We frustrated Obasanjo’s third term plan – Bello Masari
Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has revealed how he teamed up with former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, to truncate third term agenda of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
Masari, who was Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007, said when it became evident that Obasanjo was not ready to leave office, he had to join others to defend the overall interest of the country, rather than promoting a selfish agenda.
The former Speaker said, “we started a journey from 2003 to 2007. Immediately after 2007 election, Ken Nnamani and myself, and some few others started meeting. PDP was so pervasive in the polity that it failed to reform. I know the role we played – not only about stopping the third term, but also to sustain the 2007 election, as bad as it was.
“I think Senator Ken Nnamani and myself deserve some recognition, as we not only killed the third term, but also saved the 2007 election. An international election monitoring team led by a senior official from a super power nation invited us to a meeting, with Ken Nnamani, some senators, and myself and told us there was no election in 2007.
“Indeed, the 2007 elections were flawed, and really there was no election. And I said, ‘yes there was no election.’ And they said, ‘why shouldn’t you move against the present government.’ They said we should use our chamber to make a declaration that there was no election. I said we would not do that because the constitution has not given us power to do that.
“I told them that we had stopped third term and if we took that road, the President could simply declare a state of emergency. On the 29th of May 2007 our mandate, as legislature, would expire; the President would be the only one the constitution has given the right to remain in office to conduct a fresh election. I said we had exercised our own power to kill the third term, but if Nigerians could organise themselves, the whole nation can call on the National Assembly and give us extra constitutional powers, which I knew was impossible to do.
“So, we really rejected that idea; even a motion was suggested that we should call for another election; but we said we would not do that, because we knew the consequences of condemning the election; it would throw the country into chaos. Those in government were not people who were friendly to us. But we made the sacrifice because of the nation. We knew that only God would protect us from them. We took that decision so that we didn’t throw the country into confusion. In fact, we even refused to table the matter at the House to debate it, whether there was an election or no election.”
On the election, he said: “Clearly, there was no election. In 2007, there was no election. People were only brought into office by the former president. This is because elections were conducted on ballot papers that were not numbered. Yes, they were just papers, which I can print here.”