Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has told ex-President Goodluck Jonathan that there are more opportunities for him outside the country.
Obasanjo made this known when the immediate ex-President Jonathan paid him a courtesy visit at his residence in Ibogun village, Ogun State.
The rare meeting between the duo who were bitterly divided in the run-up to the election saw Obasanjo tell his host how wise he (Jonathan) had become since leaving office.
With Jonathan on the trip, which observers branded as fence mending yesterday ,were former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Kabir Turaki; a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar; King A.J.Turner ;and a former Chairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency( FERMA), Engr. Jide Adeniji.
They flew into the village in a chartered helicopter at about 11.30am.
The visit lasted about four hours of which Obasanjo and Jonathan alone spoke behind closed doors for 40 minutes.
No member of Jonathan’s entourage or Obasanjo’s associates was allowed into the inner room where the secret talks took place.
One source said yesterday that the visit was part of Jonathan’s new rapprochement with some of the key figures that had a hand in his defeat in the April 2015 polls.
Obasanjo received his visitor in company with former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was ousted as National Secretary of the then ruling PDP by Jonathan and his loyalists.
Obasanjo took Jonathan round the village for a door-to-door greeting of the elders and the residents.The people sang and danced in appreciation of Jonathan’s visit.
Obasanjo said: ” I have said to you before and I will say again that there are plenty of opportunities out there, within the country, within West Africa, within African and indeed in the larger world where people will want you to make contributions.”
Speaking further, Obasanjo said: ”The first point I want to make is to thank you very sincerely and most sincerely for taking it upon yourself to pay us a visit at this point in time and at this location.
“Secondly, since you left office, you hardly have time to sit down and relax like you have been able to do today and I hope, I sincerely hope and pray for more such relaxed situation where we can reminiscence situations of the past that we have been through in this country and we can also look at what the future portends.
“When leaders come, they have little or no experience. When they have to go is when they have really amassed a lot of experience, where they have wisdom, their experience will be in high demand. Those like you and me who have the grace of God to bow out gracefully if there is now what I call constitutional office we have residual responsibilities for Nigeria.
“I believe that not only Nigeria, West Africa and Africa and indeed the world will continue to tap into our experiences, our wisdom and I hope and pray that when the call is made to you will be more than ready to put your experience, the lessons you have learnt into the service of this country, for African and indeed for humanity in general.
” I believe that you are resting now and when you have fully rested and you will be hearing from me because I have this opportunity to be around the world and if I mention your name in dispatch…. I thank you sincerely that you have received us as we are in this village to prove to you that we are in a typical village, I was telling you that your village is better than mine.
“I want to say that we have it, Nigeria is a good country and we must never be tired of lifting the country up to the height that God has created it to be and God did not make a mistake when he put all of us together and if He doesn’t want us to be together no power in the world will have made us come together.
“My regards to everybody at home, especially your wife, please tell her that my wife sends her regards and I hope sooner or later we will be on your part of the world to enjoy the atmosphere together. I want to thank you on behalf of everyone here on this village.”