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Obasanjo desired Third Term, but would have still failed if … – Orji Kalu reveals

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By Chibuike Nwabuko

Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Claims by the former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo that he never harboured the intention to thwart Nation’s constitution inorder to elongate his tenure in office has been carpeted by the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

The Abia North Senator known to have played a leading role to derail the former President’s Third Term agenda described the Obasanjo’s recent statement where he claimed that he never wanted a third term as President as “fallacious” revealing that the ex President told him personally that he wanted to seek a third term in office.

Speaking during Wednesday’s Live News interview on TVC’s “Politics Tonight” , the former Abia Governor also dismissed Obasanjo’s claims that he (OBJ) would have succeeded to get the Third term.

According to Kalu , Obasanjo would have still failed if he attempted to forge ahead with his Third Term agenda disclosing that he (Kalu), Senators , some governors and world leaders had already been on ground to quash the agenda.

Giving more insight ,Kalu who was Governor within the same period with (1999-2007) Obasanjo narrated how Obasanjo told him of his plan to seek a third term in office as against the Nation’s constitution.

In his account, Kalu stated that on two occasions during his visits to the Presidential villa in 2006, Obasanjo mentioned how some current African Leaders were still in power even after he met them in 1976 when he became Military President and left in 1979.

According to Kalu Obasanjo cited examples of long term serving African Presidents such as ; Former President of Benin Republic Mathieu Kérékou; Late Togolese military President Gnassingbé Eyadéma; Late Libyan President, Muammar Muhammad – Gaddafi and so many others.

Kalu said he now realised that the former President desired to elongate his tenure in office, he however discouraged the Obasanjo to perish the idea stating that the constitution only allowed for two terms.

The Senate Chief Whip added that Obasanjo went as far seeking the intervention of African Presidents such as Former South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki to beckon the Nigerian Governors as at that period to support his Third Term plan.

On his part Kalu noted that he had informed former US President George Bush Jnr , Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and other world leaders who stood against former President Obasanjo.

On allegations that some Senators were given fifty million naira to support Obasanjo to get a third term in office.

Kalu said he didn’t know how many Senators were given money to back Obasanjo’s third-term ambition, however, the late Uche Chukwumerije, a Senator who was representing Abia North senatorial district when he was Governor showed him fifty million naira which was given to him to support Obasanjo’s third term bid. He also said Chukwumerije returned the money after showing it to him.

According to Kalu, the reason why he did not contest to become a Senator in 2007 after the end of his second tenure as Governor was that he wanted Chukwumerije to remain in the Senate as a form of appreciation for returning the money given to him.

In his words ;
“It’s a lie for President Obasanjo to tell Nigerians he never wanted a Third Term, Because I know at the Villa on two occasions he (President Obasanjo) told me that people that he left during his first tenure as President (1976 – 1979) were still in power , people like President Former President of Benin Mathieu Kérékou; now Late Togolese military President Gnassingbé Eyadéma; now Late Libyan President, Muammar Muhammad – Gaddafi and so many others.

“I used to be very close to former President Obasanjo and I chatted with him and he (Obasanjo) said Oh!!! “When I left they killed Nigerian Airways. I will never leave again until I die”. “And I told him that his tenure is only for two terms”, that was when I realised he wanted to seek a third term.

“And one day it came out of his mouth and I tried to school him and told him not to even imagine it , that we have only two terms as stipulated in the constitution after that I immediately informed former Presidents of South Africa ; Late President Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Mbeki is alive he can testify to what I am saying.

“It’s a lie for President Obasanjo to tell Nigerians he never wanted a Third Term, Because I know at the Villa on two occasions he (President Obasanjo) told me that people that he left during his first tenure as President (1976 – 1979) were still in power , people like President Former President of Benin Mathieu Kérékou; now Late Togolese military President Gnassingbé Eyadéma; now Late Libyan President, Muammar Muhammad – Gaddafi and so many others.

“I used to be very close to former President Obasanjo and I chatted with him and he said Oh!!! “When I left they killed Nigerian Airways. I will never leave again until I die”. “And I told him that his tenure is only for two terms”, that was when I realised he wanted to seek a third term.

“And one day it came out of his mouth and I tried to school him and told him not to even imagine it , that we have only two terms as stipulated in the constitution after that I immediately informed former Presidents of South Africa ; Late President Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Mbeki is alive he can testify to what I am saying.

“It is true that he gave Senators 50 million naira each because that is why I didn’t come to the Senate in 2007, because Senator Uche Chukwumerije (fmr Abia North Senator) supported us to fight Obasanjo’s third term. He told his children before he passed on that I relinquished the Senate for him because he helped us to derail third term.

“I don’t know any other Senator that collected but my own Senator representing me at Abia North, because he brought the money to me and said the money came from the Central Bank of Nigeria, he showed me the notes, snapped it and I told him to return it back to them.

” I told him I am younger, but you are a great man. 50 million means nothing given back to them and he returned it and I promised him that in 2007 he will go back to the Senate.

“When I went to visit him in the hospital, he told his children in attendance that I left the seat for him because he returned the money and helped us fight the third term.
“The man Obasanjo strongly wanted a third term but this country is stronger than any one man , this country is not a one man show , nobody can wake up one morning and squeeze Nigerians in a bottle”, and say he wants to take over this country, it’s impossible.

“I wasn’t the only Governor who stood against him , we had the now late Former Governor of Niger State, Abdulkadir Kure; fmr Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and so many other Governors who went against him and we paid a huge price.

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