Former Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday denied calling on former military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, to apologise to Nigerians for helping to bring the country to its present level, instead of joining the call for restructuring.
This is contained in a statement released by the former NLC chairman’s media aide, Victor Oshioke.
It was to stave off the backlash of comments that followed a statement by the general secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers, Issa Aremu, who represented Oshiomole at the 5th Triennial Delegates Conference of the PENGASSAN in Abuja last week.
Aremu is quoted to have said “I thought that he (IBB) should have apologised to the whole country, but there is nothing like that from him.
But it is now fashionable for him to talk about restructuring. It was under him that the economy was restructured. He devalued the currency and downsized workers.
In the statement made available to journalists, Oshiomhole said the views expressed by Aremu were not his.
t is true that there was no prepared speech handed over to Mr Issa Aremu but the conversation Adams Oshiomhole had with him spelt out the scope of the issues to be discussed.
There was nowhere during the conversation that the name of former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), featured with respect to his comments on restructuring or otherwise.
We were surprised, therefore, to read news report credited to Mr Adams Oshiomhole, asking ‘IBB to apologise to Nigerians, instead of asking for restructuring’.
We wish to state, unequivocally, that the view so expressed is entirely that of Mr. Issa Aremu and does not in any way represent the views of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
When a speaker is representing another speaker in any public speaking engagement, the rules are very clear.
If the representing speaker wants to deviate from the mandate and brief given to him, he will clearly inform the audience without lumping his thoughts and views as though they represent those of the real speaker.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s opinion of former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida was eloquently captured in a personally signed paid advertorial to mark IBB’s 75th birthday on the 17th August, 2016 in several newspapers.
His respect for him has neither wavered nor faltered; hence he was quite surprised that such a statement was wrongly credited to him.