28th November, 2011
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has advised former President Obasanjo to defend himself against the allegation of lobbying the former George Bush administration to support his unpopular third term ambition in 2006 which was contained in the recently published memoirs of former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
Obasanjo told the National Mirror newspaper that his former deputy destroyed his own chance of succeeding him in 2007.
Also Obasanjo said in the interview that Atiku is unreliable and that he lacks the vision, orientation and experience to step into his shoes.Â
Describing the allegation as diversionary in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja, the former Vice President said he was unbelievably shocked by the distortion of truth by Obasanjo who is supposed to speak honestly like a statesman.Â
The former US Secretary of State was quoted on page 638 of her memoir titled â€œNo Higher Honourâ€ as saying â€œIn 2006 when President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria sidled up to President Bush and suggested that he (Obasanjo) might change the constitution so that he could serve a third term, President Bush told him not to do it.â€
In Bushâ€™s words â€œYou have served your country well. Now turn over power and become a statesman.â€
Reacting to these allegations, however, the former Vice President said his problems with Obasanjo had nothing to do with these charges.
Instead, Atiku recalled that his opposition to Obasanjoâ€™s third term ambition was the beginning of his travails.
Atiku maintained that Obasanjo had no succession plan from day one, and that he wanted to be Nigeriaâ€™s Robert Mugabe.
The former Vice President also accused Obasanjo of handing over power to the late President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua reluctantly as a face-saving measure following the collapse of his third term ambition on the floor of the Senate on May 16th 2006.
The Turaki Adamawa explained that he opposed tenure elongation of Obasanjo on the grounds that the constitution should not be amended for the sake of granting one manâ€™s life term ambition.