Former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the weekend joined his kinsmen from Owu Kingdom in Egbaland, Ogun State to mark this year’s Owu Day.
But President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who was expected as the guest of honour, shunned the Saturday event and no explanation was offered on his absence.
Most of Obasanjo’s associates such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President Dangote Group of Companies and Zenon Oil boss, Femi Otedola, who often attend the yearly event and who donated huge sums of money, were absent.
None of the governors, including the immediate past, attended the eighth Owu Day celebration. Notable indigenes of Owu, including Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Osi of Owu Kingdom, Chief Doja Adewolu Obasanjo also shunned the event.
The venue of the Owu Day, noted for its boisterous activities, witnessed its lowest attendance as the celebration was barely attended compared to the past when the former president was in power.
Among the few dignitaries present were former Communications Minister, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, ex-Lagos State Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Sarafa Tunji Ishola, ex-Chairman, Odu’a Group of Companies, Mrs. Iyabode Apampa, the ex-president’s daughter, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, traditional rulers from Owu towns and villages and some chairmen of caretaker committees in the state.
Obasanjo said success often draws envy, hence the need to pray to God to ensure the Almighty “put us above our enemies”.
The former President, who referred to journalists as “awon saboteurs ti de” (saboteurs have come), told his fellow Owu kinsmen to be proud of their culture and tradition, saying “those who failed to do so need to be educated”.
– The Nation