“I am paranoid about Nigeria”, says Dimeji Bankole

    Hon. Dimeji Bankole

    Former Speaker of the House of |Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole has expressed that he would rather remain silent on national issues now rather than continuing to worry so he can guarantee long life for himself.

    He explained that he had chosen to maintain absolute silence to keep his body and soul intact scaring away early death.

    In essence, the former law maker implied that the nation is not worth dying for in the face of many wrong doings and lack of formidable clout to make changes.

    He had not been seen as making much comment after retreating to his private life after losing last election in his home base district.

    Bankole spoke as he paid a visit to  the Matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief H.I.D Awolowo, in her Ikenne home on Tuesday. He held a closed door meeting with Mama for about  30 minutes.

    Emerging from the meeting and asked about the reason for his visit, declined making comments after reporters  approached him for a chat just as words went round he was on visit to Awolowo family Ikene home.

    The former Speaker, who was clad in white Kaftan, white cap and black sandals, had driven to the meeting himself getting to Awolowo’s residence at 1. 18 p.m.

    He was received by Mama Awolowo in company of her daughter, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and shortly on arrival

    went into a secret meeting that lasted about 30 minutes with the her.

    Vanguard gathered that the meeting might not be unconnected with the issues of unity among the Yorubas and the alleged marginalisation of the race by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

    The meeting also came five days after a meeting was held under the aegis of Yoruba Unity Forum, YUF, at the same place where issues bordering on the relegation of the race in the scheme of things in the country, among other things, were discussed.

    Before the meeting, Bankole, who came with few security personnel in a three-car convoy, had told newsmen that he preferred to remain silent on state and national issues because he wanted to live long.

    Bankole, who spoke in Yoruba, said “I did not run away; you know since I left office, I have not said a word. I prefer it to remain so.

    “I will continue watching from a distance, I don’t want to dabble into what is happening because, I want to live long.”

    Attempts made by journalists after Bankole stepped out of the reception room where he held the meeting with Awolowo, to disclose why he was in Ikenne failed, as he declined comments but continue laughing until he drove out of the Awolowo’s compound.

    Many saw Bankole’s silence as playing save from being dragged into the issues of litigations based on alleged corrupt practices while in office.

    An Abuja High Court last January  dismissed all corruption charges brought against  Bankola and his deputy, Usman Bayero Nafada claiming the duo has got no case to answer.

    Justice Suleimon Belgore of Abuja High Court trivialised the charges against them  claiming  that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was inconsistent  with  its charges against the former helmsmen in the lower House of the Nigerian parliament.

    According to Justice Belgore, EFCC had not brought a solid case against the duo and ruled that they had  no cases to answer.

    Among other accusations, Bankole faced corruption charges for misappropriating a sum  N38bn House funds during his tenure as the House Speaker.

    Source: Vanguard