Former Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo has been described a Judas, “who would betray his people,” who lacks credibility and squandered “all the enormous goodwill,” which he carried into office “with a performance that left him with a second term short of tangible achievements.”
Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland made this character portrait of Obasanjo in an autobiography launched at the weekend at the Awujale’s 50th coronation anniversary at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, South-West Nigeria.
Obasanjo himself attended the launch of the 275 page book, now in mass circulation countrywide.
Oba Adetona recalled an event on 24 July 2002, the late Abraham Adesanya’s 80th birthday in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, when in a ride with Obasanjo to a makeshift helipad he told Obasanjo how disappointed he had become over Obasanjo’s pussy-footing on the issue of federalism. “This was the dividing line for me in our relationship,” Awujale recalled and
Adesanya’s birthday presented an opportunity for him to tell Obasanjo how he felt about him, when they rode together in a Mercedes Benz limousine, with former Ogun governor, Olusegun Osoba, as witness. ‘‘It was going to be a short trip
but I had something to say and so it had to be said quickly enough while the three of us shared some privacy. I said there was a time when I had trusted Obasanjo so much so that I could swear by his name, but that the trust was now gone. Obasanjo asked why. I answered that Obasanjo was no longer credible.” The Oba recalled further in the book,
that at another time when he visited Obasanjo in Aso Rock, Obasanjo revisted their earlier conversation during which he told the Awujale, accusatorily, that he painted him a Judas. Awujale reconfirmed the labeling according to his account.
“I told him that I not only remembered but still maintained that he was a Judas who would betray his people…I had no qualms about speaking plainly to him. In high office, people who surround leaders tend to skirt around the truth,” Awujale wrote.
The Awujale book also threw some revealing light on the travails of Globacom Chairman, Mike Adenuga in the hands of the Economic and Finnacial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and how Obasanjo , in “the heat of the mess” did two puzzling things.
“He (Obasanjo) called Mike to meet him at a social event in Lagos – Engineer Olapade’s birthday celebration. Mike and Obasanjo were both captured by press photographers in the newspapers at the event. Following the celebration, Obasanjo asked Mike to accompany him to Ota. It was in Ota that he solicited for the construction of the administration block of his university, Bells University in Ota. Mike agreed and Carchez Turnkey Projects Limited handled the project for him.”
But as the Awujale penned, even this gesture did not keep the EFCC off the trail of Mike.
The Awujale was clearly not impressed by Obasanjo’s tenure as Nigeria’s leader as he dismissed his efforts in this way: “all the enormous goodwill which Obasnjo carried into office was squandered with a performance that left him with a second term short of tangible achievements. Eight years in office was ample time to put electricity on a very strong footing. Eight years was enough to put down a strong foot against corruption and make a clear difference. Eight years was adequate for orderliness and the rule of law to triumph in every facet of our society. These were the basis upon which I gave my support for the office.”
The book dwelled on Awujale’s story from a rascally young boy and school truant, who later became his town’s monarch, to his family life, his business engagements , his many political involvements, interventions and battles with national and state leaders. He also told the story of his relationship with former Ogun State governor, Chief Bisi Onabanjo and his leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Credit: PM NEWS NIGERIA