Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo inadvertently dismissed suggestions that he was not a Yoruba man.
Obasanjo, in his book entitled My Watch Volume 2: Political and Public Affairs, said that his two parents were from Ou in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The head of All Progressives Congress, Senator Anthony Adefuye, recently stated that the former Nigerian leader’s father was Igbo, but he was born to a Yoruba woman.
Adefuye said in an interview with the national newspaper, among other things, “Some people might argue, what about Obasanjo? Obasanjo is not a Yoruba. He is an Igbo man from the southeast. His father was from Anambra and his mother was a Yoruba woman. And so he completely ignored the Southwest during his tenure. For example, for eight years he did nothing on the Lagos-Ibadan highway. “
Some Yoruba leaders in 2007 also argued that Obasanjo’s biological father was not a Yoruba person.
According to them, his father was Onyekwelu of Onitsha in Anambra State, and therefore his presidency from 1999 to 2007 should be seen as an Igbo kingdom.
But Obasanjo, in a 675-page book, described himself as a pure Yoruba.
He said: “To be Nigerian, I must be born somewhere in Nigeria, or be from a Nigerian family, or one must naturalize. If the other can hide his identity, I cannot, because my two parents were from Ovu and Abeokuta. And you cannot be more Yoruba than an ovu man, since the first son and daughter of Oduduva, the Yoruba father, was the mother of all ovu. Moreover, I wear Ou tribal insignia. And for better or worse, I speak English with my dialect Oh.
“I have always been supportive and proud of my Owunes, Yorubin and Nigerian in that order. They are all part of my dear personality. But I have always refused, and will always refuse to be constrained, demeaned, or demoted to the level of Yoruba leadership. Not immodest, but I am a national leader, an African leader and a world leader in my own way.
“If a Yoruba meeting is called on an important issue of concern to the Yoruba, I am invited. I will go, but I will not sit at the high table until I join the meeting. But I hope that a place at the high table will be reserved for me if this meeting is national.
“There are Yorubians who believe that if they cannot rule Nigeria permanently, then Nigeria should be dismembered in the euphemism of confederation. They would rather be rulers in hell if they cannot be rulers in heaven. Basically, these are those who consider themselves the clear heirs of (the leader Obafemi) Avolovo. I do not share their philosophy or mentality. Some of them helped bring Bol Tinuba to power and, despite the lavishness of the Victorian homes Bol built for them; they rebelled against him when the flow of generosity began to dry up.
“These are the same people who claimed that I denied being Yoruba. I am more Yoruba than all of them. It should be recalled to the Ijeba among them that the Avujale claimed that they were not from Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba, but from Wadiya. Those who cry more than the mourners, such as Olaniwun Ajayi and Femi Okurounmu, are self-centered and lacking in integrity.
“When it was necessary. In the interests of the judges and fairness, I have done so to speak or act on behalf of the Yoruba, but not against the general interests of Nigeria or the interests of any other group in this matter. I have also spoken to or advocated for other groups or communities in the interests of judges and fairness. But in no case will Nigeria’s interests and integrity be sacrificed. “
Obasanjo also said he had turned down a request from two retired Yoruba soldiers to withdraw the western region from Nigeria, which would be similar to what the late Chukwuemek Odumegwu-Ojukwu tried to do for the southeast and failed.
“In the tumult of the second coup in 1966 and early 1967, I joined the top Yoruba officers in the army to present our positions to Yakub Gowon in the interests of the nation and the West. When, during the Abacha era and before I was arrested, two retired senior Yoruba officers, a naval and army officer called me to my farm to bring the West out of Nigeria, I did not accept their request.
“I said,“ God’s judgment on me if I ever do something that is quick and decisive; He would ask those who died as a result of my struggle to unify Nigeria to line up and hold on to one hand, and those who died fighting for the West to secede from Nigeria, stand up, take the other hand and pull me while I he will be cut in two. “
Source: – Sahara Reporter.