Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said greeting President Muhammadu Buhari when they met at the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, does not undermine the content of his letter to the president.
Obasanjo, it would be recalled, had in the letter accused the Buhari regime of nepotism and crass incompetence.
The former president had urged President Buhari to not “over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him” by seeking re-election in 2019.
But addressing speculations that he may have gone back on his word by paying respect to the president at the AU Summit, Obasanjo said it was his upbringing as a “ Yoruba boy“ to pay respect to whom it is due.
“Last week, I issued a statement which I did not do lightly or frivolously but out of deep concern for the situation of our country,” said the ex-president in Oke Ilewo in Abeokuta, Ogun state on Thursday.
“I wonder why some Nigerians were worried why I had to pay respect to the Nigerian president at Addis Ababa. That’s my own upbringing as a well-born and bred Yoruba boy.
“That doesn’t mean that what I have said about the president, which I did not say out of bitterness and hatred… it is evidence that the president has performed, in some areas, good enough.
“In other areas not good and the proper advice I gave, which he may take and he may not take.
“I didn’t do that out of malice or out of ‘bad belle’. I did it out of my respect for that office and my interest and I hope in your interest and the interest of Buhari,” he said.