Obasanjo Donates Former Residence For COVID-19 Isolation Centre

A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he had donated his former residence at the Presidential Hilltop, Abeokuta, Ogun State for use as an Isolation Centre for victims of the new coronavirus disease.

Obasanjo, in a statement by his spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, said the 32-room facility has been handed over to the Ogun state government for immediate takeover.

According to Akinyemi’s statement, Obasanjo was concerned about the pandemic.

“And I think those who can in one way or another assist in this situation should do so,” the statement quoted the former President as saying.

The facility, located off the Presidential Boulevard, Oke Sari, Abeokuta has each of the 32 rooms ensuite, with a standby generator.

On Friday evening, the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed five new cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria, bringing the total to 70.

Across the world, more than 400,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and over 15,000 have died.

Buhari Celebrates Obasanjo Ahead Of 83rd Birthday

BREAKING: FG Replies Obasanjo, Defends Buhari [FULL STATEMENT]
this file photo shows former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with former President Olusegun Obasanjo ahead of his 83rd birthday.

Obasanjo who will celebrate his birthday on Thursday, March 5, 2020, was described by President Buhari as someone whose commitment to nationhood is outstanding.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: I’m On Self-Isolation, Not Quarantine, Says NCDC DG

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Wednesday, President Buhari joined family members and friends to celebrate Obasanjo, while also underscoring his sacrifices for the continent.

“President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his 83rd birthday, March 5, 2020, congratulating him for a life of courage, dedication and service to Nigeria, Africa, and humanity in general.

“President Buhari joins family members, friends and associates of the former president in celebrating the milestone, adding that Chief Obasanjo’s commitment to Nigerian nationhood remains outstanding and commendable, while also underscoring his sacrifices for the continent, including standing up for democracy in many countries,” the statement read in part.

He offered prayers to Obasanjo, saying that “the almighty God will grant him longer life, good health, and strength to keep serving the nation and the continent.”

We Must Work And Pray For A Better Nigeria, Says Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said all hands must be on deck to address security challenges in the country.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by a special envoy to the archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Obasanjo maintained that all Nigerians must work and pray to restore unity amongst all.

“There are so many areas in the world where attentions are needed for peace, equity, and justice. We just cannot as children of God, fold our hands where needs abound for us to do something.”

READ ALSO: Kaduna Attack: El-Rufai Vows To Wipe Out Bandits As Death Toll Rises

The former president, while narrating conversations with some African leaders recently, stressed that other countries on the continent see Nigeria as a big brother, but show worries that issues of unity and security haven’t been addressed.

“If you Nigeria cannot solve your security problem or unity, how can we look up to you for help”, Obasanjo quoted the worries of an African leader, but his response was; “help comes from God and we are looking up to God for help.

“We cannot fold our hands, we must work and pray, but I’m a very irredeemable optimist about Nigeria and the world. If we show love, I think all other human problems we can deal with,” he stated.

The envoy led by Bishop Precious Amuku brought a message of peace to the former president ahead of his 83rd birthday anniversary.

Prayers were offered to the former president for long life, peace in Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world.

PHOTOS: Osinbajo, Ex-Presidents, Governors Attend Burial Of Gov. Emmanuel’s Father

L-R: Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; and former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, at the burial of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s father – late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang – in Akwa Ibom State on February 15, 2020.

 

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, were among the leaders who stormed Akwa Ibom State.

The leaders visited the state on Saturday to attend the burial of late Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, the father of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has lost his father, Elder Gabriel Nkanang.

Nkanang died on December 1, 2019, at the age of 90.

His burial brought together prominent leaders who shunned their political differences to pay their last respect to the governor’s father.

They included the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; as well as the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a host of governors and lawmakers.

The governors present were Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Ben Ayade (Cross River), among others.

Some of the senators in attendance included Senator Bassey Akpan, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Senator Obinna Ogba, Senator Gabriel Suswam, and Senator Olalekan Adeola.

The Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, and former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, were also in attendance.

Highlights of the event are captured in the photos below:

Fire Guts Obasanjo’s House In Abeokuta

 

Fire has gutted a house belonging to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The fire which reportedly broke out on Wednesday night wreaked havoc on the building situated at the Ita-Eko area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Witnesses say the fire was caused by a power surge while a source told our correspondent that a spark that went off after power supply was restored to the building was the cause of the fire.

