‘I apologise to Abians for installing T.A. Orji their governor’-Kalu
Former Governor of Abia State, founder and former presidential candidate of the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who recently rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), spoke to LEO SOBECHI (in Kalu’s Camp Neya country home, Igbere, Bende local council of Abia State) on a wide range of issues, including his pet project, Njiko Igbo.
Abia State PDP chairman, Emma Nwaka, has faulted your readmission into the party, saying the local chapter has not received you into its fold…
It is not his duty to receive me. It is unconstitutional for him to say that. He does not own the party; we founded this party and if PDP were to be a limited liability company, I would own about 90 percent of its shares. The first N500 million that was given to the PDP as a party in 1998 was from me; the draft was written by Mark Nwagbara of the then Hallmark Bank. What are they talking about? Those people (resisting my re-entry) are visitors to the party. Why are they afraid? You will see some ex-governors from Adamawa and other places coming back to the party in the next couple of weeks. Every other person is planning to come back to the party we formed because they (the joiners) are damaging the party. The ideas that we, the founding members of the party, had were to build a large movement of all Nigerians with competent people to lead it; with quality prospects for our people, to banish hunger, fight corruption and making sure that people get what they bargained for in a democracy. But today, it is a different thing.
This is why we have to come back, collapse all our structures and ensure we implement the original ideas of the founding fathers of the party.
What implications could the return of other former governors to the PDP have on your plans for 2015?
Nigerians should expect and experience good governance from the PDP; the party will come back to be a disciplined body. We are going to support the present chairman and the NWC to make sure that they are strong enough and that nobody will harass them. They will be bold and firm to implement the policies of our party. I have no plans for now (for 2015) except for us to continue working for Njiko Igbo towards the continual reconciliation of the Igbo for progress and unity as a people and to make sure that the Igbo nation becomes a dominant factor in the 2015 contest for the presidency. I have not given a thought to running for the office because since I left office, I have been very busy rebuilding my businesses. I have been touring around, to see how other people live; studying to understand the perfect work called the world and understand the perfect continent called Africa.
As one politician from Southeast with many friends in the North, how true is the suspicion that you are covertly working to produce a northern president with an Igbo running mate?
It is not true! I expect the North to support us for the presidency; that is the truth. We have no reason for that. Moreover, the PDP has made a Yoruba man, Obasanjo, president; it has made a Hausa/Fulani, Yar’Adua, president; and an Ijaw man, Jonathan, a president. So, the same structure should make an Igbo president. Nobody owns the party; it was our collective resources that made the party. Thus, nobody can dictate what he wants to be. When we get to the nomination ground, whatever comes up will be discussed.
The Southwest lost Abiola and it got the presidency; the Niger Delta lost Ken Saro-Wiwa and got the presidency as well; how come that the Southeast lost hundred of people and nobody is factoring that into the campaign?
Well, this is the reason we are fighting. It is in that spirit that we are fighting, because the Igbo have derailed. We lose human beings, we lose materials and everything, and nobody talks about it. It is the same thing: they are busy, killing Igbo everywhere in Nigeria. If there is problem anywhere, the repercussion falls on the Igbo. Let me be honest with you. We are not fighting the other regions; rather, we are saying, please, support us the way we have supported you. Igbo supported Abiola fully, Igbo supported Obasanjo, Igbo supported Yar’Adua and you remember that Igbo supported President Jonathan. So, it is our turn for them to support us. I think it is only godly.
Why Ndigbo Is Asking For The Presidency
What unique thing are you (the Igbo) bringing to the table for asking to be president?
We are not asking for the presidency for asking sake; we are yearning for the presidency because we will bring value to the political table of Nigeria. We are going to bring a very good leadership that will be able to address the issues of insecurity, power and elimination of hunger. We are going to address the basic human needs, to be able to infuse good values into leadership in Nigeria. Leadership has gone very bad and an Igbo presidency will redefine leadership. We are, therefore, appealing to other groups to be patient with us and give us equal opportunity we extended to them, for us to be able to redefine leadership in Nigeria.
