Doyin Okupe, a member of the Labour Party has responded after he was dragged by supporters of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the party for his applauding President Bola Tinubu’s action against Niger Republic.
Okupe came under heavy criticism last weekend after he commended President Tinubu over the alleged proposed military invasion of the Niger Republic following the ousting of democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum by the new military government.
Okupe, who was reacting to the Nigerian leader’s actions, had said in a post via his Twitter page that there is a need to protect democracy, and Nigerians must not be quiet due to internal differences.
He noted that irrespective of who the president is, Nigerians and political leaders must unite in defence of the country.
However, some netizens perceived to be supporters of LP have frowned on Okupe’s call to support Tinubu.
In his latest response to the backlash on social media, Okupe maintained that he does not play politics with bitterness.
While debunking the reports of collecting money from the All Progressives Congress (APC) after supporting Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the last presidential election, Okupe said he should have become a multi-billionaire if he had gone into politics for money.
The Labour Party chieftain said he had no regrets whatsoever for his actions.
Read Okupe’s full response below:
“I AM A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT.
“Many young people who interacted with me politically in the last 2-3 years really do not know my political philosophy or pedigree.
“I have been a liberal Democrat all my political life. That was why I was a foundation and prominent member of the defunct LIBERAL CONVENTION PARTY.
“In 1978, when I joined politics (at the age of 26 years), I had the option to join the UPN, which was the prevalent party in the South West. But I joined the NPN instead, a party that was perceived to be dominated by Northern elements but evidently with significant National spread.
“I have never belonged to any mainstream Yoruba or South Western political party or movement. In spite of this, I wrote a most eulogizing piece in National Concord about Chief Obafemi Awolowo (the leader of the opposition party, UPN) titled: Awo, the Lion in the West.
“When the late Chief Awolowo read the piece, he was so elated that he instructed Chief Ayo Adebanjo to bring me to see him at his Ikenne residence.
“Baba Adebanjo, luckily, is still alive today, and I remember him saying, “Doyin, you who is not one of us have said great things publicly about our leader that even those of us who are his disciples have never done publicly.
“When I was in NRC, I had a personal relationship with Alhaji Babagana Kingibe – the National Chairman of the SDP, in spite of our political differences. Alhaji Kingibe is still alive.
“Chief Olusegun Osoba was the SDP Governor of Ogun state, and I was the leader of the NRC in Ogun state. Yet I could at any time walk into the bedroom of the then Governor Osoba to discuss issues with him despite our political differences. He also is still alive.
“At my 70th birthday celebration & book launch (March 2022), the Special Guest of Honour was the then Speaker of the House of Reps, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC). Chief Segun Osoba & Otunba Gbenga Daniel, both APC Chieftains, were also special guests. This is my kind of politics.
“All throughout my life and to date politically, I have never played politics of bitterness or hate. I work hard for whatever political party I belong to and campaign most vigorously for the same, with all commitments, but once elections are over, I always leave the outcome to God, the people and the judicial process.
“I have never been an activist or a radical person; rather, I am a thoroughbred, consummate liberal politician. I have always been known to be able to speak publicly and boldly about whatever I believe in, no matter the circumstances. It’s too late for me now to change that for any reason whatsoever.
“My recent comments on my support for the current Nigeria President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the Niger Republic affairs have brought all sorts of criticisms and insults, especially from some ‘Obidients’ who think I should not comment positively on anything concerning Bola Tinubu.
“I am sorry, I do not play that type of politics. I have not seen or met Tinubu in person for more than eight years. I spoke with him for less than 60 secs as he was about to board a plane some three years ago.
“So the issue of “corn” or betrayal does not apply to me. If I had gone into politics for money, I should be a multi-billionaire today. I am not, and I have no regrets.
“A liberal democrat, I am and will remain by the Grace of God Almighty. I am not a fanatic of anyone or any ideology or political philosophy. I am only fanatical about Godliness, fairness, truth, and walking in the fear of God.”