Politics

Olusegun Obasanjo gives reason he supported Yar’Adua in 2007 despite ailment

OGUN, Nigeria – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that he was aware of the late President Musa Yar’Adua’s health challenges before supporting him to emerge presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007.

Obasanjo stated this on Sunday during a virtual interview with academic and historian, Toyin Falola.

The former president said his actions were based on advice from medical expert that the late president was medically fit.

Recall that barely 3 years after his victory at the poll in 2007, Yar’Adua died in office in May 2010 due to kidney failure.

Nigerians had several times accused the former president of always supporting weak candidates for selfish reasons.

Recall also that Obasanjo was a key supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 general election against the then incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Being a great opinion leader, Obasanjo was able to influence Buhari’s victory.

Buhari also took ill in 2016/2017 leaving his seat almost vacant for medical attention in London.

Obasanjo, however, stressed that he had no deliberate intension to support weak candidates as alleged by some Nigerians.

According to him: “Let me tell you the story of Umaru Yar’adua. I knew he was ill and before I put him forward, I asked for his medical report which he sent to me and I sent it to one of the best doctors of our time and a good friend of mine who died only last year –Professor Akinkugbe.

“I said look at it because it is confidential and he said to me that from this report, this man has had a kidney transplant and it is successful, he is no longer under dialysis.

“And if you have a kidney transplant and it is successful, it is as good as if you didn’t have a kidney transplant at all. I accepted that and Umaru Yar’adua contested within the party and he contested within the country and came up.

“Within a couple of days, he came back and reported that he was checked up and he was well”.

Obasanjo expressed hope that God would vindicate him and judge those accusing him of selfishness in his political engagements.

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