Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that he was against the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as president of the country in 2015 after he went against two important promises he made.
Obasanjo made the disclosures in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.The Nation reports
Obasanjo said he warned Jonathan not to appoint Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as minister of petroleum but that he refused and went ahead to give her the portfolio.
He said there was also an initial agreement that Jonathan would not run in the 2015 elections but he refused because he felt he could but the election.
The elder statesman revealed that he did not support Muhammadu Buhari as president but only stuck to his formula of AOBJ (Any Option But Jonathan).
He said: “You know of course that Jonathan was not my first choice as running mate to your late boss (Yar’Adua), it was Dr. Peter Odili. But whether by fate or some conspiracy, Odili had hurdles that made it impossible for him to take the position. That was how I settled for Jonathan.
“I saw the emergence of Jonathan as an opportunity to solve the minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups can always sort themselves out but not so for the minority.
“A good example is my state here in Ogun. Despite the best intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become governor because of this minority issue and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. “So, it was in that context that I had to plead with prominent people in the North to allow Jonathan run for a term.”
Obasanjo insisted that Jonathan had always reiterated that he would only seek a term.
“I confronted him several times but he kept deceiving himself and when I could no longer put up with it, I had to register my opposition to the idea on record as I did in my letter to him.
“I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan since my opposition was AOBJ: Any Option But Jonathan
“Jonathan and his handlers believed they could buy the election and they were so arrogant about it that the PDP would print only one nomination for him and him alone.
“If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”
Obasanjo said Jonathan eventually enlisted the service of Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Bishop David Oyedepo to beg him at the Hilltop residence in Abeokuta but he stood his ground that he would not support him.
“It was only Pastor Adeboye that Jonathan told me was coming with him but Bishop Oyedepo is a man I also know very well so I had no problem with his presence at the meeting.
“I told him in the presence of his witnesses that I was not going to support him for a second term and I gave my reasons.
“Aside the issue of zoning on which he was reneging, his stewardship at that point had also shown very clearly that he was not up to the job.”
“Jonathan and his people turned Boko Haram into an industry for making money. Rather than seek for solution, Boko Haram became an ATM machine for taking money out of the treasury.
“Take the issue of Chibok tragedy. If he had acted within the first 48 hours, they would have found most of the girls. The CAN Chairman of the local chapter in Chibok was here to see me and he explained how they were helpless with no reaction from the authorities for several days.”
Obasanjo insisted he had no personal grudge with Jonathan but was only concerned about what was good for the country.
“My decision was based on what would be for the good of Nigeria and since I didn’t consider Jonathan good enough, I told him to his face. What would I be afraid of?”
The elder statesman accused Jonathan of seeing the world-view from an Ijaw angle only.
“I once asked him (Jonathan), ‘What is this Ijaw thing all about? Can the Ijaw people make you President?’
“I remember when he granted pardon to Alamieyeseigha and it became an international embarrassment, I also asked him, ‘Why did you do it? He started by offering the lame excuse that it was a Council of State decision before I reminded him that Council of State was merely advisory and that the decision was his.
“After a while, he said if I was at the meeting, he probably could have acted differently because nobody opposed it. I then counseled him on what he could do to address the problem. But either because he didn’t have the courage to broach the issue with Alamieyeseigha or he didn’t think it was important, he did nothing afterwards.”
“But then you really cannot know people until you give them power and responsibility. That is when you will gauge their capacity.”
Goodluck Jonathan has always insisted that he did not agree to run on a single term in office but what he meant was that if it could be changed to a single-term of seven years instead of four, he wouldn’t seek another term.
He said his comments in Addis Ababa in February 2011.
“I had made a proposition for a single term of seven years. That was the context in which I spoke in Addis Ababa that if the idea was accepted, I would not run again. It was not the context of a second-term of four years.
“Of course, at that period, the issue of one term was brought up several times at different meetings and some people took it upon themselves to pledge on my behalf but I never said I was going to spend only one term…the question was always usually randomly asked and I never made any such commitment to anybody.
“In any case, you can make a political promise and change your mind, so long as it is within the law.”