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God punish me if I imposed Yar’Adua – Obasanjo

Lagosians protesting the absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua

The “Enough is Enough rally “held yesterday in Lagos.

By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— FOLLOWING the controversy surrounding the handing over to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan in a constitutional manner by President Umaru Yar’Adua, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, urged Yar’Adua to tread the path of honour by carrying out what was expected of him. He however did not state what was expected .

Obasanjo who said God should punish him if he picked Yar’Adua as the nation’s President knowing well that he was not going to perform, stressed that as a President who was leaving, it was not going to augur well for the country to have a southern president succeeding him hence the choice of Yar’Adua as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

According to Obasanjo, “If you take up an appointment, a job, elected, appointed, whatever it is and then your health starts failing and you will not be able to deliver to satisfy yourself and satisfy the people who you are supposed to serve, then there is a path of honour you are supposed to take. There is a path of honour and morality and if you don’t know that then you don’t know anything.”

Obasanjo who was responding to a question on why he gave Nigeria a sick President at the seventh Annual Trust Dialogue explained that prior to the emergence of the ailing president, three qualities were set out for who must be his  successor. He gave them as enough intellectual capacity, sufficient personal integrity and enough broad mindedness to manage the affairs of Nigeria and the president had them.

The former President who was chairman of the dialogue at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, explained how Yar’Adua emerged. He said: “When in  the year 2006, I was convinced that ideally a southerner succeeding me will not augur well for Nigeria, you may agree with that, or you may not agree.

Now I was looking for somebody who will succeed me who has three important qualities: ‘One, he has enough intellectual capacity to run the affairs of this nation; two, he has sufficient personal integrity to run the affairs of this country; three, he is sufficiently broad minded enough, politically, religiously, socially what ever to manage the affairs of this country. These three were important and very primary to me.’

Umaru had kidney problem

“Then Umaru Yar’Adua who is now president, I knew he had kidney problem and was under dialysis. Sometimes earlier he had gone abroad for almost six months when he was governor of Katsina. When the idea was for him to contest I asked him and he gave me a medical report.

The medical report showed that he had turned off dialysis. I asked experts who then told me that if you are on dialysis and you are no longer on dialysis, it means you have had a successful kidney transplant and that you can live for as long as you may wish to live.

“Now that was the situation before we went campaigning and you remember at one stage of the campaigns, it was intense, he was run  down. The chairman of our party then, Ahmadu Ali, was also run down. Ahmadu Ali didn’t go abroad for check up but he went abroad for checkup and the rumour was that he was dead.

And I phoned him and I put the telephone on speaker and said ‘Umaru are you dead?’ and you heard his voice live and clear and he came back and continued the campaign. That was the true situation.

“And Umaru, to the best of my knowledge wasn’t on dialysis after that. When the issue of dialysis came he was well into his first year which must mean one thing that the kidney transplant was failing. If that is the case, that is an emergency situation, you cannot put the blame on him. So for people to say that I, Olusegun Obasanjo, deliberately picked somebody who is an invalid, I think it is the height of insult.

How can I who has given so much to this country, both in peace and in war give the running of this country to somebody who will run it down? If you have fear of God you will not make that statement.”

Speaking further, he said, “On constitutional crisis or no constitutional crisis, I will not comment. What I needed to say on that I have said as chairman of my (PDP) Board of Trustees last week. But what I need to say is the fact that nobody picked Yar’Adua so that he will not perform. If I did that God will punish me…yes, because I love this country so much that there is no way I can do that.”

Answering question on if he had the moral justification to ask the management of Media Trust to ask for discount from Transcorp because of power failure in the hall of the event when Senator Kofo Bucknor_Akerele was speaking for several minutes, Obasanjo explained that when his government came on board, it met only 1,400 megawatts contrary to the popular belief that the capacity of power generation was 6000 megawatts.

He revealed that lack of maintenance and repair was the major problem working against power generation in the country, even as he said that his government left behind 4,000 megawatts of electricity generation.
Earlier, Chief Obasanjo who disclosed that he loves women, stressed that if people want to embarrass him, they would say he loves women, adding, “I like women, I love women because I am a product of a woman.

My mother happens to be a woman, I have a sister who happens to be a woman, I have children who happen to be women, I not only like them, I love them. Today, we are here to celebrate women, I like them, I adore, I love all of them.”

According to him, if women are empowered in all its ramifications, the continent as well as Nigeria’s liberation would be achieved.

See more photos on the “Enough  is Enough” Mass Rally held yesterday in Lagos on  Vanguard community http://community.vanguardngr.com/photo/albums/enough-is-enough-rally


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