|The APC Woman leader in the heat of the chat with us|
One information that shattered a lot of minds especially lovers of the
major opposition party, All Progressive
Congress (APC) in Lagos state in the early hours of Saturday March 28
(Election Day) was the news of the arrest by officials of the State Security
Services (SSS) of one of the political leaders of the party, Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele (APC Woman Leader in
Ojokoro LCDA of Lagos) in the early hours of the Election Day with INEC voting
materials in her car.
The information which went viral on the social media alleged that the very
influential business woman turned politicians was ferrying the INEC materials
from one point in Lagos to another point before she was apprehended by the SSS
and taken to their gulag at Shangisha.
A picture of a woman that looked like her in a car and some INEC materials were
equally attached to the picture in the story. The information was so strong
that everyone that knew the very influential woman started making calls to her
various phone lines. For us at Asabeafrika,
it was a big story on the human angle aspect of journalism and we started
working our phones to get Chief (Mrs.)
Ojugbele to react to the story. For good four hours we tried her MTN line
in our care and it didn’t go until later in the day when one of her female
aides called to reacts to our text message. She promised that “Alhaja” as she is fondly called will
talk to us later in the day and true to her word, the woman in the middle of
the crisis called us later in the evening and with a hearty laughter she said
“Gbenga, I hope you are not disturbed already?. I dey kampe o” We later agreed
to have the interview the next day at one of her abodes at the Ojokoro area of Lagos. Despite the
heavy down pour of the day, we managed to reach Mrs. Ojugbele’s place at 6pm and we met her amidst a conglomerate
of female aides and well-wishers who came to sympathize with her over the very
damaging report on the internet. She was in her best mood despite what the
report must have done to her reputation. We met her in company of a senior journalist
from The Nation Newspaper who was
equally invited for same purpose. For the first time, Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele broke her silence first to
Africa’s number 1 celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika
on what really “transpired” between her and the State security service
officials. Enjoy the excerpts first on Asabeafrika.
|Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Ojugbele to Asabeafrika….’It is very ridiculous for people to say i was arrested by the SSS when i was actually sleeping on my bed’|
Saturday March 28th general election, Nigerians were greeted with a
breaking news on the social media that you were arrested with INEC material by
the State Security Services, how true is this story?
by thanking you for coming around to ask me about the true nature of the story.
I think you have taken the right step. Honestly I don’t know how the entire
story came about. I think the whole thing sprang out of envy by some funny
elements. It is common sense, I am not an INEC staff, and so what will I be
doing with INEC materials?. I don’t know where they saw me carrying ballot
papers. A Yoruba axiom says “Eni to gbe
Kaakaki Oba ni, nibo loti ma fu’un?”(He who steals a King’s trumpet in a
village, where will he blow the trumpet?, So, if I carry INEC materials where
will I utilize them? I am not an INEC staff and I don’t work with INEC so what
am I doing with INEC materials?
“I was in my house sleeping when at the same time some people claim to see me being arrested by the SSS. It is the biggest pre-election propaganda”.
that looks like you in a car with some of the INEC materials at the back of the
is not mine, just take a critical look at the picture and you will discover
that I am not the one, you will also see a bus in that picture, that bus is a
dirty Danfo bus that I think was merged with a Photo Shop Technology and the
entire scenario is just ridiculous.
|Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Ojugbele with The Nation Newspaper’s Paul Ukpabio and Asabeafrika’s Gbenga Dan Asabe|
was also pictured during the arrest?
plate number, like I said the entire scenario was totally ridiculous. I am
surprised that people could go to this length to try to tarnish one’s
reputation. I am quite surprised and I want to believe God will unravel the
purpose behind this drama.
“Yes, initially I was surprised, it could be so scandalous for you to wake up to hear such news about yourself; that you were arrested over such a dastard act but by nature I am a philosophical person, I derive my strength from God. The thing later made me to feel strong and I said to myself ‘maybe I am being productive, that is why this people are fighting me”.
that you were arrested by the SSS?
around 7 am yesterday when calls started trooping in from loyalists and party
stalwarts, they said “Ah, ah, Alhaja how
can you go and steal ballot paper, we heard that you stole ballot paper and
that you were arrested by the State Security Services” and I said ‘I am not
the one o, you can see that you people are the one who woke me this morning. If
I am with the State Security Services would I be speaking with you now? I mean
I am here in my house and you are just calling me now…
arrested at some minutes after 12 midnight?
lie, how can that be true? Somebody that was caught in the early hours of the
morning or midnight am I supposed to be sleeping in my house? Is that really
possible? Some people woke me up that very morning telling me that they saw the
news on twitter and face book that I was arrested by the State Security
Services for being in possession of INEC material but I can tell you now that
it is a big lie.
your Victoria Island apartment or the Ojokoro apartment?
here at my Ojokoro house. I was in my house sleeping when at the same time some
people claim to see me being arrested by the SSS. It is the biggest
“In fact like I said earlier, I am thanking them for even hyping me the more. They have only succeeded in making us more popular. They made us loud for a purpose because they might have intended to destroy APC but they have only succeeded in making APC more popular in Ojokoro land. I am grateful for their indiscretion”.
