Nigeria’s former president Obasanjo eats dinner with the FT

By | December 12, 2010

Here. The concluding paragraph:

At close quarters it is hard not to warm to the man. He has a winning sense of humour and unshakeable belief in self as well as country: “I love Nigeria,” he says over breakfast. “Some people see that as a weakness.” There is also a streak of ruthlessness and a Machiavellian ability to steer a political course between dark and light. It is a mix well-suited to the complex task of governing Africa’s most populous nation but perhaps less so to the role of former statesman. He is no saint, as his first wife makes plain in a searing account of their marriage published recently in Nigeria, but is he the scheming, vindictive and ultimately corrupting influence he is portrayed as now in much of the Nigerian press? Certainly, he will never admit as much. “Human beings are what they are: ungrateful souls,” he says of all the sniping. “That is why I am very happy with my animals and birds I rear on the farm,” he says, showing a hint of disingenuity and no sign of withdrawing from the fray.

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