The Governor of Ekiti State, South-West Nigeria, Ayodele Fayose, has made some of the most far-reaching revelations yet about the years in office of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mr. Fayose said in the current edition of ‘The Interview’ that Obasanjo used him to wreck the presidential ambition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the chance of former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi, becoming the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate in 2007.
He said in his naivety, Obasanjo also used him to attack former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu, among other political foes.
In a statement, the MD/Editor-In-Chief, Azu Ishiekwene, described the edition as “a window on a dark and troubling past and a must read for any important political figure who has crossed Fayose’s path in the last 18 years.”
Mr. Fayose told The Interview that the scale fell off his eyes when on a trip with former President Obasanjo to Tripoli, Libya, where Obasanjo had gone to ask Moummar Ghaddafi to support his Third Term bid, the former Libyan president treated Obasanjo like a serf.
Recalling the encounter, he said, “It was such a pathetic scenario, so shameful. Obasanjo was speaking rapidly like a parrot. I was shocked beyond words. I never knew Obasanjo would be that humble.
“He was on one knee till the end of the conversation. Ghadaffi kept quiet and was just watching Obasanjo. When Obasanjo stopped rambling, Ghadaffi said, ‘Have you finished? Just know that I will not attend that meeting. I have other engagements.”
He also revealed how on two major occasions when he went to visit then Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the height of Mr. Obasanjo’s Third Term bid, security details promptly reported him to the former president, even before he left the venue, leaving him feeling spooky and vulnerable.
On the Obasanjo-Atiku saga, Mr. Fayose said, “Obasanjo told me that when you capture a general and you don’t kill him, he’ll come back and kill you; that since Atiku tried to stop him and failed, he must pay for it. And he (Atiku) is still paying for it.”
In a statement that could reverberate beyond Nigeria’s shores, Mr. Fayose said he knew, as an insider at the time, that Mr. Obasanjo betrayed former Liberian President, Charles Taylor to induce U.S. support for this Third Term bid, after promising Mr. Taylor safe haven in Nigeria.
He revealed how the current chairman of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, was sidelined in favour of a sick and stubbornly reluctant Umaru Yar’Adua and his role in it as chairman of the Presidential Selection Committee.
Mr. Fayose warned Orji Kalu against “selling” the Igbo down the river “for cheap politics” and blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for making IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu popular.
He also spoke on his attempts to reach President Muhammadu Buhari directly; former governor Kayode Fayemi’s relationship with APC leader Bola Tinubu; and futile attempt to discourage former governor Peter Odili from accepting Mr. Obasanjo’s dummy that he was heir apparent.
Also in this edition, the Executive Director of Neem Foundation, a not-for-profit NGO, Fatima Akilu, said she foresaw problems even after the shooting war with Boko Haram.
Ms. Akilu, a psychologist, warned that except there is a plan to deal with post-war stress and build inclusive communities, the gains of the military campaign could unravel.
The edition also contains interviews with the first Nigerian in the Belgian parliament, Collins Nweke; conversations with poet, Dike Chukwumerije, and inside information in the corridors of power in Interview Confidential, among others.