The Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has said nobody can arrest elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, for refusing to recognise President Muhammadu Buhari as having won a second term in office.
According to him, Adebanjo is an institution in Nigeria in the silk of Edwin Clark and Wole Soyinka because of his contribution to the country’s history.
Speaking to Daily Independent yesterday, Sagay said “The man is an institution. Just like Edwin Clark and Wole Soyinka. Nobody can touch such people because if you touch them, you are really touching Nigeria’s history and everything the country stands for.
“So, nobody will touch Adebanjo because he is an institution and he knows that. Nothing can happen to him for expressing his opinion.
“He is respected by government even though they know he is a very strong opponent. Nobody will touch him.”
However, Sagay said the elder statesman’s comments were inconsequential as the whole world acknowledged President Buhari as the winner through various congratulatory messages.
He said although Adebanjo, a leader of Afenifere, was a very principled man who had always been in the vanguard of restructuring, he derailed when he pitched his tent with former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PACAC chairman said: “If you know the history of Adebanjo, he is a very highly principled man. A man who had been with Awolowo from beginning, he never looked for political office and he is very steadfast. But, you know, no matter how great you are, at times, you can derail.
“You can miss the road by taking a wrong direction. My honest belief is that I respect Chief Adebanjo greatly and I don’t want to say anything negative about him because he is like a father to me, but let me say this, he took the wrong decision when he joined former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“For a man of integrity, which he is, he took that wrong turn because he was looking for restructuring. That mistake has totally derailed him in many ways because restructuring will come, but I don’t know why he has decided to mix with the wrong company.
“Now, as to the issue of recognising the president or not, that is irrelevant. Adebanjo knows it himself.
“The world recognises President Buhari. Nigerians also recognises him. The votes have been cast, a winner has been declared and he will be sworn-in. That one man does not recognise him makes no difference.
“But, as I said, he is a man I respect very much. I hardly will say anything against him because if you look at his background, he comes a long way in terms of integrity, principles and loyalty to the beliefs he has. He is a good man, but he has derailed in politics.”