10th August, 2020
Nigeria’s former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said he does not care what people say about him when he die.
Obasanjo had on Saturday released a sarcastic statement on the death of Senator Buruji Kashamu, saying that the former lawmaker used politics and legal means to escape justice but could not use the same to stop death.
In his words: “The life and history of the departed have lessons for those of all us on this side of the veil. Senator Esho Jinadu (Buruji Kashamu) in his lifetime used the maneuver of law and politics to escape from facing justice on alleged criminal offence in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
“But no legal, political, cultural, social or even medical maneuver could stop the cold hand of death when the Creator of all of us decides that the time is up.
“May Allah forgive his sin and accept his soul into Aljanah, and may God grant his family and friends fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Obasanjo’s statement generated lots of controversies, with former Governor of Ekiti State and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu attacking him for his reckless statement.
But Obasanjo is undaunted, he told Premium Times in an interview on Sunday that it was okay 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 was only in doing this that the society 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,” Obasanjo states.
The former President said he did not care what people would say about him when he died because he had said the right thing about Kashamu.
“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 added.