Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has cautioned critics of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who usually attack him whenever the ex-President criticises perceived bad government policies and bad governance.
According to Governor Amosun, if Obasanjo does not involve in what he is doing now in terms of public affairs, clamour for governance and criticisms of bad governance, he would die and that might not be good enough for Nigeria as a country at this trying period of nationhood.
Speaking at Obasanjo’s 81-year birthday ceremony held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta on Monday, Amosun advised the former President to take life easy as he ages, although he should not consider staying indoors as Obasanjo’s wealth of experience in governance, internal affairs, international relations and diplomacy was still needed.
He said, “Love him or hate him, there’s something nobody can take away from him, he’s a true nationalist, Baba loves Nigeria and I know that there’s absolutely nothing he wouldn’t want to do for Nigeria.
“Even beyond the shores of Nigeria, if you start counting, Baba would be one of the best three giants of Africa, many of whom are now no longer with us. There’s no way history of our nation, Nigeria and the continent of Africa would be written without the prominent mention of Baba.
“When they were praying for Baba, they said 120 and I said 100 is OK, but Baba, when you live to that age, don’t write letters, don’t write ooo, because Baba would continue writing when he lives till 120. Please, don’t write ooo.
“Please reduce your activities, you’re not getting young anymore. Baba please slow down, you’re not getting younger anymore, we are not saying Baba should be indoors because he would die, but while you’re doing anything, please slow down because we still want to have you around for many years.”
Responding, Obasanjo noted that he would not have achieved so much without his dead parents and loyal servants and helpers who worked with him within and outside government office, but lamented the early departure of his parents from this world, saying the early departure of both parents at tender his age, really saddens him.
He said, “Where people talk about my achievement, not mentioning or remembering that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve anything all by myself alone, I believe it could amount to a serious omission because many of those who worked with me with loyalty, worked with commitment and some of them are still doing so up till today.
“One of the things that I always missed or remember with some feeling of sadness is that my parents left this world too early and that the sacrifices they have made for me, how I wish they had been around to see the fruit of their labour, that is not to be.
“But if, as Yoruba believes that those who are dead are still able to see who are here alive, if my parents, where they are, are able to see those of us who are here, they will also be grateful to those who have worked with me to enable me to achieve what, if they have been alive, they would have been proud of those achievements.”