23rd September, 2010
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said he could not attend President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s presidential declaration in Abuja on Saturday because of a burial he had to attend in Kingston, Jamaica.
Obasanjo said he was in Kingston for the burial of the father of his â€œvery close friendâ€ Carl Masters.
â€œCarl Masters lost his father when he and I were together in China,â€ the former president told newsmen at the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Anti-Poverty Summit in New York on Tuesday.
â€œI promised to honour his invitation to attend his fatherâ€™s burial,â€ the former head of state explained.
Obasanjo, who is currently in New York for Clinton Global initiative, described as â€œmischievousâ€ media reports that he had abandoned Jonathanâ€™s camp.
â€œI am the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, whatever is being done by my zone, I cannot disagree with it,â€ he said, referring to the South-West PDP endorsement of Jonathan for the 2011 general elections.
On Jonathanâ€™s chances at the PDP primaries, Obasanjo said: â€œI believe he will do his best and if he does his best and the PDP does its best, we will be satisfied with the result.â€
The former president urged Nigerians to be optimistic about the 2011 elections, and to stop â€œcondemning ourselves by the standard other people draw for usâ€.
â€œWe have many things that we need to correct, one of them is the act of criticising ourselves.
â€œ We must decide the best standard for us and use that standard truly, â€ he said, adding that he believed â€œso much in Nigeriaâ€.
He described Nigeria as a â€œcountry of excitement where there is never a dull momentâ€.
â€œIf I come to the world again, I will tell God to bring me back to Nigeria,â€ he added.