It would not be in the interest of the Igbo for the country to break; it is in our own interest to rebuild the country since our people could be found from Kebbi to the Atlantic Ocean engaged in trans-state trading activities and rendering trans-state services. I believe it is in the best interest of the Igbo for the country to stand and be one nation. We are doing everything possible to ensure the unity of the country. We are not saying it (presidency) is a must. Accusing me of working for the North is just being true to type as a journalist. The Hausa will work for me and I will work for them; after all, this is what politics is all about. It is either I work for them or they work for me; somebody must work for somebody. As I am close to the Hausa people so I am close to the Yoruba, deeply! I am only saying that we should be given our own fair chance based on competence.
How will giving yourself to propagating the Igbo presidency accommodate the grooming of young people for leadership, as you hinted?
I believe grooming young people is totally an opportunity for any system to grow. This is why we are saying most of our elders, be they in the field of politics or football, are not doing very well. If you check from 2007 till now, a lot of propaganda is being employed to run government. Government is not run on propaganda; it is purely about what you can do for the people. The greatest problem of Nigeria is corruption and fighting corruption on the basis of partisan politics: If you are against me, I fight you; if you are for me, I allow you and you can steal blind, and nobody talks to you. I will give it to President Obasanjo; he is a very good bully, very strong leader but Nigeria does not need a strong leader; Nigeria needs strong institutions that can protect any leader. If you have strong institutions, then, there can be nothing like a weak leader. But they have killed the institutions that could have sustained democracy and made the society to be very strong. They killed institutions like the EFCC, INEC, the Police, etc.
The only viable institution Nigeria has got today is the military and they are trying to kill the military too. It is not good when you start sending the military, like in my hometown here, in Igbere, after innocent people in their homes based on their political beliefs. And I am sure General Azubuike Ihejirika (Chief of Army Staff) and the Commander-in-Chief can never support that. How are you going to groom leaders when you are pursuing them with the army? If anybody has committed any criminal offence, send the police and let the person go to the station and answer for his offence. I heard that because some people registered me in the PDP, the governor sent the army after them. That is not acceptable in a democratic setting. These are some of the ills we want to stamp out of our society. I was governor for eight years, and we never used soldiers for any communal misunderstanding.
We did not even ask for the release of soldiers; we only ask that soldiers be on standby for eventualities. It is good the soldiers battled kidnappers to provide security, but you don’t bring in soldiers anyhow because the military remains the only institution that is well preserved by any nation. We don’t even respect our soldiers here the way other nationals respect their soldiers. Army, Navy and the Air Force are supposed to be the strongest institutions we should have around and made respectable by all means. They are using them now for purely domestic purposes.
Global Security Agencies Know Governors Looting Nigeria’s Treasury
Despite Abia state government’s effort to frustrate your re-entry into the PDP, several groups and associations have continued to throng your country home to rejoice over your return; what could be the implication of this on Abia politics?
There were only two other people that you can equate with what is happening here. I am not talking about people who are in business; if it is about people in business, you can talk of Arthur Eze. He is not a politician and yet, he entertains a lot of visitors at all time. But the only two politicians that did what I do were Chief MKO Abiola and Dr. Olusola Saraki. These are two people that I know threw their gates open the way I do; they cooked food and served people whenever they were at home. The people continue coming (to my house) to show their appreciation that I have returned to partisan politics fully. They know that I brought positive changes despite the current wave of propaganda to discredit me. The governor (Theodore Orji) said he did not know what he did to me.
It is not true; he knows. I made him a governor when he was incarcerated by the EFCC. I made him governor without his input even as much as to campaign for one day! Yet, he left and said he didn’t know what he did to me. I think something is wrong somewhere. I did not quarrel with him except that I told him, ‘Governor, you should work hard and get somebody to replace you because you can’t win election again the way you are going.’ That was after two years of his administration; the rating in Aba and Umuahia were very low. And he came to newsmen with the claim that I wanted to stop him from a second term in office. That was his grouse against me. Is the second term (candidacy) not over? It is over! And he is still fighting. I am capable of fighting him; he knows I am not a weakling; he worked with me. But for the interest of the progressive and good people of Abia State, I decided to leave him to show that leadership which he said I stopped him from leading. Here is a man, who had come with all manners of accusations against me, which were untrue. I am not corrupt and have never been. The international community knows this; the international security agencies know that. From America to Israel to Canada to Germany to Belgium and to UK, they know me. In London, I don’t have two houses; I have just one house and I bought it in February of 1992 and it is still there. In Victoria Island (Lagos), where I am living, I bought it in 1986 and I am still living in that same house; so, nothing has changed.
