Former President Olusegun Obasanjo caused a stir at the on-going African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meeting in Abuja, when he chose to sit among the participants instead of occupying a front row seat reserved for him at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton.
No one knew the reason for Obasanjo’s action and he did not explain to anyone, although he arrived late at the event.
Before Obasanjo’s arrival, Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and Albert Muchanga, African Union’s Commissioner for Trade and Transport were already seated.
He arrived when Benedict Oramah, the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank was delivering his welcome speech.
Earlier, the meeting witnessed the opening ceremony which featured a documentary on the history of Afreximbank’s 25 years of existence.
George Elombi, the Executive Vice President of Afreximbank had also delivered his introductory remarks.
But when Bronwyn Nelson, the Editor-at-Large of CNBC Africa who was moderator of the event, walked up to welcome Obasanjo at the entrance with the aim of ushering him to his seat, the former Nigerian president refused and chose to sit on an empty seat on the right row of the hall.
Everyone was surprised at Obasanjo’s action including the other dignitaries in front of the hall.
After Oramah’s welcome speech, Muchanga and Nelson went to persuade Obasanjo to take his seat.
The former president, however, complied and followed them to his seat.
He shook hands with the dignitaries starting from Mustapha to El-Rufai, Oramah and Adeosun among others before sitting.
Obasanjo therefore became the toast of the Afreximbank Annual Meeting 2018 and 25th anniversary programme, which ends in Abuja on Saturday.