Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said his decision to retire 93 top military officers on assuming office in 1999, saved Nigeria’s democracy.
Obasanjo explained that the mass retirement was inevitable on account of the lavish lifestyle of some top military men in the corridors of power.
He revealed this at his 80th birthday celebration organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Abuja on Saturday.
“Talking about engineering in politics, when I got into office as elected president, I got 93 officers of the armed forces out of the military because they were used to what is called the chummy chummy life in government house, and if I had left them in the military they would have been the ones that would have created more problems for us and our democratic dispensation would not have lasted as it has.
“Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola was one of the 93 officers, but in everything in life there may be a silver lining. If he hadn’t been out at the time he may never have been governor. If Senator Gemade had not been kicked out as chairman he would never have become a senator, but I’m happy that I was looking for perfection and what is best for Nigeria.
“Gemade is my friend and is still a friend and will remain a friend, but when it comes to Nigeria even with the best of my friends, Nigeria will come first. And for that I have no apology and I will have no apology for that,” he said.