and Enock Kakande
NIGERIAN President General Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday paid a short visit to Uganda to congratulate President Yoweri Museveni on his re-election and swearing-in for a third term.
Obasanjo, the leader of Africaâ€™s most populous nation who was on his way home from an international conference in Indonesia, landed at Entebbe International Airport at 1:30am on Saturday, aboard a Nigerian Airforce jet.
He left yesterday after holding a closed-door meeting with Museveni at Nakasero State House.
On arrival at Entebbe, Obasanjo was received by Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, NRM secretary general Amama Mbabazi, Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Ivan Koreta, Police and Prisons chiefs, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura and Johnson Byamugisha.
At the airport, Obasanjo inspected a guard of honour mounted by the UPDF. He was later driven to the Sheraton Kampala Hotel in a tightly-guarded motorcade.
State House said in a statement that Obasanjo could not attend Museveniâ€™s swearing-in ceremony on Friday due to an international engagement in Indonesia.
The Nigerian Senate is debating an amendment to the constitution to scrap the presidential two-term limit that could allow Obasanjo secure a third term in office.
The drive which analysts predict will fail has sparked off a controversy and a bitter rift between Obasanjo and his vice-president, who wants to succeed him.
Obasanjo was accompanied to Uganda by his special adviser, Prof. Julius Ihonubere.
â€œI commend you for the leadership you have given to your country and your contribution to the unity of Africa. I wish you and Uganda the best,â€ Obasanjo said.
Museveni thanked Obasanjo for the visit and expressed condolences over the death of some 200 people after an oil pipeline exploded in Lagos two days earlier.
Obasanjo also briefed Museveni on the political, social and economic development in Nigeria.
Obasanjo praises Museveni