The international security agencies know about the looting presently going on both locally and nationally. They know who is who by reckoning; they know every governor. Whether you siphon the money through a fifth party or a third party, they know and are tracing the whole money going around the world. And this is what our governors and ministers don’t know: that the more you push the money abroad, siphon it anyhow; they know the owner(s). Every dollar passing through the world — whether it is one dollar or a hundred dollars — is first reported in New York. That apart, I needed our governor to give qualitative leadership; he should stop deceiving the people and face his leadership based on the truth. Every other thing will fail but the truth can never fail.
I want him to come out and be born-again. He was telling lies that I went to look for him (for appointment). There is a man called Mba Abali, from Ohafia; he was the one who introduced him to me. I never went to look for him; I met this man (Orji) in former Abia Head of Service, Mark Agu Ogo’s house. I was crisscrossing from Lagos to Umuahia in 1998; that was the first day I saw him (Orji) as a person. I stopped by to greet my uncle, Agu Ogo and Theodore Orji was there. I told my uncle jokingly that, ‘you are too old; you know I am going to be governor, and by then, you would be retiring and too old. I will retire you and make this your friend the Chief of Staff.’ And that was all; I didn’t see that man (Orji) again until when I was elected governor and I sent for him. By then, he was working at INEC in Enugu. If he’s a disciplined man, he should know. He has spoken before the camera, everywhere. Here is a man who came to my house in Abuja.
The last time he came, I told him you had not done well. I had a witness. I told him that, ‘what I want to advise you is, look for somebody of your choice to replace you for the remaining term.’ That was all I told him. Instead of adhering to what I told him, he started fighting and fighting dirty. If he wants to fight, now I am ready to fight. We are going to fight but on the point of law and basis of reality. I will be willing to fight him, locally and internationally if he is willing to fight. But our people don’t need quarrels; what they need is development. He should replace fight with development so that Abia people will be happy.
People in Aba are suffering; people in Umuahia are suffering; everywhere, it is so. I expect this governor to work for our people. I use the opportunity of this interview to apologise to the entire Abia people for bringing this type of governor to them. I never knew. This was not his character when I was working with him. So, I feel genuinely that he should have a rethink because we are on earth; he would leave that governorship one day. I am surprised that the SSS is not reporting what is happening in Umuahia to President Jonathan. When we were governors, the SSS used to report to President Obasanjo on a daily basis. President Jonathan should stand up and fight most of these governors, who are corrupt. They are not doing anything. Or is he saying he cannot fight corruption? Corruption is a naked thing. We are setting up an institution very soon — the Orji Uzor Kalu Anti-Corruption Initiative; it would be our duty to expose everybody that says they are not corrupt. Let everybody that has served show how they built their houses and bought their (fleet of) cars; whether you bought in (a) fifth (party) name or sixth name. We must join hands together to work. Those of us who have been in business for our lifetime are surprised to see how massive stealing is going on now (in government). It is never done; government money is public fund. So, we should be able to address that issue.
But the governor said past leaders (including you) should explain the infrastructure decay in Abia…
Let me speak on our monthly allocations. Recall that allocations to states appreciated within a space of seven years. The allocations we were getting between 1999 and 2003 were N590 million and N700+ million; we had the first N1 billion in November 2004; it is on record. And our salary (monthly wage bill) was almost N100 million. So, when such people talk, I laugh! We built a lot of inner roads that he could have maintained in Aba. Why are they (the people) jubilating in Aba that I have rejoined the PDP? It is the same story in Umuahia and Ohafia! It is because one man wants to rewrite history and close the people’s eyes to the reality on the ground, especially about development in our state. The governor wants to serve the people soda water in the name of palm wine.
We had free education; we had free health services and the teaching hospital; and skills acquisition centres built when I was there as governor are still there. The other day, Labaran Maku (Minister of Information) came, and they showed him the Commissioners’ Quarters that I built; that facility was commissioned by (former) Governor Abdulkadir Kure of Niger State. They showed him the housing estate I built in Osisioma local council; they did not give me credit. They went and showed the teaching hospital; the one we completed and equipped; he (governor) has killed it. If Labaran Maku is a man of conscience, when he gets back to Abuja, he should tell them that he did not see anything on the ground in Abia State. I don’t know what the SSS (Department of State Security Services) in Abia State is doing; they are not reporting to President Jonathan on what is happening in Abia State. During Obasanjo’s era, he used to call on the phone to tell us what we were doing or not doing.
