A former lawmaker representing the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe, has revealed what former President Olusegun Obasanjo did to her for begging him not to run for second term in office.
According to her, Obasanjo made sure that she did not return to the Senate for spearheading the move to remove him as President in 2003.
Speaking with Vanguard, the lawmaker who later defected to the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said she had to abandon her second term bid because plans were concluded to kick her out during PDP primaries.
She said, “I did not technically lose the primary in 2003. There was a lot of agitation from the National Assembly for the impeachment of President Olusegun Obasanjo at the time and we were the people pushing for it because we felt that he was unconstitutional in some of his actions. Every law, particularly the Appropriation Act, was always flouted.
“We worked hard to put things in place and he messed it up. Anytime he came to do his budget presentation or the state of the nation address, you will find that whatever he said never tallied with the budgeting.
“For instance, you can’t say your thrust is agriculture and then you are giving less than N100 billion to agriculture.
“You can’t tell me that your thrust is health and you are giving more money to defence. So, whatever you are saying in the state of the nation address must tally with what you have presented to us.
“So, largely, we now look at your address and say ‘this is where he wants to go and we will help him get there’.
“We tinker with the budget in a manner that will reflect the direction that he wants to go. But when it comes to implementation, he will now become selective as to which ministry he is going to give funds.
“If you don’t get money, you can’t do anything. We said, ‘no, if we continue the process this way, we are going to get to a point where some of us that want to see Nigeria do well will not achieve our aim.
“This second term he is seeking, let us ask him not to go’. So, we were called to a conference – all the appointees, ambassadors and legislators of the PDP – at the Yar’Adua Centre.
“Audu Ogbeh was Chairman of the party at the time, and they selected people to speak and people spoke. I came up and summarized what every speaker had said.
“I said we were all going round in circles. ‘Mr. Chairman, please let us beg Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo not to run for second term in the interest of the country and in the interest of the party’.
“There was a big round of applause. They forgot that he was seated there. I think somebody reminded me that he’s Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. I responded and said ‘I appreciate that you would rather call him chief.
“But for a man to say he is going to give up his life and serve his nation, I think he needs to be honoured and he served his nation and rose to the highest level you can give a man in the military, General.
“I think we should honour him by addressing him as General Olusegun Obasanjo. He is a chief in just a small community in Nigeria. But he has risen to the highest level as a General and Commander-in-Chief of the army. So, I repeat, I am talking about our President, General Olusegun Obasanjo’.
“Everybody clapped for me and then the Chairman asked me to go and sit down. I sat and that was the nail.
“So, when it came to the time for primaries, I said I won’t give them that pleasure of not seeking re-election, that I will go and that if people asked me in future why didn’t I go for a second term, I could tell them why.
“I’m a fighter, they will hit me but I won’t go out of the way. That is what happened. They just didn’t want me to return. At some point you moved.”