BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT— FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, Monday, said he had no regret over his decision to stop Governor Rotimi Amaechi from contesting as the governorship flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the April 2007 general elections.
Obasanjo at the Ambassador Nne Krubo Model Secondary School, Ebubu community, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, before commissioning the institution, said he acted based on reports available to him then.
He said: “I believe I took a decision I believed was right. When I took it, I had no apology. I fast and pray to take decisions on important issues. When I have something that requires action, it must be taken, otherwise I am not a worthy leader. A report came on Amaechi which indicated that there were some issues and I said yes, there are some issues, going by the report.”
He said he was not happy with the court verdict which declared Amaechi winner of the election since he did not physically participate in the exercise.
“I found the judgment awkward in the sense that, how can a man who had not contested an election, was not voted for, be declared winner? I laugh about it, but kept quiet.”
He said the issues Amaechi had with his candidature were straightened by the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“He took it to the higher court and at the Supreme Court, he won and that was the end. As far as I am concerned, the issues have been straightened out.”
Obasanjo challenged those who are not satisfied with the apex court’s verdict to take their case to God.
While commending the governor for his achievements so far in the state, Obasanjo appealed to Amaechi not to blame his predecessor, former Governor Peter Odili, for his failure to emerge the PDP flag bearer in the April 2007 election, saying that he (Obasanjo) should be held responsible for that action.
“I phone Amaechi not to take anything against his predecessor. Hold me responsible for whatever decision taken against you, not your predecessor,” he said.
“When you invited me, many people said I should not come. They said for security. There is nothing more dangerous than fear. At my age what should I fear even if it is death?”
Turning to the governor, he said “If I die tomorrow, send a cow for my funeral. They told me that one road named after me was cancelled by you (Amaechi). Why should I come, they asked me? If anybody named anything after me, good luck to him. I am not working for Nigerians to name roads after me. I want my name to be in the minds and heart of people of the world, not necessarily on roads. If you invite me and I didn’t come because of the road that was cancelled, then I don’t deserve to be honoured, I will be petty,” he said.