A mild drama played out on Saturday at the Abeokuta home of Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as President Goodluck Jonathan paid him a visit while on his way to condole with his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati who had just buried his mother. As the President visited Chief Obasanjo, four Governors elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Governors Murtala Nyako, Aliyu Wamakko, Sule Lamido and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Adamawa, Sokoto, Jigawa and Kano States breezed in. Apparently in order not to breach protocol, the Governors decided to delay their entry till the President’s departure. They entered Obasanjo’s hilltop mansion only about 5 minutes after the exit of President Jonathan.
While speaking on his meeting with the former President which lasted a little over an hour, President Jonathan said “I am like Obasanjo’s son.” Having stated that he was in town to condole with the Abatis, President Jonathan said “I said before coming to greet the family, let us stop over and greet Obasanjo and we did that. We stopped over there. It would not be proper if I am coming to Ogun State to see Reuben who is just at Obasanjo’s backyard that I would not stop over to greet him”. The President could not attend the funeral programme on Friday as he was away to Togo to meet with some West African Presidents.
The Governors on the other hand disclosed that they came to consult with the former President on “very important matters”. Retired Admiral Nyako who spoke on behalf of the quartet described Obasanjo as the “most accomplished Nigerian ever”. He said “we have come to greet the most accomplished Nigerian ever and he will remain so for a very long time. We have also come to consult him on very important matters.”
There are beliefs in some quarters that both parties might have had discussions with the former President over the same issue; the 2015 elections, especially as Obasanjo had publicly endorsed Governor Lamido of Jigawa State as a presidential material in Dutse, on a day he was expected to be in Abuja for an event hosted by the Federal Government. The 4 Governors are also known to be in support of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who has since been suspended by the PDP.