Obasanjo stated this, yesterday, at the launch of former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala’s book – Amazing Grace – at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan (UI).
The launching was graced by prominent Nigerians, including Governor Seyi Makinde of the state who was represented by his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan; Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and others.
The former president, who was chairman of the occasion, wondered why Alao-Akala would blame him on Page 390 of his book 13 years after he had left office.
Obasanjo said: “I wonder how you come on Page 390 of your book to blame or criticise me for dividing the Ibadan-Ilorin Road to three sections for reconstruction during my second term so that it could be expeditiously completed. You had a full term plus one year from Governor Ladoja’s tenure as governor and even up till today, the roads are not completed and you believe honestly that in your biography, I should be blamed at least 13 years after l have left office. As an Ogbomoso man, I can understand how important that road is to you. But when I took the steps which I took for the road to be expeditiously handled, it was not for your interest as an Ogbomoso man but for the economic life of Nigeria.”
On his part, Fayemi who launched the book, said it was worth having in the library. He lauded Alao-Akala’s efforts in contributing to the literary world through the book.
Fayemi said: “This is a book worth having by every student and practitioner of politics as well as every general reader in our country. I am going to put a copy in every library in our universities.”
Alao-Akala said: “The title of the book, Amazing Grace, is not a happenstance. It is the audacity of providence to bring me out of the dungeons of a hopeless tomorrow into the fulfilment of a life I today celebrate at 70 years on earth. I am a product of grace. I was the pencil in the hands of the Creator who drew the picture of who I am today. God brought me from junctures where many who had great and greater hope of tomorrow fell. He lifted me, without an iota of hope, to my feet and brought me to this juncture.”
The Alaafin thanked Obasanjo for the role he played mediating between him and Alao-Akala during his tenure as governor of Oyo State.