Former Bayelsa state governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, recalls his post-jail meetings with ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, who played a major role in Alamieyeseigha’s impeachment, arrest and imprisonment.
Vanguard interviewed Alamieyeseigha in his country home in Yenagoa.
Alamieyeseigha says the former president felt clearly uneasy when the two of them accidentally met at the Katsina airport VIP lounge after his release from prison. They came face to face at the restrooms, and Obasanjo was overwhelmed when Alamieyeseigha shook his hands. The ex-governor explained then he performed this politeness gesture out fear of God, and to obey the tradition to welcome guests at his emirate.
The second post-prison encounter with Obasanjo happened when both boarded the same plane to Dubai. Upon seeing him, Obasanjo started calling him “Fayose,” and Alamieyeseigha says he warned the ex-president not to speak to him again in order not to provoke his anger. The only thing Obasanjo managed to do, Alamieyeseigha says, was to remind that he, too, had served prison sentence in the past.
Nevertheless, Alamieyeseigha still described Obasanjo as a hard-working leader who keeps his word, adding that one day, the “dossier” he has on Obasanjo will appear in his memoirs for people to read.
The text, Obasanjo almost fainted day I shook hands with him – Alamieyeseigha, appears in its entirety on Vanguard.
In December 2015, Alamieyeseigha was impeached, removed from office and imprisoned on allegations of having mismanaged Bayelsa state funds, with his property partially confiscated. In 2013, the then-president Goodluck Jonathan, who once served alongside him as his deputy, granted him pardon – a move criticized by many. Ten years later, Alamieyeseigha says he has forgiven all those who orchestrated his political downfall so as not to let his past trouble him any longer.