Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently revealed that his eldest daughter, Iyabo Obasanjo, told him he was going to die while in office, according to Punch! The former President also claims his daughter further said that when it happens, she was not going to weep for him. The ex-president in his controversial book, MY WATCH also touched on a number of other personal experiences, and praised his late wife, Stella Obasanjo while talking on the circumstances leading to her death.
The comments made earlier were reportedly Iyabo’s to her father, when he informed her and three of his other children about his desire to contest the 1999 Presidential election in Nigeria. This meeting with four of his children, reportedly took place in New York and came after he had consulted almost all those that mattered before joining the presidential race.
“My mind was almost made up (to vie for the position of President) but I had to consult with my children. I got four of them together in New York.
“I told them I was going to decide whether to go into politics or not. Iyabo was the most antagonistic.
“She burst out loudly, ‘I know you will join and you will die there and if you die, I will not weep.’
“I told her ‘if I die and you weep, it is for yourself and others, not for me as I will not know you are weeping.’
“It is ironic that within 10 years, Iyabo became a Senator and I completed two terms of eight years without a scratch.”
He also said it was ironic that Iyabo became a senator during his tenure, who had been previously appointed a commissioner by Otunba Gbenga Daniel, while he was serving as governor of Ogun State.
The former President also added that out of the four children in attendance when he spoke with them, it was only Segun who had a few words of encouragement for him.
The son, according to Obasanjo, said, “Daddy, you have always said that we must serve God and humanity and if this is the way you have chosen to serve God and humanity, I will pray for you.”
With those words from his son coupled with the words of encouragement he said he got from those he had spoken with earlier, the Owu-born retired general said “the die was almost cast.”
In the book, Obasanjo also praised his late wife, Stella whom he said had to contend with the violent nature of his divorced wife and shared the pains he felt on the death of the former First Lady, who he said was very close to him. He also added that it was after her death that he got to know that the desire to celebrate her 60th birthday made her to embark on a stomach operation outside the country without his knowledge.
He said in the book, “After her death, I found out the circumstances of her death. I found out that part of her sixtieth birthday anniversary, which was unknown to me, was her operation for her tummy and her shape.
“This was carried out in Spain. The doctor was careless,” he said, adding that with the help of the Nigerian Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Authority, he was able to prosecute the doctor and the hospital.
Though he said he realised that once a life has been lost it life cannot be brought back. He said he was of the opinion that successful prosecution could prevent similar carelessness and loss of life in future.
The doctor, he said, was made to pay damages while his licence was withdrawn for a considerable period of time.
He said Olu, Stella’s son, collected “whatever damages were paid.”
The former president however said he was very sad when he heard that some Nigerians were carrying rumors that he might have caused the death of his wife “to sacrifice her for success in my job.”
“That is how wicked and satanic some Nigerians can be in their rumours and mischief,” the former President added.
In the book, Obasanjo also mentioned the names of his 21 children. He was however silent on the number of his wives or the mothers of the children. Five of the children are holders of PhD in different fields.
The children are Iyabo (PhD), who is the eldest; Busola, Segun(PhD), Gbenga(PhD), Deboye, Muyiwa, Funke, Bola (PhD) and Seun (PhD).
Also listed were Dare, Kofo, Dayo, Biyi, Bisoye, Damilola, Jonwo, Bunmi, Funso, Dayo, Toyosi and Bukola.
The listing and mentioning of the names of his children was the first time the two-time President of Nigeria, would publicly talk about his children.