– Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina has narrated how ex-President Obasanjo allegedly humiliated a former CAN chairman, Rev Pam, in public
– Adesina said Obasanjo called the cleric a total idiot for asking him a question he considered offensive over the Plateau crisis in 2004
– The presidential spokesperson said the man disgraced by the ex-president has now been honoured by President Buhari with a new appointment
Femi Adesina, the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, has revealed how former president Olusegun Obasanjo publicly humiliated Reverend Yakubu Pam in 2004.
Reverend Pam was at the time the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Plateau state.
The presidential aide made this known in a piece he published on Facebook on Thursday, February 4, titled The Priest and the President.
Religious crisis in Plateau state
Narrating how the incident happened, Adesina said a religious crisis in 2004 led to the killing of hundreds of people, forcing Obasanjo to declare a statement of emergency.
The state’s governor, Joshua Dariye, was subsequently being removed, while a retired Army general was appointed sole administrator.
Obasanjo later visited Plateau for a dialogue session with the stakeholders in the state.
You are an idiot – Obasanjo tells Rev Pam
During the dialogue session, Reverend Pam reportedly asked a question which Obasanjo found offensive.
The former president was quoted to have said in anger:
“What role have you played to bring about peace as CAN Chairman in Plateau State? CAN, my foot! What kind of CAN Chairman are you? Did your own Christianity teach you about revenge?
“You are an idiot. A total idiot. And I have no apologies for that.”
Adesina described Obasanjo’s words to the cleric as “sacrilege walking on two legs”.
According to the presidential aide, Reverend Pam said security agencies summoned and asked him to apologize to Obasanjo for the public spat.
Humiliated by Obasanjo, honoured by Buhari
After the ugly incident, Rev Pam finished his term as CAN chairman in Plateau state and moved on to become the chairman of the Christian body in all north-central states from 2008 till 2015.
Afterwards, Pam emerged the chairman of CAN in the 19 northern states and Abuja. He occupied the position until July 4, 2020, when President Buhari appointed him as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), the regulatory body for Christian pilgrimage in the country.
Adesina pointed out that a Christian cleric publicly flagellated by a Christian president was honoured by a Muslim president.
Pam at the villa
According to Adesina, Reverend Pam on Thursday, January 14, led a team of the NCPC to visit Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
“An idiot, “a total idiot” was at the seat of power, being treated with the dignity he deserved, by a man of a different faith. Holy Moses!”
During the visit, Reverend Pam reportedly recounted how he had been campaigning on the need for peace around the country in places like Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states, among others.
He said he has met with church leaders also in the southeast and south-south zones, as well as youth groups.
The cleric was quoted to have said:
“I humbly appreciate Mr President’s vision on peace building and deeply grateful for the confidence reposed on me in this respect.”
Adesina said President Buhari in his remarks congratulated Reverend Pam on his appointment as NCPC boss and encouraged him to continue with his peacebuilding efforts across the country.
In other news, Obasanjo has again rated the presidency very low in the area of security, especially in the northwest where President Buhari hails from.
The former Nigerian leader said it is quite disturbing that banditry reigns when the chief security commander of the county was once a military general.
He said as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the president should wake up and fight banditry and all forms of violent crimes that are ravaging the nation if he wants to leave a legacy after the expiration of his second administration.