How bad are things in Abia State, the way you are imputing?
Everything is on a downward slide in Abia State, except massive propaganda. A reputable editor from the South-South told me he was surprised at what he saw. He was one of those attacking me but when he asked some intelligent questions in Aba, he saw it was nothing near to what I did in my time. They have cowed everybody living in Abia State with the army; the people are living in a state of fear. Let the people be free to say whether you are a good or bad leader. The task is simple: give the people qualitative leadership. Their problem is that if I go for a popularity contest with them, I’ll dwarf them because I am with the people.
You (reporter) have been here for virtually five hours waiting for me; you can see the nexus between the people and me. I am not afraid of them and the people are not afraid of me. So, if we talk about performance, I think Abia State is in trouble with the way this government is going. The governor has been talking and I left him; now, I am going to be showing to the public the amount of money received and the loans he took. He said I borrowed money; I never borrowed from any bank; the Central Bank can bear me witness. Why they are keeping quiet, I don’t know. When I was governor, there was no Access Bank in Umuahia; there was no Skye Bank; I never dealt with First Bank or Oceanic Bank or Intercontinental. Once a man cannot keep to his words, there is a problem. I have been in business for over 30 years and I have never gone to any police station to settle disputes with anybody. When we have any dispute with anybody, we settle it; that is the essence of human life. So, I am appealing to him to go and give leadership to our people. And I am appealing to those Abia elders following him everywhere — getting money every month, some of them past governors, retired generals and past top citizens — to think within their conscience that this money belongs to the state. People are suffering; they should rethink.
The governor said you handled Abia money in a reckless manner; didn’t you?
This governor was my chief of staff for eight years. I never handled money for one day. What we approved in the executive council was what I implemented. My security vote was handled 100 per cent by this same governor. Anybody in Nigeria knew I never touched that money. When he asked me where we were going to get money to do election in 2003, I asked him, where did we get the money we used in 1999? I don’t want to mention names. He was there when one of our companies repatriated money for the election and he was the one that handled the money. He was shocked and asked me, ‘so, you can use your personal money to do the election?’
And I told him that that was the essence of democracy. Now, I am a thief, when I was the first governor that Obasanjo named ‘action governor’ of Nigeria! So, what has changed? Does it mean I became very greedy, stealing everything to become a thief and I forgot the people? If you go to Abia government website, you would see how much I received from 1999. My monthly allocation was the same as the security vote of some of the governors of the Niger Delta region. Sometimes, my monthly revenue was just half of their security vote. But we managed to drive the system and keep faith with nature; we managed in many aspects to give qualitative leadership to our people. But now, does he show gratitude? He was nothing and I made him the chief of staff. Even President Obasanjo called my mother, to change his (Orji’s governorship) candidacy to one of my brothers. I said I would not do that. That is the truth. President Obasanjo is alive; he can confirm its veracity or not.
He called my mother and said, ‘make one of your sons (governor).’ The one in House of Representatives was the other one. He said, ‘bring him back; I will not tolerate that one (Orji).’ I said no; that the president should not dictate to us who should be our governor; we must make the choice ourselves. The day I handed over to him (Orji) before the public, I handed him the handover notes; and I said, ‘I leave you this book with your conscience.’ I knew he would change. That is the man you are talking about. I don’t like to discuss or talk about him but I will no longer take any insult from him; I will reply him. At any rate, he should tell the public the truth.
Abia State government has gone to the hilt of their borrowing. For the last three years, they have devised a strategy to go to the local government to borrow through one of the banks almost N11 billion, thus mortgaging the local government account. Have you ever seen such a thing happening in Nigeria; for the government to force every local government chairman to sign for N500 million deductions by a Nigerian bank? Remember they are not elected but appointed! There is no dignity sharing money with local government chairmen.
Why are they mortgaging the local governments? The local governments owe so much now that I do not know whether such organisations as NULGE (National Union of Local Government Employees) still exist. It must be this fear of the military, and Ihejirika must do something about it. The military should stop harassing the people. When I was governor, people criticised me. I told them I was ruling with my conscience and if you felt strongly about anything I had done, you go to a court of competent jurisdiction to challenge it.
‘Njiko Igbo Is Driving Force For Igbo Emancipation’
When you founded Njiko Igbo, most people said you were out to launder your image and become relevant. Isn’t it so?
