Gbenga, Iyabo Obasanjo boycott dad’s 80th birthday celebration
In spite of frantic efforts by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to deny any quarrel between him and some of his children, their cold war was again spilled into the open.
Obasanjo’s first child, Iyabo and eldest son, Gbenga were conspicuously absent at the elaborate 80th birthday celebration of the former President in Abeokuta on Saturday.
Iyabo, had in 2014 ruled out further communication with her father till death, describing him as a liar, manipulator and two-faced hypocrite.
In an open letter to his father, Iyabo, a former commissioner in Ogun state and former senator, recounted Obasanjo’s failings as a father and questioned his moral right to criticise others.
“This is the end of my communication with you for life. I pray Nigeria survives your continual intervention in its affairs,” she wrote.
Gbenga on the other hand had dragged the former president’s reputation in the mud after he accused the elder statesman of sleeping with his own wife.
Obasanjo's response to these accusations were that his children were been used against him by some powerful forces in the then administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former President said the children have realized their mistakes and have apologized.
Despite Obasanjo's claims, Iyabo and Gbenga, were, however, not present at the birthday celebration of their father.
One of the dignitaries also absent at his elaborate birthday ceremony was Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland.
The revered monarch was in the news recently over a portion of his autobiography where he levelled allegations against Obasanjo.
Obasanjo had described the autobiography as a tissue of lies and untruths. He referred to the monarch as a slanderer, and threw jibes at him, saying: “Common sense would suggest that wild rumours should not be perpetrated by an Oba of your caliber.”
The event was however attended by some serving and former African presidents, governors, ministers and senators.
The roll call included, Acting President Yemi Osinbanjo, Liberian President, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson-, Presidents Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, ex-President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic and ex-President Joyce Banda of Malawi.
Others were, Prince Michael of Kent, former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Anan, Prof. Akin Adesina, former President of Ghana, John Kuffour, former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ernest Sonekan, AbdulSalam Abubakar, Emeka Anyaoku, Namadi Sambo, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Olusegun Osoba, former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwakwaso, among others.