Controversy on Wednesday surrounded a letter purportedly written by Senator Iyabo Obasanjo to her father, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
A national newspaper had on Wednesday published the letter.
In the letter, Iyabo allegedly denounced Obasanjo as a self-seeking man lacking in all key expectations of a father and a leader, but often appearing quick to accuse others of the same ills.
Iyabo also allegedly commented on a letter written by her father to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Obasanjo had in an 18-page letter to Jonathan accused him, among other things, of not honouring his words and taking actions calculated at destroying Nigeria.
The letter dated December 2, 2013 and titled, “Before it is too late” became public knowledge on December 11.
Obasanjo had accused the President of pursuing “selfish personal and political interests based on advice from his “self-centered aides.”
But Iyabo, in her purported letter said her father was accusing someone else of what he practised while in power.
When one of our correspondents called her telephone number in the United States, it rang until it went into voice mail.
A recorded voice on the answering machine said, “This is Iyabo, thank you for calling. Please leave a message after the bleep.”
In response, the voice recorder said “The mail box is full you cannot leave a message at this time.”
But a close aide to Obasanjo and a former Peoples Democratic Party deputy governorship candidate, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, described the letter as fake.
Oladunjoye said the letter never existed.
He said, “I can say here authoritatively that the so-called letter from Senator Iyabo Obasanjo to her dad, never existed. It is a forgery and it should be ignored.”
A former Minister of Aviation during Obasanjo’s regime who is also close to the former president, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, asked Nigerians not to be carried away by the alleged letter.
The former minister said that he was not in the position to say whether the letter was real or that it was forged.
He, however, urged Nigerians to ask Jonathan to address the issues raised by Obasanjo in his letter instead of using Iyabo’s alleged letter to divert attention.
He said, “The issues that are important to reasonable Nigerians are the issues raised by former President Obasanjo in his letter to the President. He should sit down and address them in details.
“We should not argue over whether Iyabo wrote any letter or not. I’m not sure whether she wrote the letter or not, but we must also know that Iyabo’s alleged letter was not a response to the letter written by Obasanjo to Jonathan.
“We should not be distracted. President Jonathan should sit down and provide answers to the issues raised by the former President and should not use any gimmick to distract us.”
He added that in any case, the issues raised in the alleged letter by Iyabo, which he said had yet to be proved to either be correct or wrong, dealt with family matters.
When contacted, a former media aide to Iyabo, Mr. Bidemi Osunbiyi, told one of our correspondents that the former lawmaker could not have written such a letter.
She said, “Iyabo didn’t write such a letter. How can somebody write such a letter? I know she is very close to Baba (Obasanjo). There is no cause for her to write such a letter.”
It was gathered that Obasanjo, who travelled out of the country, was informed about the letter by a family member through the telephone on Wednesday.
According to a source, the former President got across to his daughter, who was said to have denied writing such a letter.
The source said, “Baba on learning about the content of the letter, phoned Iyabo, who denied writing it.”
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