In a recent interview with Punch Newspaper, former Oyo state governor Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala talked about a number of issues including LAUTECH, politics, and bleaching rumors.
Excerpts from the interview below.
In the tussle between Osun and Oyo over Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso people believe that you wanted the university to be the property of Oyo simply because you are an Ogbomoso indigene.
Why can’t it be the property of Oyo State?
But what was in the public domain was that LAUTECH was a patrimony of the two states as established by the founding fathers.
That is a lie. LAUTECH belonged to the then Oyo State before Osun was carved out of it. After Osun was created, we still believed that we could still have it together, so we then allowed joint ownership of the university. But there is no law that allows that joint ownership. You know that Oyo cannot enact law for Osun and vice versa. So how can there be a joint ownership law? Unfortunately for Osun, the university is situated on Oyo soil, so how can you enact law for something that is not on your soil? But gentlemen agreement, administrative agreement, yes, we had that. We said the two states would co-fund it, six months apiece. While they acquire the school of health science in Osun, they could enact law for that but in my own wisdom, when Osun created Osun State University which is solely owned by Osun and they are running it like a private university. They have campuses in all their major cities. Oyo did not have anything; LAUTECH conferred half ownership on us in Oyo, so in essence, we have half university; there is no university we can call our own. I then decided that since Osun has got its own university, we too should have our own. But before we have our own, I said we should prepare the ground. The ground that I wanted to prepare was that there must be a teaching hospital and there must be a college of health sciences in Ogbomoso. And I can say it without fear of any contradiction that as at today in Nigeria, LAUTECH has the best college of health sciences in Ogbomoso; go and look at the building and the contents, the lecture theatres and everything. After building the teaching hospital in Ogbomoso, I said let us share the assets of the university, the movables and the immovable. Years back before I came in, they had stopped capital projects and any capital project that was done in Ogbomoso was done by Oyo State and anyone done in Osogbo was done by Osun State. So, I then said let us share the assets and go our separate ways. University of Ado Ekiti used to belong to the old Ondo State and when Ekiti State was created, they shared the assets peacefully. Ondo State believed that the university was not its own and when it was time, they shared the assets. So if they could do that, why should ours be different? I said you Osun, you have your own university, so let us go in peace. I then proposed that even though it could not be 50-50 between us again, I promised them their admission quota for the next five years, they disagreed. I then decided to fight it out. But initially, Oyinlola agreed when the National Universities Commission intervened that we could go but there was a change of government in Osun and the new governor disagreed. But he was lucky I did not win election.
You talked about quality, is it in terms of dressing too?
In terms of everything, Akala is a man of quality. Look at me, I am a man of quality, with due respect. I use quality materials.
Is the use of jewellery part of it too?
Yes, I have been using jewellery as a young man. Do you know what they called Ghana before, Gold Coast. I lived in Ghana and that was where I got used to it early in my life. We make statement with our looks in Ghana. In those days when we were in Ghana, your wife bathed you and took care of you. I am from Ghana, so I have been using jewellery (he sends for an album). I want to show you some pictures. Pictures that I took some 40 years back, you would see chains on my neck. Look at my hand chains and rings in this picture. That is how I was brought up. Even when I was in (police) uniform, I wore my chain with my uniform.
Is it not was illegal for you to wear necklace with your uniform?
It was not legal but my uniform would cover it.
Is it part of your own fashion to bleach?
Bleach? That is stupidity; you are asking a very stupid question, how can I bleach? You are very stupid to ask that question. What do you mean by that? What gave you that impression?
(He pulled up his clothe and singlet to show his fair complexion.)
Is this bleaching? Have you seen the cream that I use that makes me bleach or did you know me when I was black? So if you want to write that, put it there that I said you are very stupid to ask me that kind of question. Don’t ask that kind of question again. What you don’t know; you ask. You don’t even know my parents. Is my wife complaining or my children? I don’t know what gave anybody the impression that I bleach. You don’t know me; do you know what it takes to bleach?
Does your wife still bathe you?
She can’t carry me anymore; we are old. Don’t forget that the First Lady is not my first wife. My first wife is an old woman like me and she is still with me. She was also brought up in Ghana and that’s why I was able to marry her. Most of the people in Nigeria cannot keep up with my lifestyle of cleanliness.