Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he once refused to use the government’s fund to complete a Christian Association of Nigeria building in Abuja.
Obasanjo recited during the Book Launch and 85th Birthday of Eminence Prelate Sunday Mbang of the Methodist Church Nigeria held at the Admiralty Centre, Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
The former president, who was the Convener of the program in honor of Mbang, described the former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria as a lover of Nigeria. The book, a memoir, chronicling the journey of the octogenarian, is titled, ‘My Life and Times.’
Obasanjo, 84, was Nigeria’s president between May 1999 and May 2007. He was also a military head of state from February 1976 to October 1979.
The former President recalled, “He (Mbang) asked me in his capacity as the head of the Christian Association in Nigeria that I should bring money to complete the Ecumenical Centre as they called it then, now it is known as National Christian Centre. I said, ‘No, I don’t have; I won’t put government money into that type of thing because if I do it for Christians, I have to do it for Muslims, I have to do it for Babalawo (traditionalist), I have to do it for Sango worshippers. No.
“But he insisted. Again, persistence. I had no choice to agree to now become a fundraiser for the completion of the National Christian Centre and I did. I got people together –the rich, the not-so-rich, the poor, the not-so poor and we raised money to complete the National Christian Centre. I don’t believe he has been given credit for that work because if he had not gone the way he did, maybe that center will remain uncompleted till today.”
At the program, he reminisced how “pressure” was mounted on him in 1999 to contest as president after he was released from prison.
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