Ex-President Obasanjo, Adebanjo In Enugu, Commiserate With Ndigbo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo the former Nigerian President (left) and Pa Ayo Adebanjo Leader of the highest Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere signing the register in Enugu State

By Tony Adibe

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, leader of the highest Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, were at the Ohanaeze Ndigbo National Secretariat in Enugu on Sunday evening, where they signed condolence register opened by the group for First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi. The elder statesman died on November 1, this year.

Obasanjo described Mbazulike as an authentic Nigerian patriot and the last of the titans, while Adebanjo said he was a true Nigerian who fought from youth for a country where equity, justice, and fair play reigned. They, however, said they regretted that the foremost nationalist was not able to witness the new Nigeria that he laboured for decades.

Re-emphasising his avowed commitment to enthroning a new Nigeria, Chief Obasanjo said the country did not just need a president at this critical time but yearning for a leader with character. He stated that he had paid enough price for Nigeria but would not relent in pushing for justice and its rescue.

Obasanjo said: “What I believe and what I think Pa Ayo Adebanjo believes is not ethnic, it’s not sectional, it is not religious, it is Nigeria. When I go out and people say we thank you, I ask them, what are you thanking me for? Stop thanking me. I believe in equity, I believe in justice, I believe in one Nigeria. I have shed my blood for this country. I have gone to prison for this country. So, what are you going to frighten or threaten me with? The only thing that my senior brother (Adebanjo) hasn’t done is that he hasn’t shed his blood, but he has gone to prison, but we will leave that aside.

“The problem we have in our hands in Nigeria is not ethnic. It is national. And for me, the most important thing in a leader is character. The problem we have had is that we have not had a leader with the right type of character that they should be trusted with the leadership role. So, if I put my hand on someone, it means that comparing with the other, I see that there is merit that will be of benefit to Nigeria. And I believe that Chief Adebanjo stands for the same thing.”

Receiving the eminent leaders on behalf of the President General of the highest Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Prof. George Obiozor, Secretary General of the group, Ambassador Okey Emuchay thanked them for honouring Amaechi and the Igbo.

Emuchay said: “Your presence here is symbolic for us in Ohanaeze. When we came onboard this building was not roofed. It was in this building that the Imeobi on 5th May, gave us a mandate to form a political action committee to seek the presidency of Nigeria for the Southeast. Imeobi is one of the most important structures we have in Ohanaeze.

“Our first landing was Abeokuta to see Baba, our second landing was Lagos for Pa Adebanjo. And the last Ohanaeze outing of Chief Mbazulike Amaechi was the Thursday, 5th of May Imeobi meeting in this building. I said it’s symbolic because we are here, Baba you are here, Daddy you are here, in the same building. These memories will live for long.

“He was the longest serving minister of the first republic alive. He fought for things but unfortunately, he is no more. Thank God His Excellency (Peter Obi) is also here. Because what we stood for and what we are standing for and what we are asking for is justice, fairness, equity and inclusion in Nigeria. If the PG were here, the PG could have said, Okey read a prepared speech and he would end, by saying, in this fight, God will come down to be our David against Goliath. Baba you have done a lot and you are still doing a lot.”

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