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Obasanjo used me as a Puppet- Fayose

The Governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose, said the aborted third term agenda of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was real.


The Nation reports that Fayose said the principal officers of the National Assembly got N100 million each in 2006, while the rest of the lawmakers were paid N50 million per head.
He alleged that the former President knelt down for the late Libyan leader, Mouamar Gaddafi, to seek his backing for third term.
He also said Obasanjo knew about the ill-health of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua before he was elected as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007.
It was gathered that Fayose said: “Yes it is true. The people I am going to mention here, two of the key players are now dead. That position of Presidential Selection Committee that I headed was set up by all PDP governors. Initially, they wanted Dr. Olusegun Agagu. Then, the majority insisted that they wanted Fayose.
“So, since the majority wanted me, Baba (Olusegun Obasanjo) invited me to Ota and encouraged me to go ahead. I remember the committee was made up of Governors Danjuma Goje, Ahmed Makarfi, Bukola Saraki, James lbori, me and one other person who I cannot remember now. I want to tell you that, at some point, the majority of the committee was more disposed to having Makarfi as the presidential nominee. I and one other person were the only dissenters
“So, as a loyal Obasanjo boy then, I went to Obasanjo then and told that this committee that was set up, everybody seemed to prefer Makarfi except me and one other person and we were in the minority.
“Five out of seven governors wanted Makarfi. Then Obasanjo pointedly told me that Markafi was too smart and would not be easily controlled by him and, therefore, I must ensure that Makarfi did not emerge the presidential candidate. He mandated me to be briefing him often about the way things were going.
“He confided in me that whether it was Makarfi or anybody that he was not prepared to leave. At that time, the third term agenda had begun to unfold in Abuja. I can tell you that l was co-opted into the secret committee that was behind it. In that body, we had had this senator from Plateau, Ibrahim Mantu, Senator Andy Uba and many others. We were the key players. Let me tell you the truth: at that time, I did not have a choice. l was just a young man without experience.
“The Senate meeting started at about 11:00 a.m. in the morning and by 1:00 p.m. each senator was asked to stand up and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ before live television coverage whether they supported third term or not, and the majority had their way. So Obasanjo’s dream of third term was shut down. Thereafter, he called a national meeting of PDP, termed reconciliation meeting and denied that he asked or worked for third term.
“Meanwhile, before that time, N50 million was given to every federal lawmaker to support third term. The majority collected the money and still voted against third term. Principal Officers got N100 million each. Where did that huge sum of money come from?”
Fayose opened up on the politics behind the choice of the late President Yar’Adua as a presidential candidate of PDP.
He said the current Chairman of the PDP; Sen. Ahmed Makarfi was sidelined in favour of Yar’Adua.
He added: “Let me now come to the Yar’Adua issue. Obasanjo now called me and said, ‘Now that third term has failed, you should go ahead with the PDP committee. And in order for me to check those rooting for Markafi, I should go and sound Yar’Adua out on the ticket.
"He told me, ‘Don’t tell him I asked you to come. You psyche him up’. So, l met Yar’Adua in his lodge in Katsina. I met Yar’Adua in the company of Yakubu Tanimu (who became his influential chief economic adviser) and his police orderly.
“I remember that while our interaction lasted, the orderly knelt down close to Yar’Adua. I acted as directed by Obasanjo, but the man told me expressly that he was not well enough to aspire to be Nigerian president; that the job would be too rigorous for him.
“After much persuasion, he then told me the only condition under which he might consider running was if all stakeholders would sign up and reach an agreement to pick him as the consensus candidate because he did not want any hassles.
“I remember, before then, Yar’Adua was hardly attending Council of State meetings because of his health. So, l went to tell Baba what Yar’Adua told me. On the issue of Yar’Adua’s ill-health. I remember Obasanjo told me, ‘Don’t worry about his sickness; government money dey to manage his ill-health.’ Baba told me to go and put the outcome of my interaction with Yar’Adua in writing.
“Then Masari became the first loser; because, until then, Bello Masari as the Speaker of House of Reps was very loyal to Baba and did all the dirty jobs Baba wanted him to do, with the promise that he would be made the next Katsina governor after Yar’Adua.
“But once Yar’Adua became anointed as PDP candidate, he preferred Shema to be his successor. That was one of the conditions he listed. That was how a wedge came between Yar’Adua and Masari.
“That was the genesis of the rift between Shema and Masari up until today. Shema was then the deputy national chairman of PDP. That was how Masari defected to CPC. What I am trying to say is that Obasanjo engineered all the bitterness that exists in Katsina politics today.
“All the confusion in Nigeria today was caused by Obasanjo in his scheming to install a stooge, a weakling in power so that he would continue to be relevant.”
Fayose also spoke on how Obasanjo went on his knees to beg Gaddafi to seek the late dictator’s support for the third term plot.
He said: “It was such a pathetic scenario, so shameful. Obasanjo was speaking rapidly like a parrot. I was shocked beyond words. I never knew Obasanjo would be that humble.
“He was on one knee till the end of the conversation. Gaddafi kept quiet and was just watching Obasanjo. When Obasanjo stopped rambling, Gaddafi said, ‘Have you finished? Just know that I will not attend that meeting. I have other engagements.”
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