Ex-wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Taiwo
Ex-wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Taiwo, in an interview with Punch's Tunde
It was shocking to hear that your son allegedly left his matrimonial home. Is it true that he’s missing or you know his whereabouts?
I don’t know where he is. Of the two children that I have, Olujonwo is my first child and only son. Nobody knows where he is. People are telling me not to make noise about it, but he’s been missing since last year and the whole thing is taking its toll on me as a mother. He wasn’t answering my call, but now the phone is switched off.
When last did you see him before he allegedly went missing?
I saw him last in September last year and that was in Abeokuta during the book launch by my cousin. I also saw him when the father called me for us all
But your son issued a statement on Thursday, saying he wasn’t missing. That is in sharp contrast with what you are saying. Why do you insist that he’s missing?
Up till now, he’s still in hiding. The statement that was released was not by my son. The father could have written it in his name. He’s still running away from the wife and his father. They should let him come out to say what he’s going
Are you close to him, because one would expect you would be one of the first persons to know?
I can’t say we are very close. You know men like to be on their own. I would say he’s closer to the father than me because he lived there. The father brought him back from England and he started living with him. He read International Relations in England and he said he preferred to stay
When did you hear about his sudden disappearance?
It was from the wife I got the news and that was December 2017. People started calling me to say my son was missing, because I don’t live with them. I live in Lagos while they live in Abeokuta, and I said to myself that they had started again. In fact, it was one of his dad’s wives that alerted me to the ill-treatment my son was going through and she was surprised that my son didn’t mention what had been happening to me. His wife doesn’t call me, but I had to call her to ask and she told me it was true.
Was that not the first time he would leave his matrimonial home?
When you spoke with his wife, did she say there was a quarrel before he left the house?
She would not talk, maybe she sees me as nobody. She would not want to tell me anything and she doesn’t see me as a friend. Since they got married, even before then, she and her husband weren’t calling me, but from what I gathered, not even from my son because he’s not very close to me, but when I started asking around, that was when I knew that there was a huge problem on
Were you the one God spoke to or was it a prophet
Since you and your son had not been very close, did he report to anyone?
I understand that the young man reported to the father all that had been happening, but nothing was done. The humiliation and threats this man suffers is much. By African culture, the man is the head of the family. And if you look at the two fathers, the two of them are polygamous but no wife controls them. Sir Adebutu is still with the first wife and she doesn’t give him problems; he manages his family, and daddy Obasanjo also has wives and not all his wives are with him, but why is he now forcing my son to stay married to this lady.
Are you saying it is the former President that is forcing your son to remain in the marriage?
He is, because that girl threatened that she would deal with my son. My son has political
Since you don’t live with them, you can’t be sure she said all those things.
It is verified. That is why I have gone to the police to report. They should allow this man to come out and tell the whole world what he’s going through in the hands of this girl. He’s being treated like a houseboy by this woman; like a slave that was bought; telling the man she’s the best he could have and that he could not have any other woman like her. I told her before she married him that my son doesn’t have money and that he’s a salary earner, so she wouldn’t place too much hope or expectation in the name, and that he earns N100
Are you sure that is what he earns?
I’m telling you that is what the man pays him, and he hands over the N100
Since he went missing, allegedly, have you spoken with your husband, the former President, about the issue?
He’s my ex-husband; that should be noted. We are no longer together, so I’m his ex-wife. To your question, we talk occasionally. Even after the wedding, he called me to come. I didn’t want to
Do you have an idea of what your son wants?
The only time I got through to him, God just made it possible, I told him to let us resolve this issue so people would not say your mother caused it. He said no, it was a matter between him and the girl. He said I should just go and help him beg Chief Adebutu that he was no longer interested. I told him to do it himself; he said he would not, because he didn’t want any form of reconciliation with the lady. He said I should go and beg him. I said what about his father? He said he had told him he was no longer interested in the marriage. He said he had told everybody that should know that he was no longer interested. He said there was a day he was on a call in the room and his wife came in. She didn’t know he was on the phone with my twin brother. He said she started slapping him, accusing him of talking to a woman. He said my twin brother overheard the altercation. How can a woman be beating a man?