READ ALSO: Reps Ask FG To Declare Emergency On Security

Residents trooped out to assist the domestic workers in the house to put out the fire.

The extent of damage to the building has not been confirmed as cameras were not allowed in and around the vicinity.

However, there are reports that the fire only razed a store and not the main building in the former president’s compound.

Abacha’s Family Loses Appeal To Unfreeze Foreign Accounts

Abacha

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by the family of late Military Head of State, General Sani Abacha, asking for an order to unfreeze some bank accounts belonging to him and other members of the family.

The accounts, domiciled in banks in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Island of Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, were frozen following mutual agreements entered between Nigeria and the countries during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Delivering judgment in the appeal filed by a son of the late head of state, Mohammed Abacha, a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, unanimously held that the suit which was first initiated before the Federal High Court in Kano in January 2004 had become statute-barred.

READ ALSO: Don’t Be Intimidated By Other Arms Of Government, Wike Tells Judiciary

In the lead judgment read by Justice Amina Augie, on behalf of Justice Chima Nweze, the apex court affirmed the concurrent decisions of both the Federal High Court in Kano and the Court of Appeal, Kaduna division, which had both dismissed the suit for being statute-barred.

Following the mutual judicial assistance entered into between Nigeria and Switzerland in 1999, former President Obasanjo had asked the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Kanu Agabi at that time, to write to the Swiss government to freeze all bank accounts held by Abacha and his family members between 1993 and 1998 in the foreign countries.

The government discovered the accounts in Abacha’s name in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Island of Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and had them frozen.

On the 28th of January 2004, the Abacha’s family challenged the freezing of their accounts by filing the suit at the Federal High Court, Kano but the court dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was statute-barred.

 

PHOTO: Obasanjo, Jonathan Meet At World Summit

Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, with former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, at the World Summit 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

 

 

Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday met in South Korea.

Both leaders met on the sidelines of World Summit 2020 holding in Seoul, the South Korean capital.

Dr Jonathan shared a photo of himself and his wife, Patience, standing with former President Obasanjo on his verified Facebook page.

In the picture, the couple were dressed in English wears while the elder statesman went cultural with an agbada and a cap.

“I was delighted to meet His Excellency Chief Olusegun ‘Baba’ Obasanjo at the ongoing World Summit 2020 in Seoul, South Korea,” Jonathan captioned the picture.

He explained that he and Obasanjo joined leaders from across the world at the summit to make a case for lasting peace, interdependence, and shared values among the world’s people and nations.

“After moderating a session of the International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP), where many serving and former Heads of Government made intense and exciting contributions on how to heal our troubled world, I got my faith renewed in the belief that more commitment is required from all stakeholders in the pursuit of global peace,” the former president said.

While the two leaders attended the summit, President Muhammadu Buhari was absent, and it was unclear if the Nigerian government was represented.

Obasanjo, Abiodun Present As Ogun Govt Holds Christmas Carol

 

The Ogun State government is holding its 2019 Christmas Carol.

The gathering of the Christian faithful is ongoing in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Among the dignitaries present at the event include the host and state governor, Dapo Abiodun; former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and his wife, Mrs Bola.

READ ALSO: I Am Alive And Bubbling – IBB

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, greets former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his wife, Bola, at the venue of the state‘s Christmas Carol in Abeokuta on December 15, 2019.

 

Others are top government officials, traditional rulers, as well as Christian leaders in the state and other parts of the country.

Watch the video below:

VIDEO: Nigerians In South Africa Are Not Criminals, They Are Businessmen – Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted those describing Nigerians living in South Africa as criminals engaged in drug peddling and other forms of crime.

Contrary to the claims, he believes those making such allegations should be thankful to Nigerians, many of whom he says are contributing to the growth of the South African economy.

The former president stated this on Saturday during a session with reporters at his Presidential Library residence in Abeokuta, that Ogun State capital.

He said, “Nigerians in South Africa are not drug peddlers, they are not criminals.

“There are many of them that are genuine businessmen, genuine professionals who are making meaningful contribution to the economy and the social life of their country.”

