Former President Goodluck Jonathan was on Friday in Ibogun village, Ogun State, home of ex – President Olusegun Obasanjo for a surprise visit to him.
Jonathan who arrived Obasanjo’s home around 12 noon, was accompanied by his former Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki and three other close aides and entered a closed door meeting with his host.
The visit lasted about an hour, The Nation learnt and Jonathan declined to disclose to journalists why he was in Ibogun, but merely said the visit was a “private one.”
Jonathan who stole into Ibogun village in Ifo Local Government Area of the state, later told Obasanjo that he and General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) had initially planned to pay him a visit during the yuletide but they could not make it because of some unforeseen events that prevented them.
The former president who explained his mission to Obasanjo’s home through Kabiru Turaki, added that he had decided to come in fulfilment of the earlier planned Christmas visit but rued that it was now without IBB.
He lauded Obasanjo who has since quit partisan politics to become an elder statesman for the warm reception accorded him and entourage.
Obasanjo who commended Jonathan for having the time to visit him since leaving office, said that both of them now have residual responsibilities in the country as past leaders that bowed out of power gracefully.
The former Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also tactically told his chief guest he went into the office of the President with “have little or no experience” but has now amassed more wisdom and experience about leadership after leaving office.
Obasanjo said:”the 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. Secondly, 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 reminiscence situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends.
“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 will be 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 Nigeria.
“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap into our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to 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 in general.
” 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 African and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.
” 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 come together.
“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 on this village.”