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Critical public letters etched in “The Letterman;” Nigeria not living up to expectations, says Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, warned Nigerians against over-stretching God’s patience if any.

Obasanjo, however, said it was his hope that God’s patience would not have such a limit of elasticity.

According to him, Nigeria and Nigerians had done so many stupid things and got away with them, because God loved the country so much.

The former president, who spoke at the official launch of a book in his honour, The Letterman, written by the Editor in Chief of Premium Times, Mr Musikilu Mojeed, in Abuja, said if there were anything like the limit of the elasticity of God’s patience, then, He could not be blamed if anything goes wrong, because it was not God’s fault that Nigeria was not doing the right thing.

Obasanjo, who said Nigeria had not lived up to its expectations from the international community, stressed that Nigeria was not playing its expected role even in the West African sub-region as shown by the fact that Qatar and not Nigeria, played a role to bring various elements together, when Idris Derby, former President of Chad was killed.

“I believe that God is a Nigerian. God loves us so much. We have done many stupid things that we get away with. I hope that God’s patience does not have a limit of elasticity. If he says enough, nothing will save the situation.

He said in his characteristic humorous manner that even though he did not grant permission to the author to use his letters, he read through the work and liked it, disclosing that, he was convinced by the Catholic Arch Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Kukah to attend the event.

“I did not intend to come. He (Mojeed) did not take my permission. Until last week, when he brought me two copies, I did not know that he was writing the book. When I read the book, I was flabbergasted. I was torn between him not telling me and the amount of work he put in.

“I read a part and rang him. I told him, you have unearthed this part? This is good. I did not reply to his letter, because I did not want him to quote me. I met my Waterloo when I called Bishop Kukah, who told me he was reading my book. He told me to be here.

“I found the book really really amazing. I have finished reading it and I will ask you to try reading it. There are many things I have forgotten. When I read some of the letters, I marveled,” Obasanjo said, noting that he believed in letter writing and did not have a substitute to it to communicate effectively.

His words: “Your letter must be relevant, realistic, purposeful and goes to the point to address your point. It must also stand the test of time. When I read some of the letters in the book, I said to myself, what gave me the courage? If you ask me to give it a title, I would title it Audacity of an Optimist.

“The thing about a letter is not something personal. There was nothing personal to me about them –  the community, society, the military, the organisation that I belong to, the civil war, how to win the war so that we can finish quickly…”

The event was chaired by Mr Yusuf Ali (SAN), while the book was reviewed by Bishop Hasssn Kukah, and presented by a former Director General of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Ifueko Okauru.

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