime we go there to visit him, he will sit us down and say ‘my children, please I am here for what I did not commit’ and we all know the story. Everybody has already apologized to Baba. And let me tell you one thing, the reason why Papa kept quite after the whole saga was before Papa was released, they made him to reach a bargain with them that he will not make noise once he comes out, that he will not revenge. Do you understand what I am saying, they said Baba should sign documents never to react, doctor (Dr. Babafunmilayo Oredein) will testify to this, because it was doctor and Chief Olawoyin and (Alhaji) Jakande and all of them that made him come out. They said Papa should make a promise that he will not revenge.
So, he was even made to give a vow of peace?
The Oredein sisters speaks to the GDA
Exactly, Baba was there for ten years. He was released via a treaty.  
Enemies never wanted Baba to come out of jail—Mrs. Modupe Oredein (Nee Lebi interjected)
Mrs. Modupe Oredein to Asabeafrika....'Nobody wanted my father-in-law out of jail but God used Alex Ekweme & President Shagari'
Can you corroborate Mrs. Abiola Olatunji’s position?
 They didn’t want him out. When Doctor (his first son) came back in 1971, they wrote a petition with his younger brother, Chief Biodun Oredein of blessed memory. They wrote a petition to the Federal Government; Gowon was the Head of state and Awolowo was the Finance Commissioner (and De-facto Vice President) then. So when the petition got to Gowon’s office, my father was the secretary of the commission.
Your own father
Yes, my father
What is his name?
Mrs. Modupe Oredein to Asabeafrika....'I am proud to be among those who fought for my father-in-law's release'
He is now an Oba, Oba C.O. Lebi. He was Nigeria’s commercial attaché to America before he became a king. So, my father got the petition, he took it immediately because he saw Awolowo and Gowon talking. He said he now took it to them because of Awolowo and Baba Awolowo said ‘We are not here for that; please keep that for some time’. That was what Awolowo said. My father said he was deflated because of the high hopes he had that ‘ha, Awolowo with Gowon, they will do something’. My father said he was deflated; he told me this and I said ‘ok, we would do something about it’. I was persona assistant to Chief Fola Alade then, Chief Ekweme was the Vice President (that was in 1981), he came to our office and saw me, he said ‘I want to marry this beautiful girl’. Then, Chief Alade said ‘No, she is your daughter. She is the daughter of Chief Oredein’ and Ekweme said ‘Ah, Oredein, which one?’ and I said ‘the only Oredein that we all know’. He said ‘the politician?’ I said ‘yes’. He said ‘Ha, Your father was great o’. I said ‘Yes, sir. But they have kept him’. He said ‘Wow, let’s talk’. Then I went to him with Chief Alade, we talked and he said ‘ok, we will do something.
Mrs. Modupe Oredein....'Awolowo told my dad to take away my father-in-law's petition away from him and Gowon'
He now took that message to (President Shehu) Shagari. Shagari now started the process. And they told Shagari that this thing happened in Kwara, that we should go and meet Governor Attah. But the good thing was that Shagari granted amnesty. Shagari granted amnesty but because it was a state matter, they said we should go to Kwara state. But the Governor had no choice because Shagari has accepted. So, we kept going to Ilorin, I, Dr. Oredein, the late Chief Abiodun Oredein and Chief Oyeledun of Ogere. We will branch at Ogere, pick him and travel down to Ilorin. We went to Ilorin 14 times before they finally released him. So I am very proud to say I am one of those that worked for his release and I am happy for it, because he was too kind. He was a very kind man, a very loving man. Anytime Baba came to Lagos, I will be in the office. Baba will go and see my children. He will say ‘No, I am not going back to Ibadan unless I see Dupe’s children’. He will go, give them gifts, give them attention; he will even give my mummy gifts. That was how good Papa was.
How my Dad predicted his own release from jailMrs. Olatunji
You have much to say Madam?
Mrs. Abiola Olatunji to Asabeafrika...'Dad use to say 'if i am guilty i will die in prison but if not i will be released and he was released'
(Mrs. Olatunji Speaking) One thing Baba kept telling us when he was incarcerated was this; you know anytime we go there to visit him (in prison), he will say ‘You my children, if this sin is committed by me, I am going to die here, I will not come out. But if I come out, you children should know I didn’t do it’. I shouldn’t come out if I committed this offense and he came out and lived a fulfilled life before his death.
What Dad told me before an ex-IGDr. Babafunmilayo Oredein
Dr. Oredein to Asabeafrika....'Dad said to me 'if i am guilty i will die here but if not, i will come out'
 Let me tell you this; a very prominent IG was with my dad when we were discussing, and dad said ‘toun ba se nkan toun se yi, oun ma ku s’ewon’. He told it to me, he said it to me. He said ‘but toun o ba se, oun a f’ese oun rin jade’. I took him out of Abeokuta prison in my own car on the day he was released. I took him out with my own car—he said ‘toun ba se nkan toun se yi, oun a ku s’ewon but toun o ba se, oun a jade’.
Was it true that he was made to sign an agreement that he will never revenge? 
That is not a story for us, it is for you to get to the court and look at the court proceedings. I want people to get the court proceedings. When you see it, then you see the fact. Then, you can judge it by yourself.
What Dad told me in prisonlast born, Odunola Oredein
Odunola Oredein to Asabeafrika....'My Dad used to put me on his lap when we visit him in the prison'
Madam, what is your name?
