By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – A new book, ‘Nigerian Fourth Republic: Movers and Shakers’ has revealed the role played by a former national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Chief Tony Anenih in the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as vice president at the nation’s return to democracy in 1999.
In a pre-launch statement made available to Vanguard Monday in Abuja, the author, Dr Tanu Ejenavwo also revealed “how former President Olusegun Obasanjo was conscripted into the 1999 presidential race by the military cabal and northern elders, and supported to win the January 1999 presidential election. It also reveals how Ogbonnaya Onu was traded-off by his party, the All People’s Party, APP, for Olu Falae, another Southwest candidate based on the contrived accord of the North to placate the southwest for the annulled 12 June 1993 presidential election presumably won by Bashorun MKO Abiola”.
On Atiku, the author said the then national chairman of the PDP, Chief Solomon Lar had already pencilled down Abubakar Rimi as Obasanjo’s running mate, but was overturned at the last minute by Mr Anenih who was sobriquet was then known as ‘Mr fix it’.
“The underlying reasons that influenced the choice of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president by Obasanjo and how Goodluck Jonathan was picked as running mate, considering the role played by Chief Edwin Clark and Dr. Olusola Saraki, the then chairman of Northern Union, was particularised in the book. The book also narrates how President Muhammadu Buhari was reluctantly dragged into politics as the lion-hearted man to confront Obasanjo, who was then seen to have reneged on the agreement to stay one-tenure. So also was the serial failed attempts by Buhari to grab power and how he was convinced to re-contest for the presidency after he had vowed never to contest again.
“The book which is written in biographical context, also reserved pages for former vice-presidents, in which the author gave narratives on how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was suggested by Chief Tony Anenih, after the then People Democratic Party, PDP, chairman Solomon Lar had penciled down Abubakar Rimi for the position of vice-president. It also detailed how Obasanjo military background led him to try subjugate all organs of government, thereby provoking the leadership crisis that rubbed off on the National Assembly and pitched him against Atiku. The factors that influenced the thrust up of Architect Namadi Sambo and Profession Yemi Osinbajo were graphically accounted for”, the author said in the statement.
According Dr. Ejenavwo, “The work is met to enhance studies in politics, governance and leadership. It actually shows the political dynamics of the country and at sub-national level, where the political cultures are intrinsically diverse. The contributions of each of the political actors to national development and the results of their leadership styles are quite exposed for the electors and for posterity.”