THE GENESIS OF OBASANJO AND AWUJALE ‘S OLD BITTER WAR
The bitter war between ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Awujale of Ijebuland Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona which started a long time ago and which the two important figures in Ogun State, nay Nigeria has waged religiously has now reached an important crescendo with Obasanjo sending some powerful expletives to the monarch.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo earlier this week re-launched his attacks on the Awujale by saying the many lies of Oba Sikiru Adetona – who is reputed to be the longest serving first-class Monarch in the country – in his autobiography titled “The autobiography of Oba K Adetona, Ogbagbaa II” (Musoro Publishers 2010) “is unbecoming of an Oba”.
Obasanjo who rebuffed the many claims of Awujale in his book angrily launched many verbal attacks on the Monarch which is capable of reducing the two in status. In the book, Obasanjo refuted the claim of Awujale that he (Obasanjo) deliberately frustrated Globacom Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga’s bid to get a GSM licence despite the latter being his benefactor.
The old rivalry between these two started way back in time and these two most powerful men in Ogun State are not ready to sheath their swords from the look of things. It must be said that the rivalry between Obasanjo and Awujale who are contemporaries started when they were growing up in the 1930s through to 40s.
The feud between the two according to Global News investigation is older than most people of the younger generation and the feud between Nobel Laurate Prof. Wole Soyinka and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.According to an Ogun State historian,the bitter rivalry started because many of Obasanjo’s contemporaries (including Awujale who is from a privileged background) at the time they were growing up never knew Obasanjo could become “somebody” in life.
We gathered that they used to taunt him and make jest of him until he later enlisted in the Nigerian Army and he gradually rose through the ranks and became the military President in 1976. That was the turning point for me and the rivalry between him and the others.
One must also recall the ugly incident which happened in Abeokuta in 1999 when Obasanjo paid a working visit to Ogun State as a civilian President.It is on record that Awujale though was present at the civic reception for Obasanjo, the Monarch did not greet the him(Obasanjo) and was very cold to him throughout the occasion.we also gathered that they exchanged bitter words at the ceremony to the surprise of many important dignitaries at the event.
Also, we gathered that Awujale had at various times in the past accused Obasanjo of favouring Abeokuta over Ijebu-Ode each time he was in power because of the personal feud between the two.He has accused Obasanjo of failing to develop Ijebu-Ode which was a major city and a well-developed town than Abeokuta before the latter was made the capital because of the influence of people like Obasanjo.
In the said book which in which Awujale literally poured out his mind on many issues, the Monarch said many things about ex-President Obasanjo which the latter took exception to.And typical of Obasanjo, nobody can have the last word on him as he always has this spontaneous answer waiting in the wings for anyone who looks for his trouble.But this time around, he waited for six years to reply Awujale and the timing couldn’t have been more apt considering the kind of heat the response has generated.