Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Reflection Of An Elder Statesman; Obasanjo Expresses Skepticism About Chibok Girls Rescue Mission

The 7th Roundtable Discussion tagged The Reflection of an Elder statesman; an evening with Obasanjo held at the OAU Staff Club ran a bit late. The programme which was slated for 4pm did not begin until the elder statesman showed up at about 6pm, although he apologized for his lateness.

The programme started at 6:03pm with the national anthem, followed by the Great Ife anthem. In attendance was the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole; the chairperson of the occasion, Professor Folu Lasisi, some dignitaries who came with the former president. Also in attendance was the former Vice Chancellor of OAU, Professor Michael Faborode.

In an event compeered by the president of the OAU Staff Club, Dr Mosobolaje, the OAU VC gave a speech where he regarded Chief Obasanjo as not only a nationalist but also an internationalist. He mentioned some of his achievements as the president of the country. He mentioned that the GDP of the country grew from 3.5 to 7.8 during his tenure, the telecommunication industry was legalized and even the United Nations recognized and appreciated his experience by making him an ambassador.

Following the welcoming and introduction of the elder statesman by the chairperson of the occasion, the former president in his characteristic manner, dramatically removed his agbada before he started talking. The elder statesman jokingly dragged the security detail meant to restrain people and guard from his duty before he continued.

In the course of his reflections, he was asked to make a comment on the rescue plan of the government for the Chibok girls. He said there is no hope since the children were not rescued 72 hours after their abduction. He said if anyone says he is bringing back the girls, it is a lie. He stated that the only ones who are saved were the ones who escaped. Obasanjo furthered by saying we can only expect that the girls might return as women some years later to tell their stories. He mentioned that he is personally responsible for the training of five of the escapes in school abroad.

He commented that the Buhari-led government is showing its willingness in fighting corruption. He said corruption is a hydra-headed monster that needs to be tackled from the top, to be fought from the top; from the President to his Vice to the Senate President and so on. He also responded to a free comment that former leaders specifically himself should be one of the people to be tackled. He then replied I formed all these instruments of fighting corruption. I formed ICPC.
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