Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustee, Tony Anenih, has revealed how he prevented General Ibrahim Babangida, ex-Vice- President Atiku Abubakar and the ex-National Security Adviser to late Sani Abacha, General Aliu Gwarzo, from becoming President in 2003.
Anenih made this disclosure in his book titled ‘My Life and Nigerian Politics’ launched on Saturday, and which marked his retirement from politics.
He noted that he was indeed the one who recommended Atiku as Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate.
Anenih further disclosed that the only way he could have offended Atiku was when he prevented the ex-Vice President from standing as a stumbling block against his then boss, Obasanjo’s second term bid, just because he (Atiku) wanted to be President at any cost.
“As a result of my preparations for Chief Obasanjo’s second tenure, I stepped on the toes of many of those who did not want him to seek a second term. These are the people I can now refer to as members of the ‘G3’. These were General Ibrahim Babangida, (ex-) Vice- President Atiku Abubakar and the (ex-) National Security Adviser, General Aliu Gwarzo,” he said.
“There was no other way I could have offended the vice-president other than that I prevented him from being PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2003 presidential election. He erroneously believed that he was the only politician at the Villa and that he was better qualified than the President. I was well ahead of him in all his plans to prevent Chief Obasanjo from running (for re-election).”
Speaking on recommending Atiku as Vice President, Anenih said:
“I asked Obasanjo whether he would want a vice-president that would give him absolute confidence and allow him to sleep with his two eyes closed or whether he would want a vice-president he did not trust.
“He answered that he would like to sleep with his two eyes closed. It was at this point that I asked him: ‘What about Atiku?’ Chief Obasanjo’s answer was that Atiku had just won his governorship election and the law might not allow him to come on board as his running mate.
“We both decided to get a lawyer to advise us and Barrister Alimi Rasaq of Kwara State was sent for. He advised us that there was nothing in the constitution that prevented Atiku from being his running mate; especially as Atiku had not been sworn in.”