- Category: Wikileaks on Nigeria
- Published on Thursday, 08 September 2011 04:30
- Written by Admin
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Fresh facts have emerged regarding how former President Olusegun Obasanjo regretted his choice of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2006, as he became concerned that he could be indicted for corruption, without his late successor helping him out of such a mess.
Sule, according to the American secret cable released by WikiLeaks, told the diplomats that because Obasanjo believes that Yar'Adua may support an indictment against him on corruption charges, he was allegedly bribing justices of the Presidential Election Tribunal to rule against the legality of Yar'Adua's April election and call for fresh polls.
In such an event, the cable quoted Sule as remarking that: Obasanjo (as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees) would choose another candidate, loyal to him to run on the party's platform.
Sule, it was reported, however, contended that the popularity of presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the 2007 elections, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), who was challenging the election of Yar’Adua at the tribunal, was waning in the North, and the Northerners thought of Yar'Adua as more independent and feared a loss of influence should the elections be overturned.
Sule, it was reported, claimed that former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), was colluding with Obasanjo to engineer a comeback and run as the PDP's candidate in the new elections.
Without a formidable base of support within the PDP comparable to Obasanjo or Babangida, Yar'Adua would be pushed out of the PDP, Sule opined.
In their opinion, however, the American diplomats said while Sule's remarks might have appeared hyperbolic, it was possible that Obasanjo was feeling vulnerable as Yar'Adua was gaining more independence and could possibly be looking at options, such as bribing judges, to try to retain some political prowess.
Sule, the report noted was worried about the development because the popularity of Buhari was waning significantly in the North, and northerners were demonstrably satisfied with Yar'Adua, crediting him with perceived success in "disentangling" himself from Obasanjo, which formed part of the reason for the surge in support.
Sule was also reported to have opined that the North once supported Buhari for his stand against corruption and his "electability" (in the event of a free and fair election), but contended that the Northern elite were wary of "forfeiting" power should Yar'Adua's election be overturned at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Upholding Yar'Adua's election, Sule explained, represented the North's "best hope" for retaining political power in the country given the uncertainty a fresh election would likely portend. (Compass News)