Jonathan, Obasanjo peace meeting flops
President’s ‘motor park touts’ reference to elder statesmen not unconnected
Why ex-president invited Adeboye, Oyedepo
By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — THERE were indications last night that the elaborate meeting on Monday geared towards ending the frosty relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo ended in fiasco.
Vanguard learnt from competent sources at the meeting that President Jonathan and other top leaders of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, who requested for the meeting with Obasanjo, felt disappointed with its outcome and may not push the idea of mending fences with the former leader again.
One of the sources, who was present at the meeting, told Vanguard that Obasanjo merely accepted to allow Jonathan and other PDP chieftains to visit him as a mark of respect to the office of the President and not to make peace with him.
According to the source, Obasanjo deliberately requested two prominent clergymen to be present as witnesses at the meeting to prove the point that it is Jonathan who actually caused disaffection between them by reneging on previous decisions they jointly reached.
It was learned that but for the respect Obasanjo has for the office which he once held, he would not have accepted to host Jonathan because of his recent provocative utterances against prominent Nigerian statesmen, including him (Obasanjo).
Why the meeting flopped
The source said Obasanjo was irked by last Sunday’s statement in which Jonathan referred to some elder statesmen behaving as ‘motor park touts’, a classification, Obasanjo reportedly took in bad faith.
The source said that at the meeting, Obasanjo opened up to those present and the two clergy men he had invited to ask Jonathan whether he had been honest with him and those he had assured he would run for a single term, if they supported him to win the last election.
The source said: “It is true that Obasanjo invited the two clergymen to witness the meeting which he grudgingly accepted to host because of the respect he has for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He did not want to turn the president and his entourage down since they requested to see him in his house as part of their rally in the state.
“But the truth of the matter is that Baba has not shifted grounds on any issue since he feels that Jonathan has not been fair to him by not adhering to any of the previous agreements reached with him.
Motor park touts classification
“What really irked Baba is the reference by Jonathan to some Nigerian elder statesmen as behaving as ‘motor park touts’ a day before begging him to grant him audience in Abeokuta.
The man really feels insulted by such unfortunate outburst from the president of a country.
“There was no need to enter into any peace deal with Jonathan because similar deals done in the past only resulted in more attacks by him and his aides on Baba only for them to come begging for forgiveness once it is close to election.”
Obasanjo and Jonathan with members of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, met for about three hours in Abeokuta on Monday with a view to settling the differences between the two leaders and to seek his support for the president’s re-election, next month.
Obasanjo, who appears upset by the way Jonathan has so far run the country, has often taken to public fora to criticise him, including an open letter entitled “Before it is too late” and a critical book entitled “My Watch” which a court had barred from being circulated.