By Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
Former President of Ghana, John Kuffor, Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, Senate President, Senator David Mark, former governor of Ondo, Chief Segun Agagu were among eminent Nigerians that stormed Abeokuta, Ogun State capital to celebrate former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The event tagged 'Celebrating Baba Obasanjo' an outstanding Nigerian statesman and national icon at the civic reception organised by the Ogun State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to celebrate the former president in life of history.
However, information available to THISDAY show that though the occasion has been pegged as celebration of Obasanjo, no fewer than 13 Governors led by the national Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur were at the occasion to assuage the retiring Board of Trustee Chairman of PDP over what he had been complaining as marginalisation of the South West Zone in the party.
While recalling memories of civil war, the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, urged Nigerians to put the memoir of the civil war fought over 43 years ago behind them in the interest of the progress of the country.
He said if after about 10 years after the second world war, the combatants are best friends, expressed worry that Nigerians still mourn and groans about the civil wars after 43 years.
He therefore, urged Nigerians not to take up leadership responsibilities if they do not have capability, courage to step on toes occasionally.
He added that he has no apology for his decisions while on the saddle saying those who accept leadership positions must be ready to pay the prize and forge ahead with their decisions if they can defend it before God, the people, with clear conscience and serve the majority of the people.
Obasanjo who said those were his yardstick when he took decisions while he was the former head of state.
The move to assuage him was said to have been broached in a closed door meeting especially as former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has been embroiled in a court case that has already sacked him from office which further reduces the grip and position of his region in PDP.
However, the Senate President, Senator David Mark while describing his times with Obasanjo, said he was a mentor, father and defender at all times, saying "if you're trying to imitate the former Head of State, you will get into trouble, that is the way God created him."
Mark further described him as a God-fearing pragmatic leader, noting that there are very few Nigerians, living or dead, who love Nigeria as much as Obasanjo, adding, "Anything he does is based purely on his love for Nigeria. In any direction he goes, whether in or out of this country, he preaches Nigeria.