Anenih Reveals How He Made It Impossible For Atiku To Succeed Obasanjo
BEVERLY HILLS, November 27, (THEWILL) – A former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, said he prevented ex-Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, from succeeding former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, claiming that he was the one who made Atiku become Vice President in 1999.
The Minister of Works and Housing explained why and how he did this in his book titled: 'My Life and Nigerian Politics,' which was presented in Abuja on Saturday .
He explained that Atiku became too ambitious during the build-up to the 2003 presidential election in which Obasanjo was seeking a second term, adding that the former saw himself as more qualified for the plum job than his principal.
Anenih said, “As a result of my preparations for Chief Obasanjo's second tenure, I stepped on the toes of many of those who did not want him to seek a second term.
“These are the people I can now refer to as members of the 'G3'. These were General Ibrahim Babangida, (ex-) Vice- President Atiku Abubakar and the (ex-) National Security Adviser, General Aliu Gwarzo.
“There was no other way I could have offended the vice-president other than that I prevented him from being PDP's presidential candidate in the 2003 presidential election. He erroneously believed that he was the only politician at the Villa and that he was better qualified than the President. I was well ahead of him in all his plans to prevent Chief Obasanjo from running (for re-election).”
The former PDP BoT Chairman noted that after blocking Abubakar, the former vice-president also ensured that he (Anenih) lost his position in Obasanjo's cabinet.
He claimed that he was the one who made Atiku second-in-command in 1999, disclosing that after the PDP presidential primary of 1998, the then Chairman of the party, Solomon Lar, recommended three northerners to be Obasanjo's running mate.
The three nominees were Prof. Jerry Ghana, Abubakar Rimi and Adamu Ciroma, even as Lar was said to have told Obasanjo that Rimi was his preferred candidate but Obasanjo was not convinced.
The book narrated that Anenih then advised Obasanjo to pick Atiku, who had just won the governorship election in Adamawa State and was waiting to be sworn in.
A part of it reads, “I asked Obasanjo whether he would want a vice-president that would give him absolute confidence and allow him to sleep with his two eyes closed or whether he would want a vice-president he did not trust.
“He answered that he would like to sleep with his two eyes closed. It was at this point that I asked him: 'What about Atiku?' Chief Obasanjo's answer was that Atiku had just won his governorship election and the law might not allow him to come on board as his running mate.
“We both decided to get a lawyer to advise us and Barrister Alimi Rasaq of Kwara State was sent for. He advised us that there was nothing in the constitution that prevented Atiku from being his running mate; especially as Atiku had not been sworn in.”