Former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday revealed how he was tongue-lashed and dressed down by ex-head of State, Yakubu Gowon over a choice property situated in Lagos which was used by an agency of the United States.
Obasanjo recalled the experience at the launch of Ahmadu Ali’s biography – “Many Colours Of A Rainbow,” at the Shehu Yar’ Adua Centre, Abuja..
Obasanjo was the chairman of the occasion while Gowon was father of the day.
As chairman of the occasion, Obasanjo was listed to deliver the welcome address.
Typical of him, he did not come with a prepared speech. He mounted the podium and cleared his throat in his characteristic manner.
He then went down memory lane to capture his relationship with Ali who was then a fellow army officer.
According to the ex-President, it was way back in 1975 when Ali approached him for assistance.
Ali, then a Federal Commissioner for Education, wanted a particular building located close to Race Course, Lagos, for use as office accommodation.
Incidentally, the said building was being occupied by an agency of the United States as operational office.
“So a few days after, I conspired with Ahmadu and mobilised troops to surround the building as early as 4:00 a.m.
“When the officials of the agency came to report for work in the morning, soldiers prevented them from entering the building. That was how I seized the building for Ahmadu and his staff.
“Then hell was let loose. The U.S government had protested the action, which sparked a bitter diplomatic row between the U.S and the then Federal Military Government, headed by Gen. Gowon.
“Consequently, Obasanjo was summoned to Dodan Barracks where he said he was tongue-lashed by Gowon and other superior officers at the time.
“I was scolded and dressed down by Gen. Gowon and other superior officers for my actions. I was seriously washed down,” he said