Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that his eldest daughter, Iyabo, told him he was going to die in office.
The former President also said his daughter said if that should happen, she would not weep for him.The former President said he, nevertheless, replied his daughter that such would not mean anything to him since he would not be there to appreciate it.
Obasanjo, who said this in his controversial book, MY WATCH, said that was Iyabo’s submission when he informed her and three of his other children about his desire to contest the 1999 Presidential election.
The meeting with the four children, which he said came after he had consulted almost all those that mattered before joining the presidential race, was held in New York.
He said it was ironic that Iyabo became a senator during his tenure.
Meanwhile, before being elected a senator, Iyabo was appointed a commissioner by Otunba Gbenga Daniel, while he was serving as governor of Ogun State.
Obasanjo said, “My mind was almost made up (to vie for the position of President) but I had to consult with my children. I got four of them together in New York.
“I told them I was going to decide whether to go into politics or not. Iyabo was the most antagonistic.
“She burst out loudly, ‘I know you will join and you will die there and if you die, I will not weep.’
“I told her ‘if I die and you weep, it is for yourself and others, not for me as I will not know you are weeping.’
“It is ironic that within 10 years, Iyabo became a Senator and I completed two terms of eight years without a scratch.”
The former President added that out of the four children in attendance when he spoke with them, it was only Segun who he said, had a few words of encouragement.
The son, according to Obasanjo, said, “Daddy, you have always said that we must serve God and humanity and if this is the way you have chosen to serve God and humanity, I will pray for you.”
With those words from his son coupled with the words of encouragement he said he got from those he had spoken with earlier, the Owu-born retired general said “the die was almost cast.”
In the book, Obasanjo also mentioned the names of his 21 children. He was however silent on the number of his wives or the mothers of the children.
Five of the children are holders of PhD in different fields.
The children are Iyabo (PhD), who is the eldest; Busola, Segun(PhD), Gbenga(PhD), Deboye, Muyiwa, Funke, Bola (PhD) and Seun (PhD).
Also listed were Dare, Kofo, Dayo, Biyi, Bisoye, Damilola, Jonwo, Bunmi, Funso, Dayo, Toyosi and Bukola.
The listing and mentioning of the names of his children was the first time the two-time President of Nigeria, would publicly talk about his children.
In the book, Obasanjo also extolled his late wife, Stella who he said had to contend with violent nature of his divorced wife.
He said he decided to bring Stella to his house after the dissolution of his first marriage in a Lagos High Court by Justice Dosumu. Stella, he added, was “one of the women who had children for me.”
The former President noted that in the course of his marriage to Stella, she handled four major issues most admirably.
The issues, according to him, included “constant harassment at home through telephone calls and name-calling, and physical and violent confrontation in the streets by my divorced wife.”
Obasanjo added that Stella tried to avoid exchange, but said that he got at least one report of close combat where both inflicted wounds on each other at his farm when he was not there.
He also commended his late wife for taking proper care of his other children and also visiting him on many occasions while he was in Jos and Yola prisons.
He regretted the death of the former First Lady, who he said was very close to him, but added that it was after her death that he got to know that the desire to celebrate her 60th birthday made her to embark on stomach operation without his knowledge.
Obasanjo said that it was after her burial that he decided to look into the circumstances that led to her death.
He said in the book, “After her death, I found out the circumstances of her death. I found out that part of her sixtieth birthday anniversary, which was unknown to me, was her operation for her tummy and her shape.
“This was carried out in Spain. The doctor was careless,” he said, adding that with the help of the Nigerian Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Authority, he was able to prosecute the doctor and the hospital.
Though he said he realised that once a life has been lost it life cannot be brought back. He said he was of the opinion that successful prosecution could prevent similar carelessness and loss of life in future.
The doctor, he said, was made to pay damages while his licence was withdrawn for a considerable period of time.
He said Olu, Stella’s son, collected “whatever damages were paid.”
The former president said he was however sad when he heard that some Nigerians were carrying rumours that he might have caused the death of his wife “to sacrifice her for success in my job.”
“That is how wicked and satanic some Nigerians can be in their rumours and mischief,” the former President added.