Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday confessed that he was almost forced to rig the election that brought Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano into power in 2003.
The erstwhile president while speaking in Abuja yesterday where he chaired a session of a round-table on Party Politics organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, said he refused to succumb the pressure he faced from oppositions despite the fact that Shekarau won the election with a very narrow margin.
Obasabjo said: “I want to thank former Governor Shekarau for what happened to him in Kano. What he did not know, which he may want to know today, is that he won that election with a very narrow margin, and if I had yielded to pressure, that narrow margin would have been changed. He didn’t know that somebody wanted me to talk to the electoral body, but I refused to do so.”
In a swift reaction, Shekarau accused Obasanjo of presenting completely different picture of what happened in 2003 ‘in a bid to score cheap credit.’
The presidential candidate in 2011 election on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), who spoke through his former Director of Press Sule Ya’u Sule, claimed that it was the former BOT chairman of PDP who was forcing the state’s returning officer to announce PDP candidate as the winner.
Shekarau alleged that reliable sources told him that Obasanjo was personally on the neck of the INEC official, trying to rig the election.
Obasanjo identified indiscipline, lack of service delivery and non-adherence to manifestos as the bane of party politics in the country, noting that “no human institution will endure for long without discipline.
Earlier at the event, Shekarau preached against do-or-die affair and knocked Obasanjo for once saying he (Shekarau) was in a wrong party.
“Chief Obasanjo once said I belong to the wrong party, and I think he probably didn’t want to say it here and that was why today he said I belong to the other side,” he said.