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Obasanjo lied: Ex-American President Bush stopped his Third Term Bid

Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun ObasanjoFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo was neck deep in the ploy to get a third term in office, contrary to his latest posturing, one of his influential ex-ministers said yesterday.
The ex-president had said on Channels Television on Friday that he never “toyed with the idea of a third term” and that it was some members of the National Assembly that initiated the move to amend the constitution with a view to accommodating the plan.
He restated his boast that had he wanted a third term he would have “gone about it the way I should have gone about it and I would have got it.”
However, the ex-minister who does not want his name mentioned said the retired army general was in the thick of the plot.
And he was quick to add that in fairness, Obasanjo did not initiate it.
He also admitted that the agenda was funded with government resources and personal contributions from some highly-placed individuals.
“Definitely, the ex-President(who was my boss during the debate) cannot say he did not know what was going on,” he said.
“Baba said something that is partially true, he never initiated it. Although he did not initiate it, Obasanjo cannot pretend that he was not in the picture of the plot.
“So, I can tell you that Obasanjo wanted the third term tenure in a subtle way but the project failed. He was convinced by those behind the tenure elongation that it will work.
“Obasanjo is now denying the Third Term agenda because he did not confide in his inner circle or intellectuals in his administration.
Technocrats, like the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, ex-Vice-President of the World Bank, Oby Ezekwesili, ex-EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, ex-FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, ex-Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-Minister Frank Nweke and Ojo Maduekwe, were kept in the dark about the third term agenda.
“The agenda was funded with government money and cash from some businessmen from the private sector. The ex-President should be made to explain the sources of these funds. One of his foremost Special Advisers was giving out money for the project. Each Senator and member of the House of Representatives got N50m per head.
“Some even got as much as N100m instead of N50m. Nigerians should ask where the money came from.”
The ex-Minister gave an insight into how the agenda was conceived.
He said: “Three groups were behind it. They were the business group; Senators led by a former Deputy President of the Senate, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu; loyalist governors including the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua, James Ibori, Saminu Turaki and others.
“But a former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, the then President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani, anti-third term Senators and the media frustrated the agenda.”
The ex-Minister referred to a book written by ex-US Secretary of State, Ms Condoleezza Rice, on the involvement of Obasanjo in the third term agenda.
In her book, ‘No Higher Honour: A Memoir of My Years in Washington,’ Rice alleged that Obasanjo actually approached ex-President George Bush for his backing to alter Nigeria’s constitution for a Third Term slot in office.
Her words “In 2006, when President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria sidled up to the President(Bush) and suggested that he might change the constitution so that he could serve a third term, the President told him not to do it. ‘You have served your country well. Now turn over power and become a statesman,’ he said.
“After a public rebuke from United States and condemnation by the international community, the Nigerian Senate rejected the constitution amendment proposal that could have allowed Obasanjo a third term.
“The crest fallen Obasanjo was initially angry accusing Jendayi Fraser of undermining him in the press and with his own people. “I will never deal with her again,” he told the President.
“The President (Bush) responded, “Well, she is a person. But the main thing is that your country needs you to do the right thing.”
Culled from The Nation

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