Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has alleged that former President, Olusegun Obasanjo was aware of the health issues of his successor, the late Umaru Yar’Adua before the 2007 presidential election.
Fayose claimed that Obasanjo insisted on Yar’Adua despite his health challenge because he wanted a stooge he can control as President.
The Ekiti State Governor was the head of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s National Committee, which searched for the party’s presidential candidate in the 2007 election.
Speaking with The Interview Magazine, Fayose said Yar’Adua told him that he was not healthy enough to become president.
The governor said most members of the committee, who were governors at the time, wanted ex-Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi as the party’s presidential candidate.
Fayose said, “As a loyal Obasanjo boy then, I went to Obasanjo and told him that this committee that was set up, everybody seemed to prefer Makarfi except me and one other person and we were in the minority.
“Five out of seven governors wanted Makarfi. Then Obasanjo pointedly told me that Makarfi was too smart and would not be easily controlled by him.”
The governor claimed that after Obasanjo’s alleged third term ambition failed, the ex-President asked him to go and “sound Yar’Adua out on the ticket.”
Quoting the firmer President, Fayose said, “Don’t tell him I asked you to come. You just psyche him up.”
Speaking further, Fayose said,
“I acted as directed by Obasanjo, but the man told me expressly that he was not well enough to aspire to be Nigeria’s president, that the job would be too rigorous for him.
“After much persuasion, he then told me the only condition under which he might consider running was if all stakeholders would sign up and reach an agreement to pick him as the consensus candidate because he did not want any hassle.
“I went to tell Baba (Obasanjo) what Yar’Adua told me. On the issue of Yar’Adua’s ill health, I remember Obasanjo told me, ‘Don’t worry about his sickness; government money dey to manage his ill health.”’