The strange Iyabo Obasanjo’s letter


During the week, what seems to be a bigger letter, yet from unusual quarters allegedly surfaced and rented the public space as was seen in newspaper and online publications.

The letter was allegedly written to former President Olusegun Obasanjo by her beloved daughter, Dr. Iyabo Bello-Obasanjo, a one time Commissioner for Health in Ogun State and former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is now residing in the United States of America.

Like the letter his father did to President Goodluck Jonathan which dust is yet to settle, Iyabo’s alleged letter has equally evoked reactions that are both damaging to the larger Obasanjo family as well as stoking the fire of political hatred along the path of pro and anti-Obasanjo and Jonathan loyalists.

Those who have read the 11- page letter, including yours sincerely, have their opinions and I share in the views of anyone who thinks it was a fabrication by well trained spin doctors out to embarrass Obasanjo.

My take really is why Iyabo, believed to be Obasanjo’s favourite suddenly became this nasty and disrespectful to her father, using abusive words recklessly and what she intends to achieve by the said letter.

Even if she was paid for this type of assignment, would she have in good conscience undertaken to settle for it without sparing a thought about the collective damage it portends for the whole family and the wider implication?

A popular saying that if one finger touches oil it automatically spreads to the others has applied fully here. That is, assuming Iyabo deliberately sets out to undermine her father through letter writing of this sort.

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By the way, Iyabo on several occasions made allusion to her siblings in the alleged letter. Does it mean none of her younger ones saw nothing untoward about such a letter she wanted to draft? Why would she write her father on things that are not directly family-related and choose to leak it to the media? Questions! Questions and more questions!

Like she rightly pointed out in the said letter, if she comes from an area like Yoruba where respect for the elderly is not negotiable why would she separate her father from the elders in her place?

And that brings me to the issue of Iyabo’s faith. I am not aware she has stopped being a Christian in which case she has lost touch with the basic Christian doctrine about children/parents relationship.

For instance the book of Exodus 20:12 says: “Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

If she could not readily remember that, what of what the bible says in Proverbs 1:8-9: “My son (I like to add daughter), hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.” And I like to recall what is in Colossians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.”

I know that those who are familiar with this verse of the bible will quickly say that Obasanjo may have provoked her daughter in line with what is written in Colossians 3:21: “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

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Even if that was the case, does that remove the fact that what is said in Romans 13:8 -10 applies to Iyabo? “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves has fulfilled the law… Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

The big question then is: what kind of love does Iyabo have for his father if she could sit down and write the letter in question? What manner of love does the person who gave Iyabo the idea of the alleged letter even have for her, the family and the country if what is said in Romans above makes meaning to him or her?

I just hope all the things that are happening of late in this country in the name of politics will not at the end of the day consume all of us. That is why I am ashamed of those who are lining up to take advantage of the alleged Iyabo’s letter to her father to advance their inordinate interest while at the same time behaving as if they are working in the interest of the common, vulnerable man.

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