These allegations are hard to believe.
Thank you. It is hard to believe, but it is true. He said the mother too used to call him to threaten him. People around them know these things. This is not marriage. Why should his father join forces with them? This is not hearsay. I heard it from people who were privy to it. They even told me that if I were to hear from my son, I wouldn’t be able to swallow it.
How did you feel when you got this information, especially since you warned them earlier?
When I heard all these things, I was sick for about three weeks. I thought to myself that can a human being be subjected to this kind of
How old is he at the moment?
Do you think all these things are happening because they didn’t heed your warning before the marriage?
It wasn’t my warning. It came from God. But I wouldn’t know; the instruction came from the Almighty God. I didn’t go to beg for the instruction. I did not go
With this latest development, have you and Chief Obasanjo sat down to discuss how to locate him?
What do I want to discuss with this man? He sees himself as alpha and omega; you can’t talk to him. All he wants is for the young man to obey him, by staying in the marriage. If not, why would a man be calling people not to give him financial or business assistance?
Are you sure he did that?
Yes, he did. He said he would ensure that my son suffers if he does not stay in the marriage.
But you said you still see and talk occasionally.
I don’t feel like talking to him, because he and these two people have an agenda.
What, in your view, is their agenda?
The agenda is to turn my son into a slowpoke, because I really don’t know why a man would welcome into his family a woman that has been
The former President is a man of influence; don’t you think it’s hard to reconcile this with someone calling his son a poor man?
He doesn’t spend money on his children. He doesn’t. You work and you earn
Since your son is one of the many children Chief Obasanjo has, how come it’s only your son that is allegedly being treated this way?
No, the other children cannot talk. The real Obasanjo is the one Senator Iyabo Obasanjo wrote about in her letter. I’m just praying my son comes back.
How do you feel that you were not at the wedding of your only son?
I could not be happy that I didn’t attend the wedding of my first child and only son. It was a day I had been looking forward to. It is only if you are a witch as a mother that your son would be getting married and you would not be there.
Apart from going to the police, what step are you taking to make sure he’s found?
I’ve made the report to the relevant police authorities that they should help me to look for him. He’s running away from his father and he’s running away from his home. They should help me appeal to his father. The world should help me to appeal to daddy Obasanjo to fear God and know that he is not God. Help me to appeal to him. He cannot take one
Are there times you cry over this incident?
There was a day my ex-husband called me; one of the days my son went missing, and he asked me his whereabouts. I told him not to go there and he should rather look for my son. He said he learnt that I was hiding him and I told him I couldn’t hide him. I don’t even pray that my son would come and stay with me; that would be a curse. May God forbid it. I’m praying for him to go higher, have children and have a peaceful home.
When he comes back…
(Cuts in…) That is what I’m praying for; that daddy Obj should bring him back and allow him to decide whether he wants to remain in the marriage or not. That is what I want the world to know. This man should not force a woman
The choice is his. He’s old enough to decide. He defied the warnings of the Almighty God and that of his mother, so who am I to tell him what to do? Am I the one telling him to run now? No.
But then when you went to court to stop the wedding, some people thought maybe there was something wrong with you.
(Cuts in…) Yes, they thought I had
Are you very confident he ran for his life or there could be other reasons?
Of course, he’s running for his life. Let them find him and allow him to talk, because they have turned him
Have you met the father of the wife, Sir Kensington Adebutu, about this?
I even went with a delegation to see Chief Adebutu. He’s a good man. He said he was sorry and he didn’t know about it. He said he had just heard too. Daddy Kensington Adebutu is a noble and supportive father to all. He’s peaceful, very tolerant, humble, not hateful and he loves people. He is never tired of being of help to people. He’s not the type who delights in making life difficult for others.
What was it like being married to a former President?
I went through hell in the hands of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and my son got real