Five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Babangida (Niger), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi) yesterday stormed Abeokuta, the country home of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo to have a secret meeting with him.
The meeting which started around 12:30pm at the Presidential Hilltop in the state capital lasted for about three hours.
Shortly after the closed door meeting, former President, Obasanjo said that the special visit was to discuss the state of the nation especially on security and economy.
Obasanjo said that the governors’ visit was to honour and respect him as the task of recovering the nation requires all hands on deck.
According to him, they have assured me that this type of consultation would be held with other PDP leaders so that this country which is ours will be better.
“We have discussed most of the challenges which I have raised in my own public pronouncement in recent times not to castigate anybody, not to bad-mouth anybody, not to run anybody down, but out of genuine concern for the situation of this country and that is the same thing that has brought them”.
While speaking on drop in crude oil price in the global oil market, Obasanjo said he was not scared, saying “when the country had surplus, we did not remember the rainy day now that the rainy day is tearing us in the face, we must be honest and courageous enough to do what is right.”
He said “you do not need to be an oracle or a world bank expert or an International Monetary Fund expert to know that our economy is not what it should be and this is not the first time we would hear it”.
Speaking further, he said “we have heard it in the past when of course I came in 1999, the price of crude oil as about $9 and we realised that we have a problem, we even made budget that we could not fund but we realised that we are in a serious situation and we took steps, within two to three years, we were able to sail through, the price of crude oil started moving up.
He continued: “Do not forget that there was a time during the Iraqi war, price of fuel rose to $42 and then it came down to $9. The one that we have now, we do not know when it would get to the bottom and what price that bottom would be, but we can weather the storm if we take measures to address it.
He therefore, said something can still be done and what now is required is the will and the courage to do something when and how it needs to be done.
The former president who appreciated the visit of the five governors said he respected the honour given to him.
In his rersponse, Akpabio commended the former president, saying “Obasanjo is a man that all Nigerians love and respect, if you notice, we are from the PDP extraction.
Speaking further, he said “we have decided that as the party in power and the party that the country has a lot of confidence in right from 1999, he (Obasanjo) played a key role in the emergence of the current democracy”.
He Obasanjo still plays both national and international role in nation building, stressing that “we decided that it is important for us to come and consult with him and pay our respect and as well discuss affairs of the nation”.
He added that the visit was also to tap from his wealth of wisdom, noting that “the intention here is that all Nigerians are determined to re-position the country, we have no other country than Nigeria.”
“No matter the challenges we may face today, we must work together as a team to redeem the situation, I want to thank our dear leader for receiving us and for what he said that the situation is redeemable and that we must also consult other leaders and work to ensure that the country is redeemed,” he added.
Aliyu who also spoke shortly after the meeting said, “to what our father has said, if you notice, all of us are his children both administratively, politically and in reality and we have come to consult with the oracle of leadership and politics of this country and we have benefited tremendously with our coming.
“You have heard him say we need also to consult with other people because all of us must come together. The issue of Nigeria is beyond partisanship. We must tell all Nigerians to rally together and let us put our nation in the right place”, he added.