Musiliu Obanikoro, the outgoing minister of state for defence on Monday, October 20, 2014 declared his intention to run for the office of governor of Lagos state.
Obanikoro, who made the declaration while inspecting the defence ministry’s Quarter Guard set in his honour as part of his send-forth activities said he was out to save Laos from the hands of unnamed individuals who have “put the state in bondage and to stop the commercialization of its governance.”
He also enthused his happiness over the ceasefire agreed upon between the federal government and insurgent group, Boko Haram, adding that the development will spell the emergence of peace in the troubled North eastern part of the country.
The former ambassador of Nigeria to Ghana showed his appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and the minister of defence, Aliyu Gusau for the support he was afforded during his time in office.
He said: “We came in at a very difficult time for the country and I thank God we have been able to strongly put in hard work to ensure that value is added to what we met on the ground, and some of the successes that we have seen in terms of stability in the country is part of the contribution that we have also made as part of the ministry of defence family.
“Funding will always be a challenge, the commitment and the effort we have put in so far with Mr. President at the helm of affairs; we are making progress. From a nation of anything goes to a nation where we are bringing about stability. We have conquered the issue of militancy in the Niger/Delta; the Boko Haram issue will also be a thing of the past. I’m excited; things like this don’t come easy, a lot of sleepless nights have gone into it. We must salute Mr. President for the courage and the conviction that we must have peace than to have war.”
Speaking on his gubernatorial aspiration, Koro, as he is fondly called by fans and well wishers said: “Lagos is under bondage and for the liberation of Lagos; I want to liken it to General Gowon’s phrase that it is a task that must be done.
“As a native Lagosian, I am committed to the liberation of Lagos. Commercialisation of Lagos as a way of governance is something we must put an end to.”
Aliyu Ismaila, the permanent secretary of the ministry of defence who spoke on behalf of the staff of the ministry said of Obanikoro: “Obanikoro is going and leaving us with mixed feelings. Firstly, he has created a gap, a vacuum that will be difficult to fill. As staff we see him as somebody who is result-oriented, one who at any given time, wants to add value to whatever he is doing.
“He is committed to his job, a patriotic Nigerian who believes in the leadership of this country. He has provided us a pact and we are following. We wish we will also be with him in Lagos so that he gets his ambition fulfilled. We are sad but we are also happy for him. We pray that God Almighty will answer his prayers.”