Former President Obasanjo, on Friday paid a secret visit to President Muhammadu Buhari. The clandestine meeting took place after close of the president’s working hours, with just a few in the Presidential Villa getting a wind of it. Even the spokesman of the president, Mr Femi Adesina was taken by surprise as he could hardly volunteer any information regarding what transpired between both leaders. He told LEADERSHIP Sunday that the visit was even not officially listed for the day.
To underscore the fact that the visit was personal to both leaders, and its crux, not meant for public consumption, it held strictly behind closed doors in President Buhari’s official residence. It was gathered that part of what prompted the Obasanjo visit was the joy the former president feels with the way and manner President Buhari has steered the ship of state since he assumed power on May 29. Obasanjo is said to be particularly impressed with the single-mindedness with which President Buhari has gone after his counter-terrorism campaign, even with the government’s mooted approach at seeking some non-military solution to the Boko Haram insurgency. Obasanjo is said to have felt the need to come as a statesman to personally encourage the president and assure him of his friendship and support. Obasanjo, it was further gathered, also made some brief remarks of his positive impression of the president’s war against corruption before taking his leave.
Besides the friendly content of the Obasanjo secret visit, speculations are rife that the former president’s visit drew heavily from the save-our-soul visit Turai Yar’Adua, former first lady and wife of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua paid him in his Ota Farm residence, barely a week ago. Mrs Yar’Adua, had in the wake of the invitation, sent to her daughter, Zainab Dakin-Gari, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following the commission’s probe of an allegation of fraud, that amounted to over N2 billion, allegedly perpetrated by Zainab as the first lady of Kebbi State in the government of Saidu Dakin-Gari.
Zainab had initially been asked by the anti-graft agency to report for questioning on July 22, however, her excuse that she was performing the lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, saw to the commission, push up her appearance to July 27. Though she has presented herself for questioning, the EFCC is said to be gearing to go full throttle at her.
A disturbed Mrs Yar’Adua, who fears that President Buhari was on a vendetta mission against her family and inner-circle functionaries that worked for her late husband elected to seek the intervention of Obasanjo against her suspected Buhari crackdown on her late husband’s family members and friends.
Obasanjo is well known good friend of the Yar’Aduas. The late General Shehu Musa Ya’Adua was his second-in-command as a military head of state from 1976 to1979, and both maintained cordial relationship after they left government and retired from military service. In 2007, Obasanjo against all odds put his feet down on having the late Umaru Yar’Adua, younger sibling of Shehu as his successor. Though his relationship with Umaru Yar’Adua went frosty, much earlier than expected, Turai, still well knows that Obasanjo is a friend in need for the Yar’Aduas.