of calls started coming in?
laughing because I know it was a lie. It is the work of my political detractors
and I know they had a free day for that moment but right now the truth has
caught up with their drama. Of course there was an element of surprise at first
but later it dawned on me that it was just a ridiculous matter. So, I started
laughing. I laughed because It is just too ridiculous (Laughs heartily)
|Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele with Gbenga Dan Asabe at the beginning of the encounter|
after you saw the story on the internet?
the level of people that were calling from various parts of the world including
party chieftains and the level of the awareness of that story, I decided to
report the matter to the Nigeria Police before I went to vote. I had to go down
Police station to document the matter and after the police saw the
report they said I should not bother myself on it and that if such a thing
happened at all, they are the first people that will be informed by the SSS to come and search my house and
take decision. So, after I reported to the police I moved on to my pooling unit
to cast my vote. So, the whole thing does not affect me, they have only
succeeded in promoting me the more. They have promoted my party and they have
been able to tell the world that we are doing something important to warrant
such a reaction from them. I am not bothered at all. I got calls from all
across the world; from London, America and Ghana. In fact my brother in Brazil
called me to find out what really happened and my sisters in London called me and all of them were
very concerned but I told them to overlook the entire drama and that I am free
and fair. I didn’t carry any INEC material and I was never arrested by any
security agent or agency.
“If those children were your children, would you let them get lost just like that?; the minister of Finance, Okonjo Iweala’s mum was kidnapped and Government rescued her within a week yet children who are the future of your country, you couldn’t rescue them for ten months now. Sad! So sad!”
|Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele to the Media…..’Those who did that to me have only succeeded in hyping my good works in APC’|
happened next, did the accident affected you psychologically?
home of course. Yes, initially I was surprised, it could be so scandalous for
you to wake up to hear such news about yourself; that you were arrested over
such a dastard act but by nature I am a philosophical person, I derive my
strength from God. The thing later made me to feel strong and I said to myself
‘maybe I am being productive, that is why this people are fighting me’. Of
course I laughed over it and people who saw me at the pooling booth were quite
surprised because many felt I was in the SSS gulag.
to such people who staged such a false report on you to hurt your integrity?
to God to judge; Government cannot do anything about it, they have succeeded in
raising a false alarm about me but that is by gone. I am a real Muslim and I will pray to my God to
judge them appropriately because I don’t know what they want from me. I
sincerely don’t know what I have done to warrant this. Even before they chose
me as woman leader in Ojokoro land,
I have been doing quite a lot of things to better the lives of people around
me. And the moment I was chosen as their women leader, I think you were there
last year, the first thing I did in the month of November (Sunday November 17th)
was to organize a Youth empowerment program where God helped me to train
hundred young entrepreneurs in Ojokoro
land and we celebrated them at a big event and even gave them a starting
capital to begin their trade. It was a huge event and very successful one as
the media covered it and a lot of political big wig came including our state
woman leader Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson.
I didn’t collect a dime from anyone, I raised those monies from my investment
and associates who share my dream and I didn’t see anything wrong in that
because I believe politics is a platform to reach the ordinary people and do so
many things that you would have loved to do as a private individual. I think
some of our people didn’t like what we did but life itself is challenging not
everyone will like what you do, especially if you do it right.
|The APC Woman Leader with the GDA|
leaders on the matter?
called but I told them nothing happened. It was indeed a big drama but I thank
God for His mercy.
get across to you on phone and they felt your phone was confiscated by the
speaking to you now I have a strain neck, yesterday was a busy day for me on
phone even as I cast my vote I was busy replying calls not just from Nigeria
alone but from across the world. So, what next? My phone went flat and I had to
re-charge at a time. It was then people started nursing fears that maybe I was
behind bar but I can tell you that I was as free as a flying bird. Nothing
actually happened to me.
|Asabeafrika’s Gbenga Dan Asabe asking a quetsion from Chief (Mrs.) Ojugbele|
that could have done this to you, do you have anybody in mind at all?
I don’t keep malice with people and I don’t believe anyone is my enemy. So, how
do I say I suspect this person or that person? What I believe is this, my God
is with me and nobody can destroy me if God is with me. God is my strength and
they cannot do anything to harm my pedigree because I stand for the truth and
development of humanity. In fact like I said earlier, I am thanking them for even
hyping me the more. They have only succeeded in making us more popular. They
made us loud for a purpose because they might have intended to destroy APC but
they have only succeeded in making APC more popular in Ojokoro land. I am grateful for their indiscretion.
hand, would you quit politics and return to business?
should I quit? That is too small an issue to dissuade me from service to
humanity. They cannot divert me from serving my people; I am there, nothing can
remove me from politics. I am there for a purpose. I am there for development
of humanity, to take care of the women, even the poverty alleviation I did last
year, I will do another one, and it is a continuous process. Like I said
earlier on, I didn’t take money from anybody when I did the program, it was my
God given wealth and with the assistance of business partners and people who
share my opinion on charity and human development.
were not the person in that picture shown on the internet?
