By Henry Umoru, Omeiza Ajayi & Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that one of his major regrets he had in life was the early demise of his parents, who he said did not live to reap the fruits of their labour.
This was as the All Progressives Congress, APC, hailed the former President on the occasion of his 81st birthday, describing him as a bastion of democracy in Africa.
Also, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State described Obasanjo as a nationalist and a giant in Africa.
Obasanjo, who clocked 81 yesterday, said he wished his parents were alive to witness his growth and success in life and to appreciate the sacrifice they made while raising him.
The former President said this at his 81 birthday celebration held at Marque Events Centre of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta .
He, however, expressed optimism that his late parents would still be happy in their graves till date.
His words: “One thing I always miss and remember is that my parents left this world too early. The sacrifice they made, they did not wait to see the results. How I wish they have waited to see and eat fruits of their labour.
“But going by what Yoruba believe and say that, the dead always watch over their beloved ones and see happenings around them, I am convinced that, my parents are happy in their graves, as they watch over me.
“For me, this day, I have nothing but to continue to thank God, appreciate Him, praise Him and worship Him and adore Him for all that he has done for me personally, for members of my family, for my extended family, friends, peers and for those who have worked with me.”
APC, Amosun, Mark hail ex-president
In his remarks, governor Amosun described Obasanjo as a nationalist and a giant in Africa even as he prayed that the former President lives for 100 years and not 120 like many people were wishing him.
He said: “Love him or hate him, there’s something nobody can take away from him, he’s a true nationalist. Baba loves Nigeria and I know that there’s absolutely nothing he wouldn’t want to do for Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the APC has hailed former President on the occasion of his 81st birthday, describing him as a bastion of democracy in the continent.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party said: “Chief Obasanjo has inspired a generation of Nigerians notably in the area of entrepreneurship, leadership and education, especially through his non-profit initiatives, the Africa Leadership Forum, ALF, and the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.”
On his part, Senator Mark in a goodwill message through his media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, said, “No one is in doubt that Chief Obasanjo has demonstrated steadfastness, uncommon commitment and faith in the Nigerian project.”