Former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan on Friday, held a surprise closed door meeting in Ogun state. The meeting did not hold in Obasanjo’s Abeokuta home but in his ancestral village, Ibogun Olaogun in Ifo Local Government area also in Ogun state.
Both leaders fell apart before the 2015 elections with Obasanjo destroying his party’s membership card and openly endorsing Jonathan’s opponent, Muhammadu Buhari.
Friday’s was their first meeting since the election which Jonathan lost.
Previously scheduled meetings between the two were cancelled at the last minute following disagreements on who were to be present there, it was learnt.
Saturday Tribune gathered that yesterday’s meeting was at the instance of Jonathan who was accompanied by a former minister, Turaki and a former chairman of Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Mr Jide Adeniji. On hand to receive Jonathan with Obasanjo was a former Osun state governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Details of what the two leaders discussed were not made known to the media.
Earlier at a reception that preceded the closed door meeting, Obasanjo told Jonathan that they both had residual responsibilities to the country based on experiences garnered while in office.
The former president appreciated Jonathan for the visit and prayed that they would have more opportunities to relax together and reminiscence on situations of the past about Nigeria.
“The first point I want to make is to thank you very sincerely and most sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location. Secondly, since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today and I hope, I sincerely hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminiscence situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends,” Obasanjo added.
Obasanjo said the entire continent of Africa and the world at large, would be willing to tap from their experiences as past leaders.
He said, “When leaders come, they have little or no experience. But by the time they leave office, they would have amassed a lot of experiences, where they have wisdom, their experience will be in high demand.
“For People like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully, there may be no constitutional office, but we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria – I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap into our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you, you will be more than ready to put your experience, the lessons you have, into the service of this country, for Africans and indeed for humanity in general.
“ I have said to you before and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within Africa and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.
“I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested you will be hearing from me.”
Jonathan, in his response, stated that he was in Obasanjo’s village to wish him a happy new year having failed to visit during Christmas. He added that no one must be tired of contributing his/her quota to the development of Nigeria, describing Nigeria as a good country.
He noted that the supreme being did not in anyway make a mistake bringing different peoples from diverse cultures and groups together under the entity called Nigeria.
Jonathan said, “Nigeria is a good country and we must never be tired of lifting the country up to the height that God has created it to be and God did not make a mistake when he put all of us together and if He doesn’t want us to be together no power in the world would have made us come together.”