Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, described himself as a replica of the late Mallam Aminu Kano in term of opposition, saying: “My faith is like the faith of Aminu Kano.”
Obasanjo spoke at the launch of a book entitled, A Life of Excellent Service: Biography of Oba Salami Adewunmi Ajibola, a biography of the former Olowu of Owu, Abeokuta, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.
The 208-page biography is jointly authored by renowned Jurist and World Court Judge, Prince Bola Ajibola and Oladipo Yemitan.
Obasanjo said Aminu Kano was a man that got so used to opposition politics that if he had been elected president of Nigeria, he could have forgotten he was one, if there was any national issue that he did not agree with.
While appreciating Bola Ajibola, he said: “When some people get to the top, they forget where they started from, but Bola Ajibola got to the top, he still remembered where he came from. For my own short span of life, I knew Oba Salami very well; when we were in school and when we left school, but I won’t say the kind of behavior Bola Ajibola displayed then.”
He however, tasked Nigerians to take urgent steps to sustain their cultural identity, saying the current developments around the world should prompt Nigerians to jealously guard their cultural heritage.
According to him: “I always emphasise this because the best way to oppress any group of people is to make them loose their identity. How can you take a man who is Adewunmi and call him Mr. Stone? Once you remove the identity and culture of a person, you have destroyed and enslaved him. Oba Salami made sure that our identity was intact. I always say that those who came after him should maintain our identity.”
In his speech, the incumbent Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, told the story of how Prince Bola Ajibola’s late royal father was tutored on how to be a good leader, especially a traditional ruler.
Others who graced the occasion included former Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Alhaji Taiwo Alimi; renowned banker, Otunba Subomi Balogun; former Chairman, Editorial Board Vanguard Newspaper, Alhaji Kola Animasaun; Sheikh Liadi Orunsolu, Chief Imam of Egba Land and Sir Kesington Adebutu, who was represented by his son, Mr. Gbade Adebutu and others.