By DAUD OLATUNJI, Abeokuta
FORMER President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday in Abeokuta
,cautioned the literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe and the loyalists of
late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo against uncomplimentary comments over
the 3 -year old civil war in the country.
Obasanjo reacted in Abeokuta during the grand civic reception
organised by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West to
formerly welcome him home after his resignation as the Chairman, Board
of Trustee, BoT, of the party.
A former Biafran warlord, Ben Gbulie who thanked Obasanjo for
converting the outright dismissal of some soldiers in the Nigerian Army
who participated in the Biafran war to retirement, stating that,
Obasanjo, as a war leader at that time won all the battles.
Former BoT Chairman of PDP, Obasanjo
It would also be recalled that, Achebe and Awolowo’s loyalists
recently traded words over the roles of the latter and the eventual
criticism by Achebe in his recent book.
Reacting to the controversies generated over the issue, Obasanjo
urged both sides to sheathe their sword and let sleeping dogs lie.
Obasanjo disclosed that he deliberately invited the former Biafran
warlord to share his experience about the civil war,saying, “because you
are one of the participants in the first coup, and as you rightly said,
you are also on the other side fighting for what you believed in, to
save the Igbo from extermination.
“ Like I always said, that whole episode is unnecessary but we should
also remember one thing, action and reaction in physics, they say,
equal and opposite , but, in human interaction, no.
Reactions are always greater than action and you know that and I know
that. But I believe the time has come when all of us in this country
should put the civil war behind us.
“ Whether you called it Biafra, whether you called yourselves rebels
or we called you rebels at the time, you called us vandals or we called
ourselves whatever, I believe enough is enough on the Nigerian civil
I am happy that you came because I want people on the other side to
know it was unnecessary. Since January 1970,after 43 years, if we are
still mourning and groaning, I wonder.
The second world war ended 1945 and the combatants were the best of
friends less than 10 years after. I just believe that we should put that
Earlier in his lecture “Obasanjo in the Eye of History,” delivered by
former President of Ghana, John Kuffor, he relived how Obasanjo used
$40million to stabilize his country (Ghana) when he released the fund to
the West African neighbour to pay its equity fund in the West African
Kuffor said he was particularly bonded with Obasanjo, whom he fondly
referred to as “my friend and brother,” stating that the consultation
and approval to part-finance the project for Ghana, was taken in
“Myself and Obasanjo were Presidents during the same time. When I
became President of Ghana, between 2001 and 2009, Obasanjo was President
in Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, the economy of my country was flat on
its belly. At that time, Obasanjo approved that Nigeria should give us
fuel on favourable terms aftermath of my meeting him in Abuja.”
At the civic reception graced by the political class, captains of
industry, members of the diplomatic corps, the royalty, where the
Olubara of Ibara, Oba Jacob Omolade obliged the gathering that
“poverty bond him together with Obasanjo in their Secondary School days
at Baptist Boys High School in Oke-Egunya, Abeokuta, Kuffo recalled how
the Owu-born General secured debts cancellation for
Nigeria and got its external reserves to hit $53bn.
He recalled how Obasanjo “bullied” Guinea Bissau soldiers when the
duo visited as President of Africa Union and ECOWAS respectively by
saying to them on a peace mission: “you guys should go back to the
Barracks, how many of you are in this country that you have more
Generals than Nigeria,” at the reception put together by the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) chaired by former Head of State, Ernest Shonekan
and graced by Bola Ajibola, a former Judge at the World Court in the