• Yar’Adua lied over his health, he also says
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has taken a swipe at his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, ex-Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, describing most of them as liars.
He also accused President Goodluck Jonathan of incompetence, while saying that the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua deceived him over his state of health.
Writing in his memoirs entitled: Olusegun Obasanjo: My Watch, in Lagos which was presented to the public yesterday, Obasanjo said the late Yar’Adua did not give him a full picture of his health condition when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agreed to present him as presidential candidate in 2007.
In a chapter in the book, which chronicles the life of the former President from birth till this year, entitled: “To be or Not to be: Jonathan,” Obasanjo stated that the late Yar’Adua made him to believe that he had overcome his health problems, thereby deceiving him.
The former President wrote in the book: “I was heavily involved in the transition and exit process that saw me leaving office for my successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, as recounted in Chapter 37, the ninth chapter of the second volume of this book. The unprepared and unplanned transition from Yar’Adua to Jonathan was a more difficult exercise in some respects. One reason was the ‘cloak and dagger’ manner in which Yar’Adua’s illness was handled.
“The illness of a President cannot be regarded as private. His health has implications for the security and wellbeing of the nation. For the president and those around him to have attempted strenuously to keep the fact of the severity of his illness from public smacks of ignorance of the enormity of what the job entails and the level of provinciality of their understanding, attitude, and approach.
In the book, Obasanjo blasted President Jonathan, describing him as an incompetent leader. He wrote that President Jonathan has failed Nigerians and considered the current administration as inept and a colossal failure. He exonerated himself from the blame of the Musa Yar’Adua/Jonathan presidency that resulted in the current administration.
The former President did not also spare some leaders, like Atiku, who he described as a “blatant and shameless liar.” Also, he described El-Rufai as “a brilliant man who is economical with the truth.” Just as he wrote that Tinubu, was “one of the worst cases” in terms of corruption. He described Gen Muhammadu Buhari as a “strong, almost inflexible, courageous and firm leader,” but said he would not be a good economic manager.
In the book, Obasanjo also blasted Yoruba chieftains, some of whom he said would prefer to be “rulers in hell, if they cannot be rulers in heaven.”
On the infamous Third Term agenda, Obasanjo denied that he ever wanted to elongate his tenure, but wrote that it was the monumental mischief of his detractors that turned an effort at constitutional reform into a myopic argument about tenure elongation.
He accused Atiku and PDP governors, saying that were behind the alleged move. He said: “Atiku was behind the whole episode of turning wholesome constitutional amendment efforts of the National Assembly to a futile exercise and as a means of riding on its ashes to be a Nigerian President,” he wrote.
“Those who can be regarded as influential and who have publicly accused me of allegedly manipulating a third term were Atiku Abubakar, who is a blatant and shameless liar, who was behind the whole episode of turning wholesome constitutional amendments efforts of the National Assembly to a futile exercise and as a means of riding on its ashes to be a Nigerian President; Nasir el-Rufai, a brilliant man, economical with truth and without substantiating his claim in his book and has a track record of a turncoat.
“If I did not want tenure elongation when I was military Head of State and had me to, I see no reason why I should be falsely accused of coup planning by Abacha and tenure elongation by Atiku.”
He also blasted Nnamani, in the book, saying: “Ken Nnamani, the then Senate President, was a blatant liar and unabashed maker of the untrue statement on third term by saying that I informed him of my desire for a third term. As for Gbajabiamila (Femi), who talked about money passing hands, if money flowed to lawmakers, it was not from the federal treasury and definitely not from me. It could be from state governors who wished to be beneficiaries of a third term amendment.”
Writing on Tinubu, he said: “Nuhu Ribadu tried to investigate almost all of them to the best of my understanding. At a time, he publicly announced that 28 out of the 36 governors were either manifestly corrupt or had tainted in one way or other. He gave me a copy of his report on those governors. Bola Tinubu was definitely one of the worst cases.”
The former President also took a swipe at former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, in the book, saying: “Daniel is shifty, dubious and believes he is the cleverest human being on earth.”
While answering questions thrown at him, Obasanjo said he was not afraid of telling the truth, insisting that everything he wrote was true.
He also spoke on the court injunction obtained by a chieftain of the PDP, Buruji Kashamu, to stop the publication of the book. He described the injunction as absurd, saying that the book was published three months ago and called for the sanction of the judge who gave the judgment.
“The book had already been published and printed three months ago, only for the court to be asked to put a stop to it. Buruji went to a court to stop the book from being published and the hearing was fixed for yesterday (Monday). When that was not enough, he went to another court by 5pm on a Friday and got an injunction, saying the book should not be published. Unfortunately, the book was already completed three months ago. Secondly, I want the judge that gave such an injunction to be penalised.”