The Oasis Reporters
May 29, 2019
A noticeable absentee in the seats reserved for former presidents and Heads of State during President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration for a second term in office was Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. While some dIe-hard APC supporters were heaving sighs of relief that the accuser of the purported fulanization of the government did not show up to embarrass the occasion with his unwanted presence, PDP supporters were grinning from ear to ear that Obasanjo’s boycott meant much more than it actually portrayed.
No one knew that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was even in Ethiopia, the only African country that was never colonized and where he is well loved. Ethiopians simply love Segun Obasanjo.
See this tweet :
In Ethiopia, Obasanjo is so popular. They call him Segun Obasanjo. He is more popular than their own former Presidents. You have to witness how their faces light up at his name. What did Jesus say? A prophet is without honour in his own country #FreeLeahSharibu #RenosNuggets
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) May 29, 2019
President Obasanjo’s return from Ethiopia coincided with President’s Buhari’s second term swearing-in, such that he was billed to arrive at the venue after the event.
Then disaster. Thank God that the Ethiopian airline plane he was in barely avoided a crash landing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Wednesday that included 393 other passengers, according to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report.
Other prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300, included the Director General of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Amb. Ayoola Olukanni.
Equally in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the Director of Ports Inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.
The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9:10 a.m., Ethiopian time; 7 a.m Nigerian time.
A NAN correspondent, who was among the passengers, reported that the almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.
Rather than landing on the first touch line of the runway, the pilot over shot it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchline.
NAN reports that on realising this, the pilot quickly maneuvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
After hovering between Lagos and areas believed to be in Ogun State, causing panic in passengers and crew members, the plane finally landed in Lagos airport, some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.
Everyone thanked God for the experience and dexterity of the pilot whose vision was
obscured by heavy wind that prevailed at mid day.
Obasanjo and Olukanni had both attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday in Addis Ababa.
Meanwhile at Eagle Square, venue of the Inauguration, The Oasis Reporters correspondent who was monitoring the Swearing in ceremony noticed Gen. Yakubu Gowon there. Former President Goodluck Jonathan was not sighted. But when he was handing over after he acknowledged his loss at the presidential election in 2015, almost all the former heads of state were there. Several foreign governments were equally represented including many foreign presidents. This time, it was different in Abuja.