Speaking further, Obasanjo noted that he met two Nigerians doing legitimate business in South Africa with the turnover running into millions of dollars.

He added that these people employed scores of South Africans in the country.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo addressing reporters in Abeokuta, Ogun State on September 28, 2019.

 

 

Foreigners Taking Jobs?

In the face of recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and others in that country, the elder statesman condemned the insulations that foreigners were taking the jobs of South Africans.

He advised Nigerians in the diaspora to be good ambassadors of their country and cautioned South African authorities against bias while punishing erring foreigners.

The former president warned against being partial, stressing that offenders should be punished in line with the constitution of the country.

He said, “The point that I made and that I believe should be made is that if a Nigerian in South Africa commits an offence, you don’t have to say ‘this is a Nigerian’; he is a citizen, a resident of your country and please treat him according to the law of the land.

“And the idea of thinking or saying that foreigners are taking your job; that also should be killed because most of these foreigners bring something into the country.”

“As I have always said, Nigerians living outside Nigeria must try to be good citizens of wherever they live. Be a good citizen of where you live and if you break the law, let the law of that land take its course,” Obasanjo added.

Xenophobia: Buhari’s Meeting With Ramaphosa Will Address Issue, Says Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed optimism that the proposed meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, would go a long way to address the issue of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in that country.

He stated this on Saturday while answering questions from journalists at his Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“The meeting that President Buhari and President Ramaphosa will have during the first week of October should smoothen the ground and the right statement and the right action coming from both sides should encourage our people to go back,” the elder statesman said.

He added, “My joy is that President Ramaphosa is ready to do what needs to be done to stop this ugly incident and to put the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa on the right track.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo addresss reporters in Abeokuta, Ogun State on September 28, 2019.

 

The former president was confident that the meeting of the two leaders scheduled to hold in October would provide the much-needed avenue for smothering of the near strain relationship between their countries over the xenophobia in South Africa.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Asks Nigeria, Others To Report South Africa To AU

He supported the calls for compensation for those whose businesses were destroyed during the recent attacks in that country.

Obasanjo commended the steps taken so far by the two presidents and called for the reactivation of the bilateral commission between the two countries.

He, however, asked Nigerians to be law-abiding and be good ambassadors of the country wherever they find themselves.

“As I have always said, Nigerians living outside Nigeria must try to be good citizens of wherever they live.

“And when I was president, when I met Nigerians abroad; I said look, being good citizens of the country in which you live and then, tie to when you will be good citizens of the world and when you come back home, you will be good citizens of Nigeria,” the elder statesman noted.

Xenophobia: Obasanjo Asks Nigeria, Others To Report South Africa To AU

Obasanjo Encourages Women To Participate More In Politics
A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africa citizens living in South Africa.

In a letter to the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the elder statesman urged countries whose citizens were affected to table appropriate motions at the African Union (AU) and consider other measures if the situation is allowed to continue.

He condemned the situation where any African country encourages or fails to seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country.

Obasanjo described such as a great disservice not only to the country xenophobic attacks take place and the countries of the victims concerned but also to the whole of Africa and black race.

He said there was a need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia in the country.

The former president, therefore, asked South African authorities to send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding.

He also noted that repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa was not a permanent solution to the crisis, neither was revenge a desirable way out.

Obasanjo challenged Nigeria and South Africa to stand together to champion African cause and jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century.

 

…………

September 12, 2019

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP,

President Emeritus: Inkatha Freedom Party,

Office of the President Emeritus,

2 Durban Club, Place,

Durban 4001, South Africa.

I thank you for your very kind and thoughtful letter of September 11, 2019, and I appreciate the honour done me by specially writing me a letter on a very unfortunate and sad incident of xenophobia in South Africa. I also take note of your statements and other communications made in South Africa by you on the same issue.

The xenophobia or Afrophobia going on in South Africa is an unfortunate issue for South Africa and for the whole of Africa. It is unfortunate in many respects. There are only two countries in Africa that have ‘Africa’ as part of their names: Central Africa Republic and Republic of South Africa. For any of these two countries and, I dare say, for any African country to encourage or allow or not seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country, it is a great disservice not only to the country where xenophobia takes place and the countries of the victims concerned, but also a great disservice to the whole of Africa and black race.

