Former President Olusegun Obasanjo at Itoku market, Abeokuta
Photo: Abiodun Onafuye
The former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has urged Nigerians to repeat last Saturday’s feat at the poll during this weekend’s governorship and State Assembly elections. He charged them to repeat the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections, which produced the president-elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ebora Owu as Obasanjo is fondly called gave the charge in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during his surprise visit to the popular Itoku market in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of the State.
Obasanjo visited a few adire (local fabric) store and in no time, the entire market was agog. Obasanjo assured the traders that he will address them. Yet, the traders, who had left their stores followed him as he made a walk to the local herb section and had a brief chat with the attendant.
While addressing the traders in one of the under construction market hall told them that he had not been opportune to visit the market since he returned from Abuja, saying that, “in the spirit of Easter, he felt it was appropriate to do it during the season”.
The Balogun of Owu Kingdom, who spoke in his mother language (Yoruba) said, “since I came back from Abuja, I have not come here to say hello to you. But, it occurred to me that I can do it during this Easter period and that is why I have come. How is business, I hope you are all faring well?”.
The traders rented the air with wild jubilation and chant of, “Sai Baba Obasanjo,.. Sai Buhari,..Sai Amosun!!!.
Fielding questions from newsmen on he visited the market which has over 20,000 traders, Obasanjo said, “since I came back, I have not really visited any market. I have come to do two things. I have come to give them Easter greetings and to find out how they are doing. “This is my community. As a member of the community, I want to know what is going on and what is happening in the community,” he said.
On his advice to the traders ahead of the April 11 election, Obasanjo retorted, “They should do exactly what they did last Saturday,” he declared as he made into his waiting vehicle. It would be recalled that Obasanjo retired from partisan politics earlier this year when he openly supervised the shredding of his Peoples Democratic Party membership card. He said he had become a statesman.