Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Obasanjo Counter Claims of An Igbo Ancestry

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Sen. Anthony Adefuye, had recently claimed that the father of the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, was Igbo but that he was born of a Yoruba woman.

In reaction, the former president in his book titled ‘My Watch Volume 2: Political and Public Affairs,’ said his two parents were from Owu in Abeokuta, Ogun State, dismissing speculations that he is not a Yoruba man.

Recall, Some Yoruba leaders had in 2007 also alleged that Obasanjo’s biological father was not a Yoruba man. According to them, his father was Onyekwelu from Onitsha in Anambra State and so, his reign as President between 1999 and 2007 should be viewed as an Igbo reign.

But in the over 600 page book, Obasanjo described himself as a thorough-bred Yoruba man.

He said, “To be a Nigerian, I have to be born somewhere in Nigeria or be of Nigeria parentage or one must naturalise. If the other can hide their identity, I cannot, because my two parents were from Owu in Abeokuta. And you cannot be more Yoruba than an Owu man as the first child and daughter of Oduduwa, the father of Yorubas was mother of all Owus. What is more, I bear Owu tribal marks. And better or worse still, I speak English with my Owu dialect.

“I have always maintained and felt proud of my Owuness, Yorubaness and Nigerianess in that order. They are all part of my cherished identity.

But I always refused and will always refuse to be constrained, diminished or reduced to the level of Yoruba leadership. Without being immodest, I am a national leader, an African leader and a world leader in my own way….

“….There are Yorubas of the mentality that if they cannot permanently rule Nigeria, then Nigeria should be broken up in the euphemism of confederacy. They would rather be rulers in hell, if they cannot be rulers in heaven.

They are mainly those who see themselves as heirs apparent to (Chief Obafemi) Awolowo. I neither share their philosophy nor their mindset. Some of them contributed to putting Bola Tinubu in power and in spite of largesse of houses in Victoria Island built for them by Bola; they turned against him when the flow of largesses started to dry up.

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