*Why Foes, Admirers Named Him Ebora
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has admitted being nicknamed ebora owu (evil deity of Owu) and has expressed dismay how he got the nickname why he is being addressed as such always.
Obasanjo he has always been confused on the reason he was nicknamed the ebora owu, adding that his confusion was compounded when one day, a master of ceremony at a public function referred to him as ebora to nje Ndomine, (an evil deity) who relishes the Ndomie delicacy.
Ebora in Yorubaland where the deity commands attention is never known with any specific delicacy.
The former President bore his mind on the issue of ebora for the first time, recently at the official commissioning of Petrolex Tank Farm, Ibefun, Ogun State, causing guests present at the ceremony to reel in laughter.
Obasanjo who was one of the top dignitaries during the event was greeted by guest with the shout “ebora’ on arrival and had responded by sticking out his tongue as if mocking those addressing him with the nick name.
The former President who ruled Nigeria between 1999 and 2007 got the nickname ebora owu by his foes and admirers, shortly after he relinquished power in 2007.
Those who used the Nigerian media to pin the nickname on Obasanjo, literally reflected on his ruggedness, ruthlessness and uncompromising dispositions in leadership, coupled with the strong tempests he withstood all through his two-term tenure as President of Nigeria.
While in power, the former President withstood and overcame the stiffest opposition from the core-north zone, counting on sheer diplomacy, his so-called native intelligence, brute force and age long cordial relationship with top politicians from the zone to scale through.
The north had supported Obasanjo to be President of Nigeria against all odds in 1999, winning a landslide against his only challenger, Chief Olu Falae of the All Nigerian Progressives Party (ANPP).
He won the presidential election, which remained the most memorable in history on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He had hardly settled down for work as President when the same north, which spearheaded efforts to enthrone him as President, started a war of attrition against him on allegation that he had marginalised the core-north in favour of the middle-belt and others.
While his regime lasted, Obasanjo survived not less than 8 attempts to impeach and disgraced him as President, starting from a plot to that effect by the late Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, later, Umar Na’Abba then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ken Nnamani, Anyim Pius Anyim, also Senate Presidents, some top members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Obasanjo as President also survived two attempts to poison him as spirited efforts were made to revive and bring him alive after he broke down twice for unknown reasons, one of such efforts involving the intervention of Pastor Eunoch Adeboye who had to rush to Abuja from Lagos.
The former President also contained a cyclone against him at the instance of his then Deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who almost upstaged him shortly before the 2003 Presidential election, after rallying state governors in his support to that effect.
Obasanjo on realizing that the plot to un-stage him by Atiku was real had to rally forces to appease his angry Deputy and was in the process, forced to retain him as his running mate for the 2003 Presidential election, which the duo won.
He also faced an intense battle, which sprang from efforts by some Islamists in the north to impose the Shari’a rule some state of the north, starting from Zamfara, although he also survived the Sharia battle.