Chief Charles Idahosa of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that Former President Olusegun Obasanjo begged Atiku Abubakar to allow him to contest for a second term in office in 2003.
A former commissioner for Information and Orientation in Edo State, Chief Charles Idahosa has claimed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo knelt before his then Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar in 2003 to beg for him for a second term in office.
Chief Idahosa who also served as Governor Oshiomole‘s Special Adviser on Political Matters in Edo State disclosed this while passing comments on the defection of Atiku from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC in the likelihood of his Presidential ambitions.
Weeks ago, Atiku Abubakar announced his decision to join the PDP.
In an Interview with Independent, Idahosa said: “Atiku was a protégé of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. He has a political machinery that cuts across the country.
“When Yar’Adua was in prison during the Abacha era, he confided in some of his lieutenants that in case he dies in prison, they should ensure they draft in Olusegun Obasanjo in order to compensate the South West for what happened to the late MKO Abiola.
“Yar’Adua’s key man then was Atiku so Obasanjo was forced to work with him. When Obasanjo was contesting as president, he had no money. Atiku provided all the funds.
“I know all this because I was part and parcel of the whole thing. Having agreed on Obasanjo, they needed people to execute the project. It was Atiku that called Chief Anthony Anenih to lead the campaign of Obasanjo.
“I was the first person Chief Anenih took from Benin in 1998. We usually meet in one very popular hotel in Abuja. That was where the whole plans started before we went to Jos for the convention.
“Atiku had already won election as governor of Adamawa state because that was his ambition then. But Obasanjo insisted that he wanted him as his running mate so he contested as running mate to Obasanjo despite his position as the governor-elect of Adamawa state. According to sources available to us that time, Obasanjo said he will do a single term but after that, he decided to go for second term.
“I was physically present at Rivers state Governor’s Lodge when the heat became too much and Obasanjo in the presence of all of us knelt down in front of Atiku begging him to allow him do a second term.
“I think that was how Atiku missed the opportunity by agreeing to Obasanjo’s plea. His thought was that at least, if Obasanjo completes his second term, he will hand over to him but you all know the story of Third Term Agenda and that was how they fell apart.
“Atiku had the best opportunity to become president in 2003 and lost it. He had the support of PDP governors then. Now, in the process of jumping from one place to another to realise his ambition, he has lost woefully.”