A former Vice-President of the World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, on Wednesday denied having any amorous relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Ezekwesili’s denial followed the widespread circulation of a photograph showing her in a very warm embrace with Obasanjo.
In the trending photo, the former President is seen holding Ezekwesili from behind and giving her a peck on the cheek.
The controversial picture was taken on Tuesday during the public presentation of Obasanjo’s three-part autobiography entitled, ‘My Watch’.
Many online commentators expressed displeasure with Ezekwesili and Obasanjo for behaving in such a manner in public and accused the former minister of education, who once served in Obasanjo’s cabinet, of being indecorous as a married woman and passing a wrong message to young girls who look up to her as a role model.
A group known as ‘Hope for Nigeria’ stated that it was taken aback by the decision of the two public figures to behave themselves that way in public.
“This is Dr. Oby Ezekwesili the #BringBackOurGirls crusader with former President Obasanjo at his book launch.
“Was it that Ezekwesili forgot that she was in a public place and a married woman? She threw caution to the wind. Anyway, we saw her sticking out her finger in excitement, while the ‘Chemistry’ lasted.
“What manner of role model will this woman be to young Nigerian girls who look up to her?” the group wrote, after posting the controversial photograph on its Facebook page.
But Ezekwesili has fired back at her accusers, describing those who have reacted to the photo by calling her unprintable names as “gutter minds.”
The former minister stated that Obasanjo merely gave her a “boisterous greeting”, adding that only “impure hearts” would be suspicious of the motive behind his expression of goodwill.
She blamed declining “family values” for her critics’ line of thought, noting that those “purveyors of the filthy conversation” were merely “living for the gutter.”
“My former boss – President Obasanjo – gave me a boisterous greeting at his event yesterday (Tuesday) and the impure in heart now turn it to lurid tales.
“Restoring family values will also help take us back to a descent society. It is clear that many among us have lost our pure hearts.
“Let us leave them to their lowliness. It is out of the abundance of the filthiness or purity of heart that the mouth speaks,” Ezekwesili tweeted.