All evidence point to the fact that Dr Iyabo Obasanjo, ex-senator and daughter of former President Obasanjo, indeed wrote a letter to her father in 2013. In the letter published widely then and now, Iyabo portrayed Obasanjo as irresponsible, corrupt and wicked.
Iyabo’s letter has been a major missile being fired by the supporters of the Buhari administration as they have been digging it out with the administration’s opponents in a media war, since former President Olusegun Obasanjo published his “special press statement” in which he took the Buhari government to the cleaners.
Apparently, Iyabo was instigated to write the letter after Obasanjo wrote a letter critical of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in December 2013.
In the media, the anti-Buhari activists have been quick to dismiss Iyabo’s letter, which had been celebrated in the media four years ago, as fake, citing a link to a platform Iyabo purportedly used to deny writing the letter.
But falsehood always gives way to truth. And Bayo Onanuga, managing director of the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who is also a trained journalist and former publisher of TheNews magazine, delivered the winning punch in a post on Facebook.
Onanuga replied one of those claiming that Iyabo had disowned the letter: “The letter was not fake. The Vanguard published it in Dec 2013. Against sponsored reports that Iyabo denied writing the letter and that she threatened to sue Vanguard newspaper, she didn’t sue at the end of the day. Chief Osoba said the views expressed by Iyabo in the letter were the views she expressed when he met her in the USA before she wrote the letter.
“To further confirm that the letter was Iyabo’s, the father in his three-part memoir accused Jonathan of inducing Iyabo to write scurrilously about him. He also accused Mama Iyabo, who later wrote her own book about her affairs with OBJ.
“The problem with many Nigerians is that we don’t dig deep. We react to issues superficially. And that is part of the tragedy of our nation. Here is OBJ’s own confirmation that the letter was authentic: https://www.vanguardngr.com/…/jonathans-administration…/ ”
The first formal response to Obasanjo’s statement, which many call “letter”, was one offered by information minister Lai Mohammed. Sounding cowed, however, he failed to refute Obasanjo’s claims but said some of the issues would be addressed.
Iyabo’s letter, though written in December 2013, has been trending because Buhari’s supporters dishonestly say it was a response to her father’s letter to Buhari.
Obasanjo’s supporters have been quoting sections of his statement, just as Buhari’s supporters have been publishing parts of Iyabo’s letter.
The letter’s authenticity was further reinforced on January 28 when Iyabo issued a statement from America accusing the Buhari government of sponsoring the recirculation of her 2013 letter to her father. She did not say the letter was fake but was not connected to a recent event.
Advising Buhari to accept her father’s recent advice to quit, Iyabo said those who should “benefit from the advice and admonishment of one of the most brilliant leaders to ever emerge in modern Africa have resorted to a cheap tactic that further reiterates the message that they found abhorrent enough to start looking for unconnected issues to put together to make their point”.