Jonathan wrote the said letter to Obasanjo informing him of his intentions to establish a foundation through which he intends continuing his service to humanity. In the letter, he addressed Obasanjo this way: “Dear Baba”, and Baba in response to the letter, gave him what could be called a fatherly advice.
In the letter, dated October 12, 2015, Obasanjo advised Jonathan to use the new Foundation he is establishing to engage in soul-searching and in reviewing his past actions. He also urged him to consider the Foundation as a platform through which he can heal his conscience and demonstrate penitence over his past actions. Read both letters below:
Jonathan’s Letter to Obasanjo:
September 22, 2015
On Friday, 29th May, 2015, I completed my term of office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and successfully handed over government to President Muhammadu Buhari. I immediately proceeded on a long deserved break. I have enjoyed a delightful time with my family and close friends.
Now, well rested, I am back to work; to continue to serve and dedicate my life to promoting peace and prosperity for all. I have set up an office in my home state of Bayelsa, where I can be reached and members of my staff are poised to serve you and respond to your enquiries at all times.
Furthermore, I will be devoting the rest of my life and energy to making the world a better place. I am currently finalizing efforts to set up The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation. More details on the work of the foundation will be available at the launch, which I believe should take place by the 3rd quarter of 2016.
As I start this new phase of my life of renewed service to humanity, I look forward to your continuous support, counsel and cooperation.
Please, do accept the assurance of my esteemed regards.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Obasanjo’s reply letter dated October 12, 2015, Premium Times reports:
Dear President Goodluck Jonathan,
“I write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of September 22, 2015. I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful handover to the current President of Nigeria, H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am happy to note that you had a good rest and time with your family during the break. I hope you also had time to reflect and see what lessons you have learned and what you can bequeath to others.
“All of us who have had experience in our service to the nation and to humanity must not put it under the bushel.
“I have to commend you and your Foundation, Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, for the faith you continue to have in Nigeria.
“Maybe seeking how to be better and more serviceable to the nation and humanity is also a form of penitence and soul-searching to give conscience a relief and to show remorse.
“I wish you well as you continue to forge ahead with your activities in the coming months and years. If there is any area you feel I can be of help, you should not hesitate to call on me.
It is quite commendable that despite the sharp conflict that broke out between the two former presidents in December, 2013, Jonathan in his good-natured manners was still able to write a letter of this tone to Obasanjo. Obasanjo, on his own part also exhibited a level of maturity by responding to the letter without bias. The conflict erupted after PREMIUM TIMES exclusively exposed an 18-page letter, titled “Before it is too late” which Obasanjo wrote to Jonathan accusing him of lying, destroying Nigeria, and promoting corruption.
“Nigeria is bleeding and the hemorrhage must be stopped,” Obasanjo said in the 18-page letter dated December 2, 2013.
Obasanjo accused Jonathan, pointing out that instead of taking steps to advance Nigeria’s interest and better the living standards of Nigerians, Jonathan betrayed God and the Nigerian people who voted him into power by pursuing selfish personal and political interests based on advice he received from “self-centred aides”.
He went on in the letter, to accuse Jonathan of failing to deliver on his promises to the Nigerian people, to stem corruption, promote national unity and strengthen national security.
In the details of the letter, Obasanjo who was soaked in anger and frustration, lamented that Mr. Jonathan had become terribly divisive and cliquish, destroying his own party, polarizing the country along regional and religious lines and making a caricature of Nigeria in the comity of nations.
Mr. Jonathan did not spare Obasanjo either, but shot back at him two days later, categorizing Mr. Obasanjo among those he called “spineless cowards” driven by “sheer greed and indecency”.
Both leaders never reconciled, and Mr. Obasanjo went on to support Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Jonathan’s opponent in the 2015 presidential elections. But apparently all of that is in the past.