by Dolapo Adelana
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has given reasons for rejecting the re-election of immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.
Obasanjo said this in a book, Against the Run of Play, written by Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Chairman of the Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers.
The book, an account of what happened in the 2015 presidential election, is due for public presentation in Lagos on Friday.
Both presidents had had a frosty relationship in the months leading to the election.
As the election approached, Jonathan sought to make up with his Obasanjo and keep him on his side for re-election.
A meeting was arranged to be held at Obasanjo’s hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun.
Obasanjo, however, said he would meet with Jonathan on the condition that he came along with someone of sufficient credibility to act as a witness at the meeting.
He approached the hugely influential General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor EA Adeboye, who accepted to play the role of a witness.
But on the evening of 12 January 2015, the agreed date of the meeting scheduled for Obasanjo’s Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Pastor Adeboye arrived in the company of Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel.
“It was only Pastor Adeboye that Jonathan told me was coming with him, but Bishop Oyedepo is a man I also know very well, so I had no problem with his presence at the meeting,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying.
According to the author, Obasanjo said he rejected Jonathan’s bid because of his performance and the fact that the presidency had to be zoned to another region.
“I told him in the presence of his witness that I was not going to support him for a second-term and I gave my reasons. Aside the issue of zoning on which he was reneging, his stewardship up to that point had also shown very clearly that he was not up to the job,” Obasanjo reportedly said to the author in December 2016.
Adeniyi claimed that Obasanjo said his decision not to support Jonathan was not personal, explaining that his disagreement with him was based on certain principles on which he was not prepared to compromise.
“My decision was based on what would be for the good of Nigeria and since I didn’t consider Jonathan good enough, I told him to his face. What would I be afraid of?” asked Obasanjo.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.