National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has attributed his victory in the senatorial election of 1992 when he defeated his closest rival, Dominic Adegbola to the political savvy and doggedness of the late Alhaji Nurudeen Bello, better known as Baba Obe.
Echonews can authoritatively reveal that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had initially preferred to support the Primrose Group which comprised younger politicians seeking a new foothold in Lagos Politics against the more elderly politicians in the Ase (command) group led by Second Republic Lagos State Governor, Pa Lateef Jakande financially.
However, following the release of guidelines for the senatorial elections and the requirement for a large deposit by aspirants, the leaders of the Primrose Group then led by Chief. (Now Oba) Olatunji Hamzat decided to prevail on Tinubu, the financier of the group to run.
One of the strategies of Tinubu was to penetrate the Ase group by developing a wider base for consensus in the Social Democratic Party to power his victory.
An area where Ase was considered very strong was the Oshodi-isolo constituency.
To penetrate the area, Tinubu would have to rely on two groups: the fellow members of the pro-democracy movement who worked with him for the actualisation of the mandate of Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, the winner of the June 12, 1993 election who was incarcerated and later killed.
The second were members of the Ase Group who were believed to have sworn to an oath not to work for anyone outside their group.
To solve the second problem, Tinubu consulted his mother, the Iyaloja- General of Nigeria, Chief Abibatu Mogaji, now deceased.
Iyaloja asked him to go and see the Iyaloja of the Low Cost Housing Estate, Ejigbo who took him to Alhaji Nurudeen Obe.
The blessing of his ambition by Alhaji Obe caused a stir in the Ase group but this was later resolved with the intervention of the Iyaloja General Abibatu Mogaji.
Impeccable sources reported that on one occasion, Tinubu came to visit Baba Obe and asked for water to drink.
However, when they brought the glass of water, Tinubu noticed a film of oil on top of the liquid.
He asked ‘Ah! baba, is this the water you have been drinking?”
Alhaji Obe replied in affirmation, explaining that the activities of the nearby Pipelines and Products Marcketing Company, an arm of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation had led to the pollution of underground water.
Immediately, Asiwaju announced that he would ensure that a well deep enough to go beyond the level of the polluted water underground would be drilled.
Not long after, the project was completed. Baba Obe not only began to enjoy cleaner water but later turned it to the public at a token.
The story of the relationship between Alhaji Obe and Asiwaju is coming to the front burner following the decision of Obe’s son, Monsuru to run for the chairmanship of the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area in the forthcoming election.
The junior Obe recalls vividly the day Asiwaju visited their home and gave many of the kids and women crisp naira notes.
As the election date draws near, pedigree of the aspirants may be one of the issues the electorate may score high.
Many believe that Obe’s role as the vice chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area between 2008 and 2014 during which he served as the Supervisor for works has given him a clear knowledge
of the demand of the people for roads and civil works.