Obasanjo: I incurred the wrath of ethnic chauvinists for supporting Yar’Adua to succeed me

Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, has revealed that he worked for Shehu Shagari and late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to succeed him as President in 1980 and 2007 respectively because he knew they could strengthen the unity, stability and democracy of the country.

In ‘The Need for Change’, a book authored by Okoi Obono-Obla and exclusively obatined by the ICIR, Obasanjo said “we incurred the displeasure of ethnic chauvinists for doing what was right for the country”.

“On two occasions, I have had the opportunity to work for my two successors to the government of Nigeria. On both occasions, I never took the easy and destabilizing route of ethnic, regional or religious considerations,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying.

“I worked for both President Shagari and President Yar’Adua to succeed me not just because they are Moslems, northerners or Hausa-Fulani, but because they could strengthen the unity, stability and democracy in Nigeria.

“We incurred the displeasure of chauvinists…that’s the nature of burden of leadership. A leader must lead no matter whose ox is gored.”



    While warning those routing for the division of the country, Obasanjo said: “Let me appeal to those who have embarked on this dangerous road to reflect and desist from taking us on a perishable journey.

    “With common identity as Nigerians, there is more that binds us than separate us.

    “I am a Nigerian, born a Yoruba man, and I am proud of both identities as they are for me complimentary. Our duties, responsibilities and obligations to our country as citizens and, as leaders must go side by side with our rights and demands.

    “There must be certain values and virtues that must go concomitantly with our dream. Thomas Paine said, ‘my country is the world’. For me, my country I hold dear.”

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