Former Edo State deputy governor in the aborted Third Republic, and a chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, Peter Esechie Obadan, has expressed relief that former Akwa Ibom State governor and immediate past minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio succeeded in becoming the 15th president of the Nigerian senate and leader of the 10th National Assembly. Obadan opined that Nigeria would have ignited in crisis but for Akpabio’s win of the hard-fought election. In an interview with TELL in Benin, Obadan, a reverend gentleman, who was deputy to former Governor John Odigie-Oyegun between 1992 and 1993, also defended his support for the same-faith ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC that produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as president and vice president respectively, during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls, stating that Tinubu was greatly misunderstood from the beginning. An accountant by profession, Rev. Obadan spoke on the humongous fraud allegedly committed by the country’s former Account General, Ahmed Idris, noting that there was more to it. Stating that the development is part of the reforms that President Tinubu would carry out, Obadan insisted that “It’s not always the game of one person. If you lift the veil, you discover that the accountant general may just be a tool”. On the contentious same-faith ticket, he said “I issued out two letters during the period (electioneering) warning the Christian leaders on the need to work in consonance with the will of God. The truth is that many of them have no knowledge about politics, and many of them did not know who Asiwaju Tinubu is. And so they had an image of a generalised Nigerian and say oh, he is going to be like others. But Asiwaju is different. I told the Christians again that God is capable of using anybody. If He can make the horse speak, He can make anything happen, and that is the type of God we serve. And above all, with the wife of Asiwaju being a minister of God, the one I declared as an Esther; and I told them look, we have an Esther in the house, and Asiwaju cannot afford to Islamise Nigerians and achieve success. That is not part of his agenda. “I have related with him; I have seen him in Church programmes. I have seen him support church activities, and he’s not an extremist which many Christians were thinking. When we were together in exile, the whole period we spent in exile, it was difficult to say who was who when we sat to meet. We were just about 11 of us, and you would almost think Asiwaju himself is a Christian. So, I want to think that he was greatly misunderstood from the beginning. “And there was so much talk about his age and I kept wondering if it was the man I knew they are talking about, or somebody else. And there was so much talk about his health, and I say is it the same man known to me that people talk about because we were so intimate? We were just 11 relating together for about five years. Well, we had the elderly ones amongst us – late Pa. Enahoro, (Anthony) Dan Suleiman, Oyegun, Ralph Uwechue, General Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi and others”. Denouncing the views expressed by former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El’Rufai in a viral video in which he was seen addressing some Islamic clerics to the effect that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC was a deliberate plot to Islamise Nigeria as he did in Kaduna, Obadan believed that he was merely seeking relevance with his Moslem community. “I want to call him the young man because he’s also a good planner; he is also thinking ahead. Eight years’ time, so let me get these people to accept me; let them see me as their hero, now that Buhari is out of the way. Let them see me as the one that can champion the cause of the extremists. But for whatever reason, he blundered; and he was going to set this country on fire. And thank God, Akpabio won his election as senate president because if a Moslem had won it, it would have ignited another crisis”. On how it was possible for the former accountant general of the federation to have stolen a staggering over ₦170 billion without being detected, and what the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN is doing about the case, Obadan said “Those are the reforms I think Asiwaju is talking about – looking at the processes or the procedures, level of authorities; those are the issues he’s going to take a good look at. And it also depends on the supervisory body. It’s not always the game of one person. If you lift the veil, you discover that the accountant general may just be a tool. But professionally, I am sure that my Institute will wait for the final reports to be out before they will take a look at it”.