Not at all! I just found out that we had a vacuum in the Igbo nation.
Other regions were gathering together, to fine-tune strategies of taking political power and our people, especially the elders, were busy going from one government house to another, to collect money from leaders instead of articulating strategies for attaining political power. So, I took it upon myself to face the challenges of our people that I felt were terrible, either because of the Civil War, as most of them have lost the psychological strength to put the Igbo nation forward. I came out to plan for Njiko Igbo with other well-meaning individuals, and we were able to form it. There is nothing I want to do politically that I cannot do. I am relevant any day.
Whoever tells you that I am not relevant is not in his or her right senses! I think at any point in time in Nigeria’s politics, I am relevant. There are six indices of power in any nation and I possess those six indices of power. Whoever says I want to launder my image is missing the point; rather, people have sympathy for me for all that I suffered within six months to the (2011) elections in the process of making two governors and they left. So, there is nothing bad about all that; rather, it is the reality of a great circumstance. I accept it as the will of God, which no man can change!
Yet, many people see you as a master strategist; hence, your every move gets different interpretation. Is Njiko Igbo really a platform to drive the aspiration of Igbo to produce Nigeria’s president or something else?
That is exactly what I have told you: Njiko Igbo is the driving force to mend fences among Igbo politicians and to move the Igbo nation to be able to produce a president. All other areas have produced Nigeria’s presidents; after 42 years of the Civil War, I think we need to be pitied. In northern Nigeria, if a minister causes trouble in Bornu, they will go and burn shops belonging to Nd’Igbo. If any two people that are not even Igbo exchange hot words/quarrel with the Federal Government, they will go and burn shops of our people. If anybody talks about the Quran in an annoying way, Igbo shops and residences are burnt. So, Igbo have made huge sacrifice for this nation in terms of human and material costs. Not even the Civil War had the same cost on our people as what we experience in peacetime. Honestly, I believe that the sacrifice Nd’Igbo made and are still making are enormous. It is only in Igbo land that you still see multiple roadblocks, police checkpoints where they extort money from people. If these people are doing these things to safeguard Nd’Igbo, it would be different but you remember that if there were a riot in Pakistan, Muslims versus Muslims, the repercussions would be on Igbo in northern Nigeria. If there were any problem in Lagos that does not concern Igbo people, but has to do with people of northern Nigeria, the repercussions would be to kill Igbo and burn down their shops.
Do we now have to regret the fact that our people traveled out to trade in other parts? No, we cannot because we remain one Nigeria. What we are saying is that people should stop harassing Nd’Igbo and burning down their goods wherever they choose to live. This is part of what Njiko Igbo is fighting against. We want a level playing field for every Igbo and non-Igbo staying anywhere. Since our elders cannot speak out against these injustices, we have to do so. That is why we called ourselves together to ask collectively what our generation could tell our children. Whether we are sleeping or walking along the streets, we are thinking about Njiko Igbo. This is the most auspicious time to do what we are doing. I think the Nigerian polity should allow us to participate in the leadership of a country we are part of.
So, you won’t jettison the idea of Njiko Igbo the way you abandoned PPA for the PDP…
Never! Njiko Igbo has come to stay. Our time will be spent. I don’t have any position in the PDP; I am not a minister or governor or party official. So, I am going to spend 95 percent of my time on Njiko Igbo, traveling around the world, preaching peace for Nd’Igbo and working for Njiko Igbo. What is the driving force of Njiko Igbo? There are a lot of acrimonies, a lot of disagreements, a lot of problems, misunderstanding, suspicion; and a lot of envy and greed among Igbo leaders. Njiko Igbo has come out quickly to talk to some of them and amend these problems surrounding us and move the Igbo nation forward. There is no nationality that has not got its own problems.
There is a big problem in the Hausa domain; relatively, the Yoruba have done very well and I think Njiko is just to serve as the political organisation of Igbo people since our umbrella organization, Ohanaeze, cannot modify these political quarrels — they are a socio-cultural group; so, I should not blame them — they cannot do politics. We are not pretending about it; our sole aim is to fight until one of our own would be in Aso Rock. That is a major task before us. We are getting the traders and everybody, even those in the Diaspora connected. We are more faithful about this organisation; it is not such an organisation you are expected to pay anybody to join. You can see the quality of people we have, Senators Emma Onwe and Anyanwu and the rest; who are leading the group. So, you find out that we are the driving force for the political emancipation of our people. What is the fundamental difference between Njiko Igbo, Ohanaeze and Aka Ikenga?
