By Danlami Nmodu
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is suddenly in the eye of the storm on the heels of reports in the media this week that he has anointed the Lamido/Amaechi presidential ticket for 2015. According to the story, he believes power should shift to the North contrary to the posturing of President Goodluck Jonathan’s supporters who feel the incumbent has a right to stay beyond 2015.
Though Obasanjo has swiftly denied the report through his media aide, who said there was no iota of truth to the speculation, Newsdiaryonline.com learnt that politicians who have been wondering why OBJ suddenly resigned from his PDP BOT chairmanship have suddenly woken up from their slumber.Many are convinced that indeed the former president is still interested in who becomes the next president.Some insiders insist now that Obasanjo has not given up on his desire to have his way one way or another after his third term plot was scuttled.
Some PDP insiders have in the face of this new anointment controversy revealed what they had hitherto held on to as a party secret. According to one of them , Obasanjo actually did not want to quit after his 2nd term as President.That was why he selected the very sick Umaru Yar’Adua as the PDP presidential candidate.There was a more intriguing calculation .
According to a top PDP insider, OBJ’ s real reason for Choosing YarAdua has hitherto been unknown to most Nigerians .A source in the party who revealed the real reason to Newsdiaryonline.com said that actually OBJ had all the medical records of YarAdua at his disposal and it seemed apparent from the medical records that YarAdua might not live beyond two or three months.
So Obasanjo chose YarAdua deliberately expecting a stalemate after the primaries because the calculation was that YarAdua might not even live to stand for election.If YarAdua had died, then Obasanjo would have had the opportunity to stay on account of the stalemate created by the death of the Presidential candidate of one of the parties.He anointed YarAdua for selfish reason, a source said.
PDP insiders added the hopes of Obasanjo and his real insiders were raised when there was that rumour of YarAdua’s death after he was rushed abroad for medical attention in the middle of the presidential campaign.According to one of the insiders , the eventual election of Umaru YarAdua as president was actually contrary to the calculations of Obasanjo .
The former President’s candidate ,if he must quit was Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers state.After YarAdua emerged , he tried to make Odili the running mate .That move was frustrated by Nuhu Ribadu then Chairman of EFCC and Nasir El Rufai,FCT ministerat that time .It was their opposition to Odili that paved way for the emergence of Jonathan as YarAdua’s running mate.The rest is history.
President Obasanjo has however in recent times denied seeking third term in office.But this is contrary assertion by Condi Rice, former US Secretary of State who revealed that the former President actually broached the issue with US president Bush.
This latest controversy over his alleged endorsement of Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Rotimi Amaechi of River State – which he has denied – is serving as a telling reminder to some party insiders that the ex president still wants to have a vice grip on the party and the polity against all odds.
Though OBJ has has clearly denied these latest reports, there are clear hints that many will be more alert henceforth as the ex president’s moves are bound to come under intense scrutiny by politicians. And even perhaps by Jonathan and his men who may not wish to be taken by surprise by OBJ henceforth.