Bayo Onanuga, the former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and currently the Tinubu Campaign Organisation’s spokesperson, has expressed sorrow for choosing Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as Attorney-General during the administration of Bola Tinubu as Lagos governor.
In a statement headlined “Tinubu and Osinbajo: The True Story of How They Met,” Onanuga said that days after Tinubu was elected governor in 1999, he began considering who would make up his cabinet. Onanuga admitted that he was the one who recommended Osinbajo to Tinubu, but that he now regrets it due to the “course of events” between Tinubu and Osinbajo.
In part, his statement reads:
“Tinubu had just won the election as governor of Lagos state and days after, we met on the 6th floor of Kresta Laurel at Maryland, which Otunba Gbenga Daniel donated for our use
On this day, Tinubu shared with us some of the ‘certain’ appointments he intended to make. Those who were at the meeting were Otunba Daniel, Dele Alake and I. Tinubu [said] attorney-general will be Bayo Oriola.
I shot back and said: ‘I have a better person for you’, my exact words. Tinubu was startled by my interjection. ‘He is a Law Professor and the man who drafted our company’s MOU. He crafted it in a brilliant way that protected us from the founding partners. Without this, the other shareholders would have thrown us out’, I explained.
I also said Osinbajo had worked with prince Bola Ajibola, who was the attorney-general and Minister of Justice under President Ibrahim Babangida.
After the meeting, I went to Osinbajo’s house in Ogudu to invite him to meet the new governor, Bola Tinubu. I remember entering the apartment from the kitchen. The wife was there when I delivered the message and left the house with him, later.
Looking back now, do I regret what I did in January 1999? Yes, I would say I have some regret, especially since my action hurt Bayo Oriola. And my apology to Oriola once again. I could not have foreseen today’s turn of events between Tinubu and Osinbajo, who I nominated to be Justice Commissioner.”