Obasanjo explains why he picked Yar’adua to be President despite knowing he was ill
Obasanjo settled for Yar’adua, who later died in office on May 5, 2010.
He said the decision was based on medical advice that Yar’adua, who had had a kidney transplant was fit to run the country.
Before Yar’adua emerged as the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2006, the Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and the Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili were among the top PDP members who fought for the presidential ticket.
The former President settled for Yar’adua, who later died in office on May 5, 2010.
In an interview with TheCable, Obasanjo dismissed the claim that he picked Yar’adua for selfish reasons, saying he considered him to lead the country because of his integrity.
“I set up a committee headed by Dr Olusegun Agagu, of blessed memory, to search for a successor. They considered many names and did an extensive assessment of all them. They made their recommendation. Umaru was top on the list.
“Their biggest argument in his favour was that he had integrity and would not steal. The issues concerning his health were raised and I gave his medical reports to an expert for an opinion. Umaru’s name was redacted so that the expert would not know who it was and why I was seeking his opinion.
“After assessing the reports, he said the patient appeared to have done a kidney transplant and if that was the case, there was nothing to worry about and he would be as healthy as any other person. That was it, the ex-president said.
He said all insinuations that he supported Yar’adua to become President because he knew he would die were false.
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