Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has revealed what really transpired between him and Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. The former vice president said Obasanjo had no plan to vacate the seat.Atiku says if left to himself, Obasanjo would have turned Nigerians into slaves and would have ruled forever.
The former vice president has insisted that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo was pushing to be a lifetime presidency and not just a third term in office, as he would have many believe.
Atiku said this in an interview with a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Zero Tolerance.
According to The Punch, the former vice-president said, initially, it was assumed that the plan was to modify the constitution so that Obasanjo could serve a third, four-year term as president.
He, however, said the aspect of tenure limitation was carefully removed so that Obasanjo could be President for life.
When asked why he and Obasanjo were at loggerheads towards the end of their tenure, he 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’.”
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.
“Then he said
‘sir, you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly without them going to TV stations to apologise to you’ and I said, ‘your case is different because first of all, I helped to found the EFCC’.
“I was instrumental to your appointment, so, I believe I have contributed to your development and this is how you are paying me back. In any case, he kept on apologising and I said, ‘okay, no problem. That closed the chapter’.”
The former vice-president confirmed that he did transfer money to the US but it was not illegal. He added,
“It was an allegation which was not proved. It was my legitimate money which I transferred to the US; there was nothing (wrong) about it.
More so, I was not indicted in that report. They only said suspicious funds but I proved before the Senate committee that they were not suspicious.”