seeing me right away and you are equally taking the pictures as you conduct
this interview, do I look like the lady in that picture? No, it was a young
lady they used and it was a photo trick. It cannot be me.
your image in anyway?
repeatedly told you that they have given me promotion; even my leaders know I
am here in Ojokoro land and that the
opinion of APC counts. I am rest assured that this incident has brought us more
goodies in terms of political mileage. They didn’t rubbish me in any way at
disciplined with good works at various level of the society home and abroad,
how did they take the entire accident?
are biased because they have consistently warned me against going into
politics. They said ‘what do I want that I don’t have? Is it property? Is it
wealth? I am comfortable within my reach. But I look beyond wealth or success
or whatever you call it? I just want to be close to people, to be close to
humanity. It is my hobby to see people living happily. It gives me a sense of
relief and I think that is the kick for my long live. So, what should I do? I
just feel that a time will come they will understand what I have chosen for
myself. I want to contribute my quota to humanity. Yes, they called me and I
said ‘please, children, I am not guilty of what they wrote about me. I am not
the only one that will be a victim of political victimization’. All successful
leaders in history have been victimized at one time or the other. So, I will
never be the first and I will never be the last.
general election across the country?
very impressed with the way the election is going; I really congratulate
Professor Atahiru Jega for his
maturity and great wisdom. He did very well; he is steadfast and humble in the
face of persecution from all manners of mundane associations. I am very proud
of him. Concerning the conduct of the election, from our various political
campaign up to the pooling units I can see that people are already tired of
this regime, people are tired of failed promises, people are tired of impunity,
people are tired of leadership failure at the center and you can see the
determination on their faces and in their conduct. They called unto God and God
has answered them with the desired CHANGE. Because for the first time in
political history of this country, leaders at the national level have been busy
stealing, looting and sharing money. When President
Obasanjo was leaving I learnt he left about N69 billion naira or more in the treasury but today, this
government have spent everything and the treasury is in red and it is we the
masses that are direct victims of this crisis and for us, we have been praying
to God to set us free from this misfortune because it is a big problem and I
thank God that God has answered our prayer. People trooped out yesterday to
vote and despite the heavy rains, people stood their ground and didn’t leave
until the votes were counted and signed by the respective agents of the
parties. Some people left their pooling unit at 2am in Alakuko here, it
was a decisive moment for Nigerians and I can see that Nigerians are ready for
change. General Buhari has an
antecedent that is very unique and that is what is working for him. Today,
people can not eat three square meals yet people in government are flushing
food off. You earmarked such a huge sum of money for yourself for food and
refreshment. You are such a callous regime with no affection, no plan and no
dedication to the eradication of poverty among Nigerians and development of the
people. Nigerians have decided to use this election to change their own destiny.
|Chief (Mrs.) Ojugbele to Asabeafrika….’This election is a revolutionary election. People are in need of CHANGE|
leader of your party last year, one of your cardinal points was to lead women
to pray for the release of the missing Chibok girls?
So, where are the girls now? If you pray and you don’t act along with it, how
is your prayer going to work? We have a government that played to the gallery
in the face of a very serious problem. A government that couldn’t face and
conquer Boko Haram and flush them out in the entire six years of his
reign until six weeks to election. You seized that six weeks for yourself and
promised to flush out Boko Haram, were you sleeping
before? Do you want everybody to die before you take action? Now that you want
Nigeria to vote for you, you started running around that you will crush Boko
Haram, after a lot of souls have perished? Oh, my God? So, you took us
for a ride for such a long time? That means this man knows what he is doing? If
not for election he wouldn’t have done anything? That is terribly bad. That is
not fair. If you want to be a leader at all, you must consider people you are
going to lead. If you are a good leader, you won’t be selfish and dishonest. If
those children were your children, would you let them get lost just like that?;
the minister of Finance, Okonjo Iweala’s
mum was kidnapped and Government rescued her within a week yet children who are
the future of your country, you couldn’t rescue them for ten months now. Sad!
Newspaper you equally condemned the action of the First lady for talking anyhow
without conducting herself with respect?
spoke too much then but look at today, if Mr. President fails politically, his
wife’s action contributed 80% to his fall. They said this woman has acquired so
much wealth beyond what she needs and I ask ‘where are you taking all that
wealth to?’ Can you imagine what she said about the north just few days to
election? She said the north does not take care of their children and that they
are not good family planers and you want the same north to vote for your
husband? You are talking like that on the eve of a popular election? You must
be a totally uncharitable person to have opened your husband to such dangers on
the eve of an election. I am very disappointed with her as a woman leader and
if by any reason Jonathan loses this
election, he should hold Patience
responsible for the entire failure.
over the world?
my fans but my friends, political leaders and Nigerians who called from home
and Diaspora to sympathize with me. I thank you all; I pray that they will
never be a victim of what happened to me. God will crown their efforts with
success. However, I have left the action of my detractors to God to judge them.
But for my fans and lovers of progressive politics; may God continue to bless
them all. I am also grateful to you media men for being fair to me by finding
out the truth. Thank you.