I Am Not Avoiding Jonathan - Obasanjo
The former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo has denied recent reports that he is deliberately avoiding President Goodluck Jonathan and other past leaders.
Former president Shehu Shagari's 90th birthday was met with fanfare on Wednesday and he was joined by all living former Nigerian leaders apart from Muhammadu Buhari.
Obasanjo arrived only after the cake was cut and his fellow colleagues had left, fueling rumours that he is actively avoiding Jonathan.
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Obasanjo, however, described it as unfortunate that he did not meet his colleagues and blamed his lateness on a traffic gridlock in Lagos.
“I have read with dismay the imputation of some section of the media to the unfortunate incident of my not being able to be with my colleagues at the birthday celebration of President Shehu Shagari on Monday 25 February,” Obasanjo said in a statement Friday.
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“Leaving Abeokuta at 6:45am and hoping to fly out of Lagos airport at 8:30am, to Sokoto, we ran into a very bad traffic hold-up that made me get to Lagos airport at 10:45am.”
Obasanjo accused the media of failing to report his apologies to Shagari during the visit.
“I did not arrive at Shagari’s house until about mid-day by which time the team of my colleagues had left. It is a pity that the media did not report my profuse apologies to both Shagari and other colleagues when I spoke at Shagari’s house.
“I had no cause to dodge, avoid or snub my colleagues for what we all agreed to do together,” he said.
During Jonathan's visit to Ogun state last week to commission a power plant, it was alleged that Obasanjo had gone as far as to fly out of the country just to avoid the current president.