Political power chased me until I could no longer run – Obasanjo | Dailytrust

Political power chased me until I could no longer run – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he did not seek political power, rather power ran after him. Obasanjo, who said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State,...

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he did not seek political power, rather power ran after him.

Obasanjo, who said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during a symposium, organised by the national leadership of the Keggites Club of Nigeria through the Unity in Diversity Forum, explained that as a trained soldier he was reluctant to join politics ab initio.

The lecture, which was held at the auditorium of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta was part of activities to celebrate the 85th Birthday of the former president, who is the Eternal Grand Patron of the Kegite Club.

At the symposium, Dr. Yemi Faroumbi, Dr. Festus Adedayo and Prof. Chief Kolawole Kazeem, spoke on the theme: “Depreciating Cultural Values and Virtue in the Era of Social Media: Causes, Challenges and Solutions”.

Faroumbi, who was Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, while delivering his lecture, described Obasanjo as someone, who at no time ran after political power.

Responding, Obasanjo, confirmed Faroumbi’s position.

Obasanjo said as a soldier, he was trained to run away from politics, because “soldiering and politics don’t go together.”

He said despite his reluctance, political power “chased” him until he could no longer run.

He said “I was at a time as you (referring to Faroumbi) mentioned, reluctant to be in political power. I was trained as a soldier. One of my trainings is that soldiering and politics don’t go together and I stuck to that.

“But as you rightly said while I stuck to separation between soldiering and politics, power started chasing me and I ran, and I ran and I ran and until I could not run out of the reach of power. I believe that without being immodest, the fact that I was not looking for power, power was looking for me make a drought of business.”

Speaking on the topic of the lecture, Obasanjo pledged his allegiance to Africa and Nigeria.

He affirmed that the sterling values and virtue on the continent and the country, made him a Pan-Africanist and Nigerian to the core.

Obasanjo, who expressed joy and satisfaction for the Kegite Club by the honour, said it would not be taken for granted, stressing, “if anything that should be Nigeria, is not Nigeria, I will not be part of it. Or, if anything that should be Africa is not Africa, count me out of it. I am Pan-Africanist. I am Nigeria to the core.

“I will only be your Kegite eternal grandpatron if you all bury your hatchets. So, the honour you all that are here will do me is to come together now, so that by next year of my birthday, we will all be together again, and that will gladden my hearts.”

Farounbi in the lecture, had said Obasanjo rejected the call on him to become the Head of State in 1976, after the coup that claimed the lives of the General Murtala Muhammed and some other military officers.

He said, “He (Obasanjo) became the Military Head of State, very much against his wish I have the narrations of the events of the February 13, 1976 by highly respected General T.Y Danjuma and others to buttress this.

“I also know that he did everything possible to reject becoming the candidate of PDP and ultimately the president in 1999 elections.

“I can say authoritatively because I was involved. He had no interest in pursuing power, but power was interested in pursuing him because of the much needed cultural values inherent in him.

“He was like David in the Bible. He did not want to be a king, but he had the values of a king. He has demonstrated bravery by killing a bear and lion with bear hands.

“God needed such a person to face Goliath. During the Civil War, when the march by First Division of Nigerian Army has been stalemated, and the 2nd Division has faded away under the burden of the failure of the ill-advised and ill-fatted attempt to attack to attack Onitsha from Asaba, across the Niger River and the 3rd Marine Commando was losing streak, General Obasanjo came as the David who destroyed our Goliath and did that vet successfully.

“When1999 came and the PDP wanted a candidate that will be become a President that will make it difficult for the military to come back, General Obasanjo fitted the bill because of his character traits of bravery, courage and ability to manage men and resources. Not only that PDP was looking for someone who will lead Nigeria as a Nigerian and truly belong to all. Again General Obasanjo fitted the bill. He did not become President because of a lifelong ambition, but because he demonstrated rich cultural core values in assignments that he was given.”

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