- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Monday, 11 October 2010 06:18
- Written by Admin
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Former president General Olusegun Obasanjo is an erratic personality who cannot be relied upon, his former Finance Minister and director general of Obasanjo’s 2003 re-election campaign Malam Adamu Ciroma said in Abuja.
Speaking to the Voice of America, Ciroma who described Obasanjo as an old friend of his as well as a boss, hinged his conclusion about Obasanjo on two issues: his desperate Third Term agenda which was killed on the floor of the Senate through a motion moved by the late Senator Sule Yari Gandi in May 2006, as well as his being the brain behind President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2011 presidential bid.
Ciroma said his long association with the former president did little to make him understand and draw a conclusion on Obasanjo’s personality until after these two episodes.
Ciroma has been leading a group of Nigerians who are insisting of retaining the zoning arrangement of the PDP as contained in Article 7. 2(c) of the party’s constitution and agreed to by the party’s leaders in several meetings during the Obasanjo administration, including the expended caucus meeting in November 2002 which was attended by President Jonathan, then Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State.
Also, Chief Tony Anenih, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP had in 2002 written a strongly worded letter to the then National Chairman of the PDP Chief Audu Ogbe reminding him of the “sanctity” of the PDP zoning arrangement and the agreement on rotation between the North and the South.
In its yesterday’s edition, Sunday Trust quoted a letter written by the incumbent PDP chairman Okwesilieze Nwodo, while he was National Secretary of the PDP, informing the late Alhaji Mohamed Abubakar Rimi that he could not contest the party’s primary election held in Jos in 1999 because of the zoning policy which was in favour of the South at the time.
Ciroma’s brief interview with the VOA went as follows:
VOA: You seem to have known OBJ for a long time. What is your understanding of him?
Ciroma: It is true that I know General Obasanjo for a long time. In fact my knowledge of him dates back to my immediate years after university life, when we met as public servants. We became so close that we accepted each other as friends, to a point that I sometimes visited him in Ibadan.
Then what can you say about him?
Ciroma: Not only have we been friends, I also worked under him in his second coming as President of Nigeria. I was his Minister of Finance as you are aware. However, when in 2006 I sensed and later realized and confirmed that he wanted to seek unconstitutional third term or mandate of Nigerians to remain in power, I began to ask: do I really know Obasanjo all these years? Reluctantly, I agreed that I didn’t quite understand him, because it never occurred to me that he could be so inconsiderate as to even imagine such an unacceptable attempt. Well, you know the rest of the story, because he had to be ganged up against and defeated. Again, when it occurred to me that he was the force behind Jonathan’s aspiration to contest in 2011, it further confirmed that I didn’t really know, let alone understand OBJ. In any case my conclusion is that, OBJ is erratic and therefore not a person to rely upon.
Thank you for the time spared to be with us.
Thank you for making it possible for me to be with you. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.