Former President Olusegun Obasanjo launched his controversial autobiography ‘My Watch’ at the Lagos Country club Ikeja, Lagos today Dec. 9th. Guest at the event included former VC of the University of Lagos, Prof. Ibidapo Obe and former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili.
According to reports, one of the chapters of the book titled “To be or not to be, Jonathan” Obasanjo said he was deceived by late President Umaru Yar’Adua about his health status before facilitating his emergence as the PDP flag bearer in 2007.
In the book, Obasanjo was quoted to have said;
“As can be expected, I was heavily involved in the transition and exit process that saw me leaving office for my successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, as recounted in Chapter Thirty-seven, the ninth chapter of the second volume of this book. The unprepared and unplanned transition from Yar’Adua to Jonathan was a more difficult exercise in some respects. One reason was the ‘cloak and dagger’ manner in which Yar’Adua’s illness was handled. The illness of a President cannot be regarded as private. His health has implications for the security and wellbeing of the nation. For the president and those around him to have attempted strenuously to keep the fact of the severity of his illness from public smacks of ignorance of the enormity of what the job entails and the level of provinciality of their understanding, attitude, and approach. I remember that in 1978 or 1979 Chief Awolowo visited me while I was military head of state and shared with me how he would always stay at home to attend to the work at hand and only make a private visit to the UK once a year for health reasons if he became president of Nigeria. I made it clear to the chief that once he became president of Nigeria, he could have no private visit to anywhere as such. Wherever he would be, he would be on duty, and the totality of his life would be public. I jokingly added that the only privacy he might lay claim to would be when he was at home with Mama Chief H.I.D., and that even then his security staff would be on twenty-four-hour duty.”
The launch of the three volume book was stopped by a court injunction secured by a former friend of Obasanjo, Prince Buruji Kashamuon on Friday December 5th but lawyers to Chief Obasanjo advised him to go ahead with the launch.