by Akintomiwa Agbaje
The list of prominent people who have reserved comments about the disputed or rumoured letter written by Senator Iyabo Obasanjo keeps growing. The reason for her letter, an 18 page letter purportedly leaked to the press by her father, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Asides, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, a bevy of affluent Yoruba elders aslo spoke on the developmenton of the resulting fued include leaders like Chief Rueben Fasoranti, the Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Hon. Femi Kehinde, a former member of the House of Representatives.
Senator Iyabo Obasanjo had written an open letter to her father accusing him of being a liar, manipulator, wife-basher and hypocrite who was desperate for a third term despite his denials to the contrary.
The Vanguard reports:
Following the hoopla over her letter,Iyabo spoke severally to Vanguard, yesterday. Asked to respond to claims that she had denied the authorship of the letter written to her father, Iyabo, who holds a doctorate in epidemology and now resident in the United States, said:
“No, no, no, that is not true. How can you live by social media? That is part of the problem with Nigeria, people want to be flying rumours. I have not told anybody o! It is early morning here and I just woke up and if I were you I would just ignore them,” Senator Obasanjo said.
“People are calling me and telling me that they called Baba but if I say I am not talking to someone (her father), how can you say you called the person and the person will tell you what is on my mind?” she asked
Giving reasons on why she broke off, she said that after a break from relating with Obasanjo, she found out days ago that her father would not change from the manipulative person she had known all along.
“The whole of last year I didn’t speak to him and I just started speaking to him recently, and the last time he was trying to manipulate me to say, this, say that. I can’t be saying no when you say no.
“The last time I spoke to him was three days ago and I decided that I was not going to speak to him again after that. That was the communication through which I realized that this man would never change from manipulations for himself.”
Dismissing her unsolicited canvassers on social media, she said:
“I was surprised that they would say that they called Baba, and I said to myself, are these people mad? How can you call the person that I said I am not talking to, to ask him whether I wrote a letter or not and he is going to speak for me?
“Nobody can say that I told him that I didn’t write it. I am not a liar. I will not back away from what I wrote and there is nothing that is there that is a lie. In the last four years how many of them have spoken to me? They are all mad people,” she said.
At press time last night, close associates of the former president who spoke under conditions of strict anonymity told Vanguard that Iyabo had not called her father to deny that she wrote the letter.
Iyabo did the right thing — Fasoranti, Afenifere leader
Leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti commended Iyabo, saying she has done the right thing.
In a telephone chat with Vanguard, Chief Fasoranti said: “I think she has spoken the truth, she is his daughter and I think what Obasanjo said in his letter about Jonathan is highly provocative. He is creating the impression that he is a holier-than-thou person.
He is not right. Other elder statesmen in other countries keep things like this to themselves, they do not make any comment. He should stop haunting those who are in office because he is creating the impression that he is the best person. It is wrong. What Iyabo has done is perfectly right.”
Iyabo spoke her mind — Adebanjo
Also, Afenifere bigwig, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said what Senator Iyabo Obasanjo did should not surprise anyone.
In a telephone chat, Chief Adebanjo said: “What people like us have been saying about the man (Obasanjo) is being confirmed by the daughter. There is nothing she has said in that letter that is not true or that will be a surprise. The daughter has also confirmed it that he (Obasanjo) likes hypocrites to surround him and he (Obasanjo) does not like to hear the truth. There is nothing strange in what she has said. She has only spoken her mind in a clear and logical manner. She has said that it was their mother that struggled for the education they got; that they have never benefited from his (Obasanjo’s) position.”
It’s a fabrication — Fasehun
On his part, founder of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasheun said the letter was fabricated.
Fasehun, who spoke with Vanguard on the telephone, said “I do not believe Iyabo would write that kind of letter to her father. I do not believe it, it is a fabrication.”
Iyabo’s letter, a vital document — Babatope
In his reaction, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, who was reluctant to comment on the Iyabo’s letter affirming that it was a family affair between a daughter and her father, however said: “What I am concerned with is the fact that he also wrote a letter to the President which was based on dissemination of falsehood and rumour mongering. So, I don’t want to comment about Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter being a family affair of the Obasanjos. But I can tell you that Iyabo’s letter is a vital document, which can be a reference source for anyone who is interested in the politics of Nigeria at the moment,” he said.
It’s food for thought — Kehinde
Hon. Femi Kehinde, a former member of the House of Representatives said:
“Iyabo’s letter is food for thought. It teaches fathers a lesson that they must take care of their children. The letter is a product of long, bottled-up anger, agony and anguish over a father that could have done much better. It is very sad that the first child of a president would be living in the boys quarters of the State House. That is an agony and it is nothing but a reflection of a family that is not united.”
It’s a plot to rubbish Obasanjo, says Tsav
In his reaction to Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter to her father, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubabar Tsav dismissed it as the “handiwork of some faceless sycophants in the corridors of power.”
Tsav who spoke, yesterday, to Vanguard in a telephone interview in Makurdi, the Benue State capital said: “It’s all a desperate plot to rubbish Obasanjo. Nigerians can actually attest to the fact that the letter that was written by Obasanjo to the President was nothing but the truth of what we are witnessing in the country today.
The truth of the matter is that some persons who are desperate to protect their interests and stronghold on the presidency can also go to any length to protect their interest in the looting spree that has become the order of the day in the country, so I’m not surprised.
All I can tell you for now is that former president Obasanjo remains a statesman who spoke the minds of all Nigerians and any attempt to rubbish him by some chicken-hearted persons will certainly be discountenanced by all Nigerians.”
Iyabo’s letter a gimmick — CNPP
Similarly, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, in Benue State described Iyabo’s letter as “another gimmick by the ruling People’s Democratic Party.”
Benue State Chairman of the CNPP, Mr. Baba Agan who spoke, yesterday, to Vanguard in Makurdi, said: “I see this unfolding drama as the biblical hand of Esau but voice of Jacob.”
According to Agan, “this is nothing but a clear indication that some persons at the corridors of power are getting desperate all in a bid to rubbish Chief Obasanjo.
“The purported letter is nothing but a gimmick that will serve no useful purpose because it was intended to distract Nigerians from the salient issues raised by the former president in the letter he wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan.”
While noting that former president Obasanjo may not be a saint, Agan observed that “this may not be far from being the product of a hatchet man and may not have originated from the daughter of the former president.”
The opposition leader urged Nigerians to discountenance the content of the purported letter, adding that, “we will also like to see a confirmation that the piece actually originated from the alleged writer.
“As you know, some desperate people can do some desperate things just to curry the attention and favour of the President for their personal gains; I believe strongly that Chief Obasanjo’s daughter will not write that type of piece to her father, considering the much he did for her as a daughter in recent past; Nigerians cannot be fooled,” Agan added.