I want to thank you, my dear senior brother, for the statement you made to alert leaders and ordinary people of South Africa to appreciate that turning a blind eye and not making a very strong statement of condemnation or taking a very strong stand against xenophobia is encouraging xenophobia or being an accomplice in xenophobia and/or Afrophobia.

I also want to thank you for referring in the same statement to Nigeria’s contribution and my own personal contribution to the struggle against colonialism in Southern Africa and apartheid in South Africa. I must also commend others in South Africa who have taken a similar position in the overall interest of Africa.

We, in Nigeria, if I may speak particularly for Nigeria, did all that we did for liberation in different parts of Africa, particularly in Southern Africa, including getting rid of apartheid in South Africa because we believed it was our obligatory duty to do so as Africans.

We, as black people, believed and still believe that we would be second-class citizens in the world if we allowed any black people anywhere in the world, not to talk of Africa, to be treated as second-class citizens because of the colour of their skin without fighting against it.

It is because of our belief in human dignity generally and especially afro dignity. We were motivated and goaded by principle and not by possession, position or praises.  We were not doing it to get any reward or material benefit as such.

We were doing it because we were convinced that it was our duty, our responsibility and our obligation to humanity and to the black race. That is why we, in Nigeria, in spite of our distance from the frontline of the struggle against colonialism in Southern Africa and apartheid in South Africa, we became, in terms of our participation, contribution, commitment and sacrifice, members of the frontline States.

Whether that is recognised and appreciated or not, we really don’t mind as we believe we have done our duty as we ought to have done, and if occasion occurs in future where we need to open our doors, out of our humanity and Africanity, for people in similar situation of need as happened to people in Southern Africa and South Africa, we will do it again as we did in the past.

However, we believe that Africans living in any other part of Africa must be treated as brothers and friends. If they commit any crime, they should be treated like citizens of that country will be treated when they commit crime which will mean applying judicial process.

Moreover, the South African police and other law enforcement agencies must uphold the letter and spirit of the Constitution of South Africa, which stipulate that, “The South African Police Service has a responsibility to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, uphold and enforce the law, create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community, investigate any crimes that threaten the safety or security of any community, ensure criminals are brought to justice and participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.”

Where the Police would stand aloof watching miscreants and criminals committing crimes against fellow human beings is condemnable and not acceptable in any civilised society. This was experienced in South Africa in recent times and it shows either incompetence or collusion on the part of the Police.

The best way to fight crime is to achieve close to full employment in a society and not through xenophobia. Anybody who can deny xenophobia in South Africa of today can deny that my mother is a woman. It should not be a game of denial but rather a game of accepting reality and working at it, together with the rest of Africa where necessary.

Countries in Africa are not just transit for drugs from sources in Latin America and Asia to consuming populations in North America and Europe, but these countries in Southern Africa and West Africa are also falling victims as consumers and producers.

It requires collaboration of producing regions and countries working with transit regions and countries and consuming regions and countries to deal effectively with the menace of drugs as established by West Africa Commission on Drugs, WACD.

As it is being touted that xenophobia will give South Africans jobs, I dare say, it is fallacy. Xenophobia will make investment in South Africa a little bit more difficult which will lead to lack of job creation and loss of existing jobs.

It should also be realised that most migrants did not migrate out of their country to other countries with total emptiness. Some have education, skills, experience, expertise, entrepreneurship and sheer guts which they can bring to bear on the economy of the country they have migrated to. What has helped most developed countries in the world is openness and receiving migrants with open hands and open minds. In any case, all of us in the world are migrants, no matter where we live, depending only on how far back you want to go.

I, once again, thank you for the position you have taken and I hope that your statement will ring bells in the minds of leaders and ordinary South Africans to know that they are living in Africa where rightly South Africa should be one of the countries to play leadership role in Africa.

But if xenophobia is encouraged, South Africa will not earn the role of leadership which can only be granted and conferred by the rest of Africa because leadership requires certain amount of sacrifice and attitude of understanding, compassion, kindness, brotherhood and hospitality. These are normal African virtues and attributes which South Africa must imbibe.

