As Illiterates’ son, I never thought I could rule Nigeria – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Thursday narrated the story of his journey to stardom, saying he remains grateful God for what he had achieved in life.

Obasanjo spoke at the annual thanksgiving service organised in his honour by the Ogun state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

As a child from a humble background, the former president said he never thought he could be president of the most populous black nation in Africa.

The service was held at the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King inside the Olusegun Obasajo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta, the state capital.

The former president who read the only Bible lesson of the service which was taken from the book of Psalm chapter 92, told the congregation, that he, a nobody born from a very small village of Ibogun-Olaogun of the state  to pure illiterate parents, had no reason not to thank God for what he had become today.

Obasanjo, who emphasised the importance of thanksgiving, said he had many reasons to thank God, saying God had used him to achieve whatever feats he had recorded in life.

“Those of you who know where I was born, the village where I was born is so small that no matter how large you make the map of Nigeria, Ibogun-Olaogun will never appear.

“And yet, somebody born in that village of pure illiterate parents, will have the opportunity that I have now, to reach the stage that I have reached, to be used to achieve whatever I have been used to achieve, I cannot thank God enough.

“I always say this, whatever I have achieved, whatever I have done, I thank God because it is not me alone, there are those who have worked with me, some of them are dead, some of them are still alive and without them, I will not have been able to achieve much. On occasion like this, let us just thank God and keep thanking God,” the former president said.

In his sermon, Bishop of Egba Anglican Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adekunle urged Nigerians to brace up and face whatever the New Year throws at them.

He said: “Things are hard all over the world; it is not only in Nigeria that things are not working well.”

He also warned Nigerians to turn away from their old ways, insisting that if the country must progress, “Nigerians need to repent from their sins” and contribute their own quota to the development of the nation.

The cleric admonished the nation’s leaders to render selfless service to Nigerians and to God, warning that God would not hesitate to visit his wrath on corrupt leaders.

In his remarks, the state Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun described Obasanjo as a God-fearing leader whose life is worthy of emulation.

Abiodun said God had not only used Obasanjo to do great things for Nigeria, but also for Africa at large.

“We all know and appreciate that God doesn’t make and didn’t make many like Baba and I’m sure that God is not probably going to make any more like him.

Baba‘s (Obasanjo) Christian life is a very consistent one that is indeed worthy of emulation. Baba has always lived his life to the fear of the Almighty God and he never fails to appreciate all what God has done for him, and that is what we are seeing today.”

Baba is a world ambassador, Baba is an African icon, Baba is a global citizen but more importantly, Baba is an Ogun son that we are well pleased in,” the governor said.

Also speaking at the occasion, CAN President Samson Supo Ayokunle describe Obasanjo as the “pillar of Christianity” in Nigeria, saying Nigeria needed more of selfless leaders like Obasanjo.

In his remarks, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, described Obasanjo as a blessing, not only to Nigeria but also to Africa and the world at large.

He said, “You (Obasanjo) are a blessing to Nigeria, Africa and the world. You stand for truth and justice.”

Also at the event were prominent Nigerians, including Sir Kensington Adebutu, former Ogun state Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Professor Akin Mabogunje.

Others were the governorship candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the last election in the state, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, Mrs. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Rev. Esther Ajayi and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo.