The Former President Goodluck Jonathan
yesterday sneaked into Ibogun ,Ogun State,
the ancestral village of one of his
predecessors in office,and an architect of
his defeat in the 2015 election, ex –
President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The rare meeting between the duo who
were bitterly divided in the run-up to the
election saw Obasanjo tell his host how
wise he (Jonathan) had become since
“When leaders come, they have little or no
experience. When they have to go is when
they have really amassed a lot of
experience, where they have wisdom, their
experience is in high demand.
“Those like you and me who have the grace
of God to bow out gracefully, if there is
now what I call constitutional office, we
have residual responsibilities for
With Jonathan on the trip, which observers
branded as fence mending yesterday ,were
former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu
Kabir Turaki; a former Minister of National
Planning, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar; King
A.J.Turner ;and a former Chairman of the
Federal Roads Maintenance Agency
( FERMA), Engr. Jide Adeniji.
They flew into the village in a chartered
helicopter at about 11.30am.
The visit lasted about four hours of which
Obasanjo and Jonathan alone spoke behind
closed doors for 40 minutes.
No member of Jonathan’s entourage or
Obasanjo’s associates was allowed into
the inner room where the secret talks took
One source said yesterday that the visit
was part of Jonathan’s new rapprochement
with some of the key figures that had a
hand in his defeat in the April 2015 polls.
Obasanjo received his visitor in company
with former Governor of Osun State, Prince
Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was ousted as
National Secretary of the then ruling PDP
by Jonathan and his loyalists.
Obasanjo took Jonathan round the village
for a door-to-door greeting of the elders
and the residents.
The people sang and danced in
appreciation of Jonathan’s visit.
Obasanjo, welcoming Jonthan, said:
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.
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 reminisce on
situations of the past that we have been
through in this country and we can also
look at what the future portends.
“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa
and Africa and indeed the world will
continue to tap 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 learnt into the service of this
country, for African and indeed for humanity
“ 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
“I believe that you are resting now and
when you have fully rested and you will be
hearing from me because I have this
opportunity to be around the world and if I
mention your name in dispatch, I thank you
sincerely that you have received us as we
are in this village to prove to you that we
are in a typical village, I was telling you
that your village is better than mine.
“I want to say that we have it. 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 will have made us
“My regards to everybody at home,
especially your wife. Please, tell her that
my wife sends her regards and I hope
sooner or later we will be on your part of
the world to enjoy the atmosphere
together. I want to thank you on behalf of
everyone here in this village.”
Explaining his mission,Jonathan said he
had planned to visit Obasanjo during the
yuletide in company with former military
ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida
(IBB), but the plan fell through owing to
He said the idea came about when he
visited Babangida in Minna when the two
of them agreed to come to Ibogun.
Jonathan thanked Obasanjo for the warm
reception accorded him and entourage.
Thereafter, Obasanjo and Jonathan retired
to one of the sittings rooms for “strictly
personal talks for 40 minutes.”
Talks over, Obasanjo and one of his friends
launched into the popular Yoruba game of
Jonathan watched as the game went.
A source at the meeting said he was “full
of admiration” for it.
It was not immediately clear if the trip was
part of the ongoing political realignment for
2019 general elections.
But a top source simply said: “It is a
reunion of Papa and his son. Do not read
any meaning into it.
“The ex-President decided to make it a
private visit in order to be able to have
frank talks with Obasanjo.
“During the visit, Obasanjo and Jonathan
locked themselves up for 40 minutes. No
member of Jonathan’s entourage nor
Obasanjo’s associates in Ibogun was
allowed to be part of the private session.
“All I can tell you is that the two leaders
were able to iron out a few things and
Jonathan has since returned to Yenagoa,
“At the end of the visit, ex-Minister Turaki,
who is the Chairman of ex-Ministers
Forum, gave the vote of thanks.”
Jonathan started out as Obasanjo’s
political godson having been plucked out of
office as Bayelsa State governor to become
presidential running mate in the 2007
He went on to become president, following
the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and
won the 2011 election.
The parting of ways came in 2015,
following persistent disagreements between
them with Obasanjo launching vitriolic
attacks on Jonathan culminating in the
tearing of his membership card of the PDP
and openly campaigning against
They had not seen eye to eye since then