The lessons to be learned from all this is that our individual countries in Africa must have programmes that will provide livelihoods for their teeming youth population to discourage youths from embarking on hazardous journeys to places where their lives will be in danger all in search of greener pastures that may never be there. Our youth too must learn that when they are in any country, they must be law-abiding and be actively productive members of their host country.

At this juncture, there is need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia and Afrophobia in South Africa. As a suggestion, South Africa should send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding, accommodation, reconciliation, and binding the wound to promote unity, concord, and brotherhood in Africa. Repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa is obviously not a permanent solution.

At best it is palliative. But the hurt will still remain for some time.  Neither is revenge a desirable solution. Mutual understanding and acknowledgement of what needs to be done on all sides are imperative and getting down to doing them is the solution that will serve Nigeria and South Africa and indeed Africa well particularly in this era of Africa Continental Free Trade Area opportunities.

Nigeria and South Africa must stand together to champion African cause and to jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century.

In the final analysis, if South Africa fails to initiate appropriate and satisfactory steps to deal with the issues to pacify affected victims and work for reconciliation with the countries concerned to put an end to xenophobia, the concerned countries of the victims should come together to table appropriate motions at the AU level first and consider other measures if the situation is allowed to continue.

Dear senior brother, please accept the assurances of my highest consideration for your good health and wellbeing.

Olusegun Obasanjo.

Mugabe, One Of Africa’s Greatest Freedom Fighters – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo                                                                                                               Robert Mugabe

 

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has mourned the death of former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.

In a letter made available to reporters on Friday by his media assistant, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo condoled with the government and the people of Zimbabwe over the loss of their former leader who died aged 95.

The former president noted that Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the nonagenarian died in the early hours of September 6 in Singapore.

He described the late Zimbabwean leader as an indomitable fighter who contributed in no small measure to the liberation of his country from the apartheid and oppressive radicalism.

READ ALSO: Zimbabwe Ex-President Robert Mugabe Dies Aged 95

Obasanjo’s said he received the news of the death with immense sadness and commiserated with Mugabe’s family and the people of the South African country.

According to him, Mugabe was one of the greatest African freedom fighters to have walked on the African soil and his death is a big loss to the continent.

The elder statesman asked sympathisers to take solace in the memory of the late Zimbabwean leader’s total dedication and commitment to the service of his people and for the cause of justice.

The letter reads:

News of President Robert G. Mugabe’s death in Singapore, in the early hours of today, was received by me with immense sadness indeed.

It is, therefore, with a profound sense of sympathy that I write, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, to commiserate with you and the entire good people of Zimbabwe over the painful transition of President Robert Mugabe, former President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a frontline leader, an activist, an indomitable fighter for the liberation of Zimbabwe from apartheid and oppressive racialism, a statesman par excellence and a tireless advocate of the preservation of the mystique of Africa’s moral and cultural values, who had selflessly dedicated himself to public service for most of his life, particularly as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980-1987 and also as President from 1987-2017.

Having followed with keen interest, his heroic struggles to secure an independent Zimbabwe in 1980, President Mugabe had become much more than a leader of his people.

He had become the living symbol and embodiment of their long and valiant struggle for their rightful place in the comity of nations.

I recall with pride also Nigeria’s association with Zimbabwe’s struggles against racist minority rule and country’s eventual independence in 1980 and quite retaining is the memory of the honour of Nigeria being classified a Frontline State in those years.

President Mugabe was, without doubt, one of the greatest African freedom fighters to have walked on the African soil.

This he did with his colleague and brother, Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, leading to the formation of the Patriotic Front for which Nigeria took a vanguard position.

Under his administration as the President of Zimbabwe for well over three decades, the country witnessed significant efforts at placing the command of Zimbabwean economy in the hands of Zimbabweans.

The death of a leader of President Mugabe’s stature is a big loss, not only to his immediate family and country but to the whole of Africa.

History will record his vital contributions to the realisation of the dream of regional unity in Southern Africa.

As we mourn the death of this great man and progenitor of contemporary Africa, I urge you all to take solace in the memory of his total dedication and commitment to the service of his people and for the cause of justice. We salute his achievements in laying the foundation of modern, independent and free Zimbabwe.

We pray that the Almighty God will give you, the entire Mugabe family and the good people of Zimbabwe the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and grant President Mugabe eternal repose in His bosom.