Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that his allegiance is for Africa and Nigeria, as he would not be part of anything outside them.
He affirmed that the sterling values and virtue in the continent and the country, made him a Pan-Africanist and Nigeria to the core.
The disclosure came even as the former President and Eternal Grandpatron of the Kegite Club tasked the club to unite and become one, saying their unity was part of what would be needed to make him truly a eternal grandpatron of the club.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi on Sunday, Obasanjo also explained why it was power that has been after him and not him after power.
At a symposium held to celebrate his 85th birthday, organized by the Kegite Club at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta, two renowned journalists, Dr. Yemi Faroumbi, Dr. Festus Adedayo and Prof. Chief Kolawole Kazeem spoke on the the theme: “Depreciating Cultural Values and Virtue in the Era of Social Media: Causes, Challenges and Solutions.”
Obasanjo who expressed joy and satisfaction for the Kegite Club by the honour, said, the honour 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.”
Obasanjo, while reacting to Faroumbi paper, which described him as someone, who at no time ran after power, submitted that by his military training soldiering and politics do not go to together.
Farounbi in the lecture, had said that Obasanjo rejected the call for 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.
“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 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.”
But, according to Obasanjo: “I was at a time as you mentioned once 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 believed that without been immodest, the fact that I was not looking for power, power was looking for me make a drought of business.”