Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and leader of the apex Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, were at Ohanaeze Ndigbo national secretariat in Enugu on Sunday evening, where they signed the condolence register for Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, first republic Minister of Aviation.

The elder statesman died on November 1 at 93.

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, also signed the register.

Obasanjo described Mbazulike as an authentic patriot and the last of the titans, while Adebanjo said he was a true Nigerian who served the nation fearlessly, adding that he fought for a country where equity, justice and fairness reigned.

They regretted that the foremost nationalist was not able to witness the new Nigeria that he laboured for, for decades.

The ex-president restated his commitment to enthroning a new Nigeria, noting that the country did not just need a president at this critical time, but a leader with character.

Said Obasanjo: “What I believe and what I think Pa Ayo Adebanjo believes is not ethnic, it’s not sectional, it is not religious, it is Nigeria. When I go out and people say we thank you, I ask them, what are you thanking me for? Stop thanking me, I believe in equity, I believe in justice, I believe in one Nigeria. I have shed my blood for this country. I have gone to prison for this country. So, what are you going to frighten or threaten me with? The only thing that my senior brother (Adebanjo) hasn’t done is that he hasn’t shed his blood, but he has gone to prison, but we will leave that aside.

“The problem we have in our hands in Nigeria is not ethnic, it is national. And for me, the most important thing in a leader is character. The problem we have had is that we have not had a leader with the right type of character they should be trusted with the leadership role. So, if I put my hand on someone, it means that compared with the other, I see that there is the merit that will be of benefit to Nigeria. And I believe that Chief Adebanjo stands for the same thing.”

Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Okey Emuchay who received the visitors on behalf of the President General of the group, Prof. George Obiozor, thanked them for honouring Amaechi and the Igbo.

Emuchay said the visit was symbolic because the venue of the meeting was where Amaechi attended his last Ohanaeze function.

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