My name is Odunola Oredein, I don’t really have much to say. The only thing I want to say is that anytime we went to visit my dad (in Prison) he will put me on his lap and keep saying that ‘Odunola if I did this, I will never come back home. But if I did not, I will come and train you and be under same roof with you’. And everything came to pass. He returned to the glory of God and lived the rest of his life to the glory of God. We don’t really have much to say to people; the most important thing is that we just need to narrate the story to the people that want to be famous. We don’t even owe anyone an explanation; we are just doing this because of the future of our coming Oredeins. We don’t owe them any explanation because the good Lord has blessed the Oredein clan; we have doctors, lawyers, accountants, and business tycoons among us. Shall we say it is the properties our father stole that we are feeding on? No. How many good politicians have children that are successful after the demise of their parent? But we are trained to work, earn and be successful in life by our father. Because our father was a good man; the only thing he always says to us before his demise was that he does not want anyone of us to play politics.
Could you say that was as a result of what befell him?
The Oredein sisters Abiola & Odunola to Asabeafrika....'Dad warned us not to play politics'
Yes, absolutely. What happened to him became the biggest lesson of his life and he warned us to stay off politics. That’s why you can’t see any Oredein in politics and we can’t even marry them. We the ladies cannot marry politicians and the men can not marry their daughters. We don’t want such a union under our roof because we have learnt our lesson. I heard that word first word from my father that ‘politics is a deadly and dirty game’. He said ‘it is a deadly and dirty game, stay out of it’. Of course we would have loved to participate in politics but we have a standing order from our father to stay clear.
Baba made me re-do my wedding on his return from jailMrs. Modupe Oredein (Interjected)
Mrs. Modupe Oredein to Asabeafrika....'Baba made me to do my marriage a second time on his return from prison'
When Baba was in jail, he was still sponsoring his kids’ education across the world. My husband graduated from Germany the same year he was jailed and I remember when he returned from jail ten years later, because I did my wedding in his absence, he asked that we re-do the event and he bankrolled it. That was the kind of person he is—generous and kind to all. He had the best of time with his children and grand children before his demise in 1986. He had a car accident and died at 73.
Politicians are mean and deadlyMrs. Biola Olatunji (Interjected)
Mrs. Biola Olatunji to Asabeafrika....'Politicians can be mean and Dad told us to be wary of politics'
Gbenga, you shouldn’t even be surprised. See what they are writing about other politicians now, things they didn’t do. So, this shouldn’t be a surprise to you. But we are just set to let people know that our father was not an armed robber, he was a disciplinarian, a Christian, a learned man. Let me tell you this; when my father died, I went to study fashion design but he already gave a standing order that all his children must obtain a university degree I had to go and start all over again. You know I just finished my last degree program in the UK and I am still learning.
There was no evidence that Dad stoleDr. Oredein (Interjected)
Dr. Babafunmilayo Oredein to Asabeafrika....'Nigerians need to seek for that court document to see the truth'
If my father even stole money, where is the evidence? That’s why I said go and get the court proceedings and look at it—ka ni won ji owo won a sha b’owo yen nibikan! When Baba returned home, he started to work hard, hard, hard and hard.
One of the robbers who refused to implicate my dad was killedMrs. Olatunji (Interjected)
Mrs. Abiola Olatunji to Asabeafrika....'If Dad was a criminal, he wont have the heart to raise educated and successful children'
At the time of his incarceration he has gotten all his 32 children and his wives were professionals, nurses, teachers and headmistresses. I think we had about three nurses including my mum. How can someone who is an armed robber get married to professionals and they won’t say ‘ha, oko mi ole ni o’. My mother is Number 9 and she was a nurse who was working with my father in his company—St Oredein & Sons. That is one of our companies, we have many more. We have Adewunmi Enterprises, like 5 companies. That Adewunmi is our grand mother’s name, she is from Ikole Ekiti. My father’s problem was basically politics—they just took him off track, because they knew where he was going to. They have foreseen his future, he was becoming too powerful for them to tame. Nowadays, d o you know what politicians do to each other? They will rather send hire killers to the person to go and kill him, ok; Look at what they did to Dipo Dina in Ogun State, just because Dipo Dina was moving. But now, they cannot do the kind of things they did for Papa by roping him with condemned armed robbers. Those armed robbers were forced to implicate our father. The one who refused to implicate Baba was killed.
Mrs. Abiola Olatunji to Asabeafrika....'One of the robbers who refused to implicate my father was eliminated'
The one who said ‘I cannot implicate this man, he is innocent, I cannot do it’, they killed him. They should go and investigate that. People must know the fact, he wasn’t an armed robber. Instead of killing him, because my father was a good Christian; instead of them killing him, because they know ‘Oredein, bee se n mu lo ma’a ma jabo mo yin lowo, ee le ri wa mu, awa omo Oredein, that is what we are, Olorun lo da wa, akanda eniyan ni Chief S.T. Oredein. Won woo pe ki la ma se fun?, e je a tii mole tori man yi, ko ni gba fun wa’. You look at what is happening to Buhari now, Buhari to fe so ooto, ki lon se fun? So I am not going to go into politics because I am not a politician. Yes, most of my friends are politicians but I won’t discuss anybody, I am just giving you an example. If you cannot lie, just like Chief Olunloyo recently noted, if you cannot manipulate, you can’t succeed in politics. And my father was a very straight forward man, he will never manipulate things. He will never manipulate, if this thing is yellow, he will tell you it is yellow. He was trustworthy to a fault
Dad took instruction from Awo to buy first carDr. Oredein (Interjected)
Late Chief ST Oredein is NO 1 on the list of the 7 Wise Men of Action Group
Do you know for my father to even buy his first car, he had to take instruction from Awolowo. He wrote Awolowo that ‘sir, I want to buy a car’ that is how transparent and trustworthy he was. That is the man they are calling a thief. I will tell all who want more facts on this matter to go and look for Lanlehin. That is what I can say for now.
(You can watch the live edition of this interview on YouTube via Asabe Afrika TV. Type ‘GbengaDanAsabe’ on your YouTube app and subscribe)

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