As Nigeria’s former President and military Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, is currently in Ghana as Head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Observer Mission for the Ghanaian elections held on Friday and Saturday.
However, Obasanjo complained at being referred to as General Obasanjo by a Ghanaian journalist during a press conference held on December 8 at Best Western Hotel, Accra, on the outcome of the election. The ECOWAS Mission had presented its preliminary report, which was followed by a question and answer session. One of the Mission’s recommendations, among several others, was the call for a media framework to “curtail” excesses of the media in election reporting. This is the first time in the history of ECOWAS observation exercise, that such recommendation will be made.
One of the journalists in the gallery sought further clarification on the recommendation regarding the media framework. His question was with a subtle message to the Head of Mission whom he addressed as General Obasanjo. The former president is a retired general of the Nigerian Army. This was not lost on Mr. Obasanjo who, known for his outspokenness, rebuked the journalist.
Obasanjo had responded: “My friend, I don’t know why you address me as General Obasanjo. In Nigeria where I am the former president, it is my political opponents that address me as General Obasanjo when they want to show me as a dictator… My party calls me Chief Obasanjo. It now depends on which side you belong,” the former president said.