Obasanjo: Why I Didn’t Allow Atiku Succeed Me
By Alex Ubiri
Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has said that he didn’t allow his vice, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, to succeed him in 2007 because of his involvement in a high-level financial fraud in the United States.
Obasanjo who made this known in the Volume Two of his Book Titled: ‘My Watch’ said that on June 22, 2006, he received a letter from the United States Department of Justice, requesting his administration to investigate a number of Nigerians for suspicion of criminal activities in the US.
The former president said he was actually planning to hand over to Alhaji Atiku but he changed his mind because his name was among the names that the United States sent to his administration for the investigation.
He pressed further that he could not stop the investigation because of his mutual relationship with law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom and United States so he gave a go ahead for the investigation to the then chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.
He continued that the report of the investigation which Ribadu sent to the United States was a bit uncomfortable and unsavoury for Alhaji Atiku and his associates.
Obasanjo said it was bad enough for the his vice, a vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be under investigation for corruption even when his administration had made fighting corruption one of its cardinal objectives.
He said: ‘What that request for investigation from the US did was start a process of elimination in the transition process. Since Atiku didn’t raise or discuss any issue concerning his matter in America with me except what I read in the local and foreign newspapers and reports, I didn’t ask him about anything.
‘By then, I had come to know Atiku for his connivance in covering up and not being straightforward on matters requiring truth and candour’