Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said President Muhammadu Buhari benefited from his opposition to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general election.
He said Jonathan did not heed his advice not to seek a second term in office in line with the agreement he had reached with prominent Northern leaders.
Obasanjo said this in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.,
For about two years, the ex-Petroleum Minister has been under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former President recalled how Jonathan became the Vice President in 2007 and how he backed him to be elected president in 2011 to solve minority agitation.
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.”
On Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015, Obasanjo spoke of how the ex-President told him that he would not seek a second term in office.
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.”
He said although Jonathan enlisted Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Bishop David Oyedepo to beg him at the Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, he said he stood his ground that Jonathan must abide by one term agreement.
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.”