By MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday recounted what transpired during the fire incident that gutted a part of his palatial building in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, last week, saying he would have died in the inferno.
According to Obasanjo, if not for divine intervention that made the fire to break out in the afternoon and not midnight, he would have been suffocated to death and become history.
Obasanjo, who was Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), disclosed this while receiving a delegation of executive members of the party from the Lagos State chapter, at his hilltop residence.
He was full of praises to God for sparing his life and for the opportunity to witness a new year, stressing that the smoke that beclouded his room would have killed him.
While recounting the experience to the delegation that was led by the Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the PDP, Mr. Tunji Shele, Obasanjo said many documents and consumables were destroyed in the inferno.
He said: “The fire, which occurred in the office of my Private Secretary, resulted in thick smoke, which pervaded my bedroom.
“If it had happened at night, I would have been a dead person by now.
“I want to thank all, and all those who called me on phone both within and outside the country.
“Let us appreciate the mercy and kindness of God.
“There are many, we started last year together, but no more today.
“We are not mocking them, but to extol God.
“In fact, that I am able to stand erect is God’s blessing.
“Many of my age group cannot stand well.
“I am not mocking them, but I am thanking God.”
While disclosing that he continued to receive telephone calls from within and outside Nigeria over the incident, the statesman prayed that the New Year would be a glorious one for the country.
He stressed the need for leaders of the party in Lagos State to be united to make it the one that would rule the state in future elections.
Obasanjo stressed the need for party leaders to sink their ego and sacrifice their individual interest for the general interest of the party.
He added: “If only the leaders would sink their ego and regard the party’s interest as supreme and above that of individual, then the party will come out strong and able to wrestle power from the ruling party.”
According to Obasanjo, if the leaders and members of the PDP in Lagos State could unite, they would take over power from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) .
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Mr. Shelle described Obasanjo’s advice as priceless.
He said: “Baba’s advice is invaluable and we are going back to Lagos as a happy family.
“We would return to build our party on the platform of his advice to re-launch our party into recognition.”