Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, August 10, dismissed critics of his condolence message on the passing of Buruji Kashamu, a former senator and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State.
In his condolence message, Obasanjo stated that the late Kashamu, who was wanted in the U.S for alleged drug offences, was able to escape justice but could not evade death.
“Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashamu) in his lifetime used the manoeuvre of law and politics to escape from facing justice on the alleged criminal offence in Nigeria and outside Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.
“But no legal, political, cultural, social or even medical manoeuvre could stop the cold hands of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.”
However, a former governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose replied Obasanjo saying that “his own end will come too and nobody knows how the end will be.”
Fayose who took to Twitter to post his comment said the former president was not a saint, and should, therefore, stop behaving like one.
But in his response, Obasanjo said it is all right for people to mourn every death but that the living, including himself, must draw the right lessons from the lives of those who have died.
He said it is only in doing this that societies can make progress.
“When I was growing up, in our community, when anyone known with bad character died, we usually only mourn him and bury him. No eulogy. No praise-singing.
“There is an English saying that urges us never to talk ill of the dead. But in this case, we are not talking ill of the dead. We are only drawing lessons from the life and history of the dead. I am not gloating over his death. It is sad for anyone to die and we must mourn him.
“But we must learn from such a passage. There will be bad lessons. There will be good lessons. But we should not just be praise-singing or eulogising the dead, especially when there is no need to do so.
“We should not cover up bad histories and conducts so that the right lessons can be learnt,” he said.
Obasanjo further explained that he is unbothered by how people will talk about him after his demise; saying everyone is entitled to their opinion.
“As you know, I say my mind as truthfully as I know them and in line with my convictions. People are free to say whatever they want about my comment. I don’t begrudge people for holding opinions on whatever I say or do.
“Let people say whatever they like when I transit. Now that I am alive, am I not being abused? Whenever I transit, let people say whatever they know or think about me. Let them say it as it is. What my maker thinks of me is what matters most,” he said.