Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he picked the late President Musa Yar’Adua as his successor despite knowing he was ill.
He said he took the decision because medical advice showed that Yar’Adua, who had a kidney transplant, was fit to act as President.
Recall that Obasanjo twice led Nigeria; first as military head of state (1976-1979); and later as an elected civilian president (1999-2007).
Obasanjo’s deputy, Abubakar Atiku; and ex-Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili were among those who fought for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket.
The ex-general eventually settled for Yar’ Adua, who died in office on May 5, 2010 from what doctor termed acute pericarditis.
Palliatives: Kano distributes 457,000 bags of rice, maize to citizens
NIGERIA DAILY: Real Reason Zamfara Shut Down Cattle Markets
Speaking in an interview with TheCable, Obasanjo denied allegations he deliberately put up weak candidates for selfish interests.
“I set up a committee headed by Dr Olusegun Agagu, of blessed memory, to search for a successor. They considered many names and did an extensive assessment of all them. They made their recommendation. Umaru was top on the list.
“Their biggest argument in his favour was that he had integrity and would not steal. The issues concerning his health were raised and I gave his medical reports to an expert for an opinion. Umaru’s name was redacted so that the expert would not know who it was and why I was seeking his opinion.
“After assessing the reports, he said the patient appeared to have done a kidney transplant and if that was the case, there was nothing to worry about and he would be as healthy as any other person. That was it. All insinuations that I knew he was going to die and that was why I supported him to be president were false. This is the true story I have told you,” Obasanjo said.