Former Senate President Ken Nnamani claims that former President Olusegun Obasanjo hushed everyone in order for late Umaru Musa Yar’adua to win the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential nomination in 2007.
In his latest book, ‘Standing Strong: Legislative Reforms, Third Term, and Other Issues of the Fifth Senate,’ Nnamani makes the argument.
Former Rivers state governor Peter Odili was “the best prepared of the lot for the ticket,” according to him, but there was a “skeleton in his cupboard, about the EFCC and certain documents,” he said.
Obasanjo also turned down Ahmed Makarfi, the former governor of Kaduna state, because he “was too intelligent to be managed,” according to him.
“However, Governors Ahmed Markarfi of Kaduna State and Abdullahi Adamu of Nasarawa stood out among those that ran for the [PDP presidential] ticket. Governor Markarfi is a great accountant, and the North West State of Kaduna has a reputation for being a gentleman, and he was the PDP presidential candidate of many of his fellow governors.
“In a 2017 interview with Interview Magazine, Chief Ayo Fayose, the Governor of Ekiti State during his third term, said: Markarfi was revealed to be the favored candidate of a presidential committee tasked with finding a suitable flagbearer for the party. Obasanjo rejected Markarfi’s nomination because he believed the governor was too intelligent to be controlled, according to Fayose, who was chairman of that presidential committee.
“In the end, the field of candidates was reduced to 12 individuals who ran for the party’s nomination. Governor Yar’Adua was among them. Late Admiral Mile Akhigbe (Rtd), Chief Rochas Okorocha, General Aliyu Gusau (Rtd), Professor Jerry Gana, General Buba Marwa (Rtd), Navy Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Rtd), Chief Albert Horsfall, Mrs Sarah Jubril, Chief Ralph Uwechue, Andreas Sawa, and General Mamman Kontagora (Rtd). None of the usual front-runners for the ticket were listed on the card. Yar’Adua was proclaimed the winner after receiving 3,024 votes out of a total of 4,101 voles. Finally, the Presidency’s will was carried out, as all those who stood a chance knew.Chance had either been hushed or ejected from the gathering.
“As I stood in Eagle Square that day, watching the PDP presidential primaries for the 2007 elections, the evidence of an inverted and compromised democracy was all too evident.” The party members — candidates and delegates – who made their way to the arena to vote were simply going through the motions to provide the appearance of democracy in action. Anyone who had been following the events of recent weeks knew that the entire process in Eagle Square that day was a fake because the election result had been rigged.predetermined. All major candidates for that election had been chased out of the race or persuaded to drop out. President Obasanjo’s anointed was Governor Yar’Adua.”