Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that he enjoyed being insulted as a sitting president by his critics and opposition.
Obasanjo said those published insults against his persons and character were kept in the archives at his presidential library in Otta.
He said, “If you visit the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, you will find thousands of archived newspaper comics and columns meant to spite and insult my person even as a sitting President. No individual or group of people was ever queried or jailed or repressed for expressing this freedom. Rather, I encouraged them because I derived fun and pleasure from the humour as I know who I am and nobody needs to tell me who and what I am not.”
The Otta farmer made this disclosure while presenting his keynote address at the first international conference of the African Studies Association of Africa, ASAA, entitled, “African Studies in the Twenty-First Century, Past, Present and Future” which held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan.
Obasanjo while describing himself as unrepentant optimist on a brighter future of Africa, reiterated that the continent will soon wriggle out of bad governance and corruption which seemed to be a syndrome in the continent.
He added, “the stain and stench of slave trade, the cold war, poor governance made some Africans to laud the good old days of colonialism, corruption and problem of human rights violations.
“In all these, I am delighted that the so-called great European historians who professed that Africa has no history lived to realise that African history and culture had impacts and ramifications on other parts of the world including theirs”, he said.
“The right to free speech, the right to express a different view point, the right to draw personal conclusions based on self-instituted research and to querry certain cultural practices and beliefs are part of the huge liberty that the continent of Africa now boasts of,” Obasanjo said.
Other notable people at the occasion included Professor Toyin Falola, a keynote speaker, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor EmilOlorun Aiyelari, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Mrs Gbemisola Oke, the Director of the African Studies of the University of Ibadan, Professor Dele Layiwola, Professor Femi Osofisan, Dr. Sola Olorunfemi, Dr. Olaoluwa Shenayon and many others.