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Obasanjo defends book presentation, explains letters to Jonathan

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From left: Former Vice-
Chancellor, University of
Lagos, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-
Obe; former Minister for
Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili;
former President and author of
the book, Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo; and Emeritus Prof.
Oladipo Akinkugbe, during the
public presentation of
Obasanjo’s memoir and
autobiography titled “My
Watch” in Lagos yesterday.

Former
president, Chief
Olusegun
Obasanjo,
yesterday said
he chose to
make his letters
to President
Goodluck
Jonathan public
because he had
refused to
address issues
often stated in
them.
Obasanjo said,
Jonathan’s
inability to act
on national
matters in his
personal letters to him were frustrating and there was no
other channel to bare his mind than the public
communication.
The former president who was responding to questions at
the public presentation of his autobiography, “My Watch”, at
the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja yesterday, said despite the
exigencies of office, he often found time to respond to his
predecessors’ observations and remarks on the state of the
nation while in office as president.
“But, this has not been so. And since there is no other way
to put across my position, I think public communication is
appropriate to do so. During my tenure, my predecessors
always wrote to me too. And as much as possible I did
respond either in action or replied to their letters,” Obasanjo
said.
Obasanjo argued that he had not flouted any law or court
order with the public presentation of the book.
He said he was prompted to write the book not to castigate
anyone but to point out the wrongs in the polity so that
Nigerians may find solutions to them. He noted that the
book had been in circulation before the public presentation
yesterday.
Speaking on the challenges confronting the country
presently, Obasanjo reiterated his belief in the unity of
Nigeria, saying the country would surmount its numerous
problems with time.
He gave insight into what led to his incarceration by the
General Abacha-led military government, noting that he was
innocent of any wrong-doing, but was sent to jail for over
three years.
Various speakers at the presentation, including Dr. (Mrs)
Oby Ezekwesili, described Obasanjo as a nationalist whose
contributions to the nation cannot be quantified.
Ezekwesili condemned President Goodluck Jonathan’s
administration particularly on the level of insecurity in the
country.
Chairman of the occasion, former Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Lagos, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe,
commended Obasanjo for the work he had been doing to
uplift Nigeria, Africa and the world in general.
The autobiography x-rays the early life of the former
president, his years in the military and life after office as
civilian president for eight years.
The chairman, South west mobilisation committee of the
PDP and candidate for Ogun East senatorial district in the
2015 election, Buruji Kashamu, had sued the former
president to stop the launch.

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