How Obasanjo received and reacted to rumoured involvement of son, Gbenga

Fears on Thursday gripped many residents of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital following rumours of the involvement of Gbenga, the first son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the crash of the Associated Airline plane in Lagos.
The news which was first circulated through the social media filled many residents of the state capital with fears and apprehension as many started mourning with the Obasanjo family over the tragedy.

Obasanjo himself received the news during a photo session with primary school pupils who had come for a leadership training programme at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta.

The rumour of the involvement of his first son in the plane crash came to his father as a rude shock.
Obasanjo had just finished addressing over 400 head boys and head girls of primary schools from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states who had converged at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta for the workshop tagged “Leadership Training for Young Leaders” when a caller informed him on the phone about the rumoured involvement of his son in the crash.

The ex-President was already seated in front of the auditorium along with other dignitaries, including the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre for Human Security, Prof. Akin Mabogunje; the director of the centre, Prof. Peter Okebukula; and the participating pupils for a photo session when his phone rang and the caller at the other end informed him of his son’s involvement in the plane crash.

Our correspondent who was at the event heard Obasanjo shouting on top of his voice to the caller at the other end in Yoruba, saying, “Gbenga wo! O wa ni Abuja!” meaning “which Gbenga, he’s in Abuja.”
The former President, whose countenance immediately changed, ended the call and became uncomfortable throughout the few minutes that the photo session lasted.

Immediately the photo session was over, Obasanjo grabbed Mabogunje’s hand and started moving to the left side of the OOPL with Okebukola and other dignitaries and his security aides in tow.
They went into one of the chalets at the end of the library complex where they spent about 40 minutes and later drove off to an unknown destination.

The programme however continued as many of the workshop participants who apparently were not aware of the tragedy returned to the main hall.
When our correspondent later visited Obasanjo’s Hilltop mansion, security operatives at the entrance were seen going about their normal duty, an indication that nothing had gone wrong with the family.


Punch


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