He revealed that the day he appeared before the military tribunal that tried him for alleged complicity in a coup against late former military dictator, Sani Abacha as his saddest day.
“My saddest day was when I sat in front of a military panel set up by late former Head of State, Sani Abacha to try me over a phantom coup, and sentenced to death and later commuted to 30 years imprisonment,” he said.
Mr. Obasanjo was tried by the tribunal in 1996 alongside his former deputy when he was head of state, Shehu Yar'adua which the later died in 1997 while serving his prison sentence.
Mr. Obasanjo was released from prison after Mr. Abacha died mysteriously in 1998 and a year later, he was elected President
Mr. Obasanjo, who read from the Bible book of Isaiah 45:1-4, recalled that, following the jail term slammed on him, he had asked himself if he deserved such treatment
“God has always been giving me immense favour beyond my own expectations and what I deserve from Him. And I used to tell people that God has been partial to me from childhood,” he told his guests on Tuesday.
He further went on to say that pressure from international community leaders which included former American president, Jimmy Carter, the Abacha regime reduced his sentence to 15 years.
Mr. Obasanjo said the death of Mr. Abacha saw him spend only three years in prison, adding that he came out from prisons to meet an agitation for him to contest for president, adding, “but the rest is history”.
“I was born in a village and anybody born in that village would have concluded that the popularity of those born there would not go beyond the next village. My parents were complete illiterates,” he said.
The former president said, there would always be trouble and problems in life, but that if one is prayerful and close to God, they would overcome.
He said he had experienced tribulations in his life but that God has been on his side throughout.