Aka Ikenga is also a group of Igbo people; though they have done very well, they are not politically strong enough to move the cause of our people. The difference between these three groups, in a nutshell, is that Ohanaeze is the apex body; Aka Ikenga is made up of young men mainly in Lagos, but Njiko Igbo is made up of Igbo all over the world. All Igbo in their hearts want one of their own to be president.
And that is the difference; we are not interested in anything other than that we should be given our right to produce Nigeria’s president. Njiko Igbo is politically motivated. We are saying a Nigerian of Igbo extraction should be president. We have shown commitment to other zones; we have helped Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan to be presidents. In the same token, we also helped MKO Abiola and he won. When Shonekan was interim leader, we helped him a lot to stabilise the government. Therefore, we are appealing and asking other parts of Nigeria to help us redefine Nigeria and render the qualitative leadership we need. We will stop at nothing to give qualitative leadership that will ameliorate the sufferings of the people. We know the people and Igbo know how to solve the problems of the people because everywhere you go, from Sahara desert to the Atlantic Ocean, you meet Igbo.
I am not saying that Igbo would do it alone; we are going to work with the best brains available to redefine Nigeria. Most people believe the Igbo are not united politically; can they ever be united? What manner of advice can you give to them? You will see a greater unity of Igbo in the next one and a half years. We have worked for this unity; we are not only saying it is our turn to be president, but also that we are competent. We would redefine Nigeria with good leadership, to show that we can fight insecurity, corruption and the infrastructure decay you see today. We can do it; the Igbo can! It must not be me; I am not talking about myself but any other Igbo. Igbo should stop being gullible; they can say no to food. In many occasions, both federal and state governments had made overtures to me on things that I consider as nothing. Nobody can buy me with money; my needs for money are limited.
I have the guts to say no even when I am starving. I used to look at some Abians and Igbo people as not being too exposed. If they are exposed, they should know that if I needed money as a governor, I should have been with Obasanjo, supporting his every deed. He controlled the NNPC where most of my businesses are. Igbo don’t need a strong man; what we need is a strong institution with a courageous man to build Nigeria. The INEC is broken down; the Police are down; EFCC is down; all the institutions that stimulate democracy are down. There must be a stimulus package for democracy to work, and without those institutions, democracy cannot work.
How George Bush ‘Stopped’ Obasanjo From Third Term
What was/were you disagreement(s) with former President Obasanjo?
Mind you, I never quarreled with President Obasanjo because I wanted quarrels; rather, I quarreled on issues that affected the (Enugu-Port Harcourt) expressway, the Igbo people, and on the Onitsha-Owerri expressway.
I quarreled with him on issues that bordered on the dry port he promised and never did. In fact, I quarreled on issues concerning my people. And that was part of the reason I was elected to represent them. When I finished representing them, I stopped. When people asked why I was no longer talking, I asked them why I should talk, when my tenure as their representative had elapsed? I had nothing more to talk. When they elected me, I was talking about security, education, health; I was pushing the Federal Government to do what they are supposed to do. That is the essence of democracy. When I was governor, the president (Obasanjo) did not vote for me, but I voted for him; so, I had to tell him what I wanted or what the people of Abia or Igbo people wanted. I have a lot respect for the person of President Obasanjo and his office then; I still love and respect him as a statesman.
He loves this country but he applied a different way to different people. That was my quarrel. I remember I told (former) President George Bush Jnr. that Obasanjo wanted to run for a third term in office. And President Bush confirmed my discussion with him. That made Obasanjo to hate me with a passion. I can tell you it was, indeed, President Bush Jnr. that helped save our democracy; people don’t know that. When Obasanjo, as the then AU (African Union) chairman, after the meeting in Sudan, went to brief President Bush, he wanted to test the waters with the AU chairmanship and then become third-time president. The union, led by President Thabo Mbeki, said no. So, when I told President Bush that this man was looking for third term against the (provision of the) constitution, he told Obasanjo that ‘if you try it, I will come after you like my father came after Noriega,’ That was also part of the cause of my major rift with Obasanjo. Why should I allow him to do a third term when people like us have not been president? We fought for democracy; staked our live.
Culled from The Sun