Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was yesterday paid a surprise visit by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who fell out with him before the 2015 Presidentialelection.
Obasanjo playing local game during the visit of Jonathan at his ancestral home in Ogun state on Friday, 20th January, 2016
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sneaked into Ibogun of Ogun State, the ancestral home of one of his predecessors in office, and an architect of his defeat in the 2015 election, ex – President Olusegun Obasanjo, reports The Nation.
The report further revealed that the two men were bitterly divided in the run-up to the election saw Obasanjo telling Jonathan how wise he has become since leaving office.
“When leaders come, they have little or no experience. When they have to go is when they have really amassed a lot of experience, where they have wisdom, their experience is in high demand.
“Those like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully, if there is now what I call a constitutional office, we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.
Many political analysts have said the meeting was a way of reconciling after the two went their separate ways following the keenly contested, 2015 Presidential election in which Jonathan lost. They flew into the village in a chartered helicopter at about 11.30am.
The visit lasted about four hours of which Obasanjo and Jonathan alone spoke behind closed doors for 40 minutes.
No member of Jonathan’s entourage or Obasanjo’s associates was allowed into the inner room where the secret talks took place.
Obasanjo received his visitor in company with former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was ousted as National Secretary of the then ruling PDP by Jonathan and his loyalists.
Obasanjo took Jonathan round the village for a door-to-door greeting of the elders and the residents.
The people sang and danced in appreciation of Jonathan’s visit.
Obasanjo, welcoming Jonathan, said: “The first point I want to make is to thank you very sincerely and most sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location. Secondly, since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today, and I hope, I sincerely hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminisce on situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends.
“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you, you will be more than ready to put your experience, the lessons you have learnt into the service of this country, for African and indeed for humanity in general.
“ I have said to you before, and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within Africa and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.
“I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested, and you will be hearing from me because I have this opportunity to be around the world and if I mention your name in dispatch, I thank you sincerely that you have received us as we are in this village to prove to you that we are in a typical village, I was telling you that your village is better than mine.
“I want to say that we have it. Nigeria is a good country, and we must never be tired of lifting the country up to the height that God has created it to be, and God did not make a mistake when he put all of us together and if he doesn't want us to be together any power in the world will have made us come together.
“My regards to everybody at home, especially your wife. Please, tell her that my wife sends her regards and I hope sooner or later we will be on your part of the world to enjoy the atmosphere together. I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here in this village.”
Explaining his mission, in company Jonathan said he had planned to visit Obasanjo during thin company with former military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), but the plan fell through owing to unforeseen circumstances.
He said the idea came about when he visited Babangida in Minna when the two of them agreed to come to Ibogun.
Jonathan thanked Obasanjo for the warm reception accorded him and entourage.
Thereafter, Obasanjo and Jonathan retired to one of the sittings rooms for “strictly personal talks for 40 minutes.”
Talks over, Obasanjo and one of his friends launched into the popular Yoruba game of ayo.
Jonathan watched as the game went.