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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

2015: It Does Not Matter Where I Put My Gear - OBJ


Culled From: Nigerian Tribune 

FORMER President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that his interest in the unity and peace of Nigeria as a country transcends the boundaries of any political party.
Obasanjo made this statement while speaking at the 50th anniversary of Aare Afe Babalola’s call to the Nigerian bar.
Obasanjo, who was reacting to banter from Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi asking him to be a neutral player in Nigerian politics said “It does not matter where I put my gear, what matters to me is the interest of Nigeria and nothing can take that away from me.”
It all started at the commissioning of Afe Babalola & Co Head Office extension, opposite Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.

The commissioning train including Obasanjo which had gone on an inspection tour of the newly commissioned chamber had just returned from the trip when Governor Ajimobi and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi arrived. Their late entry denied them seats and when it seemed there was no seat to occupy, the former president jokingly asked if the two governors could seat on his laps.
Both promptly sat on Obasanjo’s laps while the former president retorted: “APC is watching you.”
When the team got to the NBA hall, venue of the lecture, Governor Ajimobi in his characteristic manner described Obasanjo as a father to all, stating that the former president has committed another blunder by allowing him and Fayemi to sit on his laps, confirming that Obasanjo will join them at APC.
In his remarks, Dr Fayemi restated that the incident confirmed his advise in a  discussion with Obasanjo to be a father of all and be non-partisan so that all politicians can come to him should they run into trouble, with the hope of getting fair judgment.
Chief Obasanjo who was chairman on the occasion literarily christened himself ‘a bundle of blunders’ whom many people will want to emulate.
“Some people call me general of blunders; if I commit blunder and successfully ended the civil war, that is good; if I blundered and I monitored transition from military to civilian; if I blundered and after 20 years and spending three years in prison I was persuaded to come and contest the election, great blunder; spending eight years as Nigeria’s president is another great blunder,” he said.
Obasanjo also admitted to some ‘mistakes’ which he considered as success stories today. Topping the list was his choice of the celebrant, Aare Afe Babalola as the Pro Chancellor University of Lagos. He said “I was looking for somebody to fill the position of the UNILAG pro-chancellor, and I picked Afe Babalola and some people said it was a mistake.
“I made a great mistake in appointing him, but today I have the opportunity to say it was a successful mistake. It was unfortunate that people go through life without making any impact, but when Afe took over as the pro-chancellor, what happened was mistake upon mistakes.”
He said the first mistake was that the institution became number one in the country, and the Vice-Chancellor became the best in Nigeria. The former president added that Babalola also became the best Pro-Chancellor, and the mother of all the mistakes was as a result of Afe’s exposure and involvement as pro-chancellor, he established Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUA).
“Afe used the opportunity he had as pro-chancellor of UNILAG to build one of the best and a model university in Nigeria. If you want to compile the mistakes I made in life that would be another mistake.”
While delivering the anniversary lecture entitled: “The Future of Law in Nigeria,” former chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola warned that Nigeria can only attain greatness with great legal system.
He said the path to the greatness of the nation was through a reliable, efficient, trustworthy and value-driven legal system.
“We deceive ourselves with the notion that our legal system is as healthy as it should be and delude ourselves that we can be a great nation without a great legal system,” Ayoola said.
In his goodwill message, President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Abdulahi Ahmed Gulag, described Afe as one of the greatest legal icons Nigeria has ever produced, adding that he deserved to be celebrated because he has lived a life of dogged determination.
“He is a man of humility and uncommon generosity. He has served Nigeria well and has continued to uphold its image. He has remained a pillar of support for true democracy and has also established a legacy for sustainable education with the establishment of  Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti(ABUAD).”
Also in his remark, the Oyo State Governor, Senator described Aare Babalola as the father of the nation, and an epitome of excellence.
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Fayemi said Afe represents the best of Ekiti people, stressing that he is a workaholic who always protect the interest of the masses.
“The grace that God has given him is worthy of celebration, he taught us what humility and brilliance with hard work was, he teaches core value to a successful life. He is a pathfinder and has perfected so many lives.”
Also in his tribute, Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko said:” We are here to celebrate one of Nigeria’s best who stood for true justice. We are proud of his accomplishments and exemplary lifestyle. You have made a great mark in your profession and also contributed immensely to the rule of law in Nigeria.”
Other dignitaries present at the event include, Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Caleb Olubolade; former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni; former President of World Court, Prince Bola Ajibola; an industrialist, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan; the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe Aladesanmi; the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibraheem; retired justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Moronkeji Omolaja.
Senior Advocates of Nigeria present are: Wole Olanipekun, Akin Olujimi, Folake Solanke, Gboyega Awolomo, Yusuff Alli, among 

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