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Why I Never Chased After Power – Obasanjo


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Sunday, stated that he will always remain a pan Africanist and a core Nigerian adding that “he did not run after power, but power ran after him”.
Obasanjo stated this at a symposium held to celebrate his 85th birthday, which was organised by the Kegite Club at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta.
The event was attended by prominent journalists, Dr. Yemi Faroumbi and Dr. Festus Adedayo as well as Kolawole Kazeem, who talked on the theme: “Depreciating Cultural Values and Virtue in the Era of Social Media: Causes, Challenges, and Solutions”.
Obasanjo, while reacting to Faroumbi who described him as someone who at no time ran after power, in his presentation, submitted that by his military training, soldiering and politics do not go together.
Farounbi in the lecture stated that Obasanjo refuted the call for him to become the Head of State in 1976, after the coup that killed General Murtala Muhammed and some other military officers.
He said: “I also know that he did everything possible to reject becoming the candidate of PDP and ultimately the president in 1999 elections.
“I can say authoritatively because I was involved. He had no interest in pursuing power, but power was interested in pursuing him because of the much-needed cultural values inherent in him.
“He was like David in the Bible. He did not want to be a king, but he had the values of a king. He has demonstrated bravery by killing a bear and lion with bare hands.”
Obasanjo, while corroborating Farounbi’s submission, stated that he was stuck to separation between soldiering and politics.
He said: “I was at a time as you (Farounbi) mentioned once reluctant to be in political power. I was trained as a soldier. One of my training is that soldiering and politics don’t go together and I stuck to that.
“But as you rightly said while I stuck to separation between soldiering and politics, power started chasing me and I ran, and I ran and I ran, and until I could not run out of the reach of power.
“I believed that without being immodest, the fact that I was not looking for power, power was looking for me make a drought of business,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying in a statement on Sunday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.”

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