Chief Ayo Adebanjo, an elder statesman and Afenifere chieftain has said the former president Olusegun Obasanjo is suffering from intellectual inferiority.
The chieftain was reacting to Obasanjo’s recent comments that the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was never the leader of the Yoruba but was only elected leader by his followers and that the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, had better expertise in wine matters than in political analysis.
In a chat with Daily Independent, Adebanjo said it was a shame that the former president could talk about Soyinka, an international figure who has done Nigeria proud, in such a derogatory way.
He said: “As for Obasanjo, Nigeria began when he became president. He does not believe anybody did anything better before or after. Have you heard Obasanjo praising any leader before independence till this present day? Is there any leader who became president before and after him that he has not condemned? What kind of a character is that?
“Nobody is perfect. When people talk about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in America today, it is not as if they don’t have their defects but the Americans choose to highlight their positive sides. That is not Obasanjo. He said negative things about Wole Soyinka who did us proud in the literary world.
“Nobody said Soyinka is perfect. But the only thing Obasanjo can say about him is that he is a better connoisseur of wine. Has he got half of the intelligence of Soyinka? It is clear he is suffering from intellectual inferiority.”
Speaking on how Awolowo emerged as Yoruba leader, the elder statesman said his election was significant.
He explained that Awolowo was elected while he was not holding any public office unlike most people today who lay claim to being the leader of the Yoruba because they are elected into one public office or another.
Obasanjo had written in his book, titled, “My Watch: Political and Public Affairs,” that no individual can be regarded as the leader of the Yoruba people and that there was nothing like Yoruba leadership in Yoruba land.
About a week ago, a former minister of transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope issued a stern warning to him saying he should never repeat his statement. He stated that Obasanjo should never say that the supporters of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo made him Yoruba leader and not the entire Yoruba people.