Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has revealed that his former boss, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, wanted a lifetime presidency not just a third term in office as was wildly claimed.
Atiku, in an interview with a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said that contrary to what was initially assumed, the plan was to modify the constitution so that Obasanjo could serve a third, four-year term as President.
Obasanjo’s plan to actualise his lifetime presidency was however to carefully remove an aspect of tenure limitation so that he could be President for life, he said
On their famous altercation towards the end of their tenure, Atiku said:
“My offence was that I disagreed with him on the amendment of the constitution to remove tenure/term limits or what was popularly called the ‘third term agenda’.
“In fact, he sent the then Attorney-General and Prof. Jerry Gana to my office to bring the draft amendments to the constitution. After going through (them), I found out that tenure limits had been removed. In other words, he could be President for life.
“I then asked them that ‘if I send you to the President, can you deliver this message?’ They said yes. I said ‘go and tell him I will not support it and (I) will fight it’.”
Atiku said due to his disagreement with Obasanjo, the ex-president decided to tag him as a corrupt person.
The former vice-president said the then Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, accused him of corruption but later came to him to apologise.
He said, “When he came to ask me for forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you, Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now (have) realised that I am not corrupt.”
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