A former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, has revealed former President Olusegun Obasanjo chose Atiku Abubakar as his Vice at the return of democracy in 1999.
The late Vice President made the revelation in an interview with Vanguard shortly before his death.
Ekwueme who is yet to be buried, told the newspaper that Obasanjo personally selected Atiku and only informed members of the then newly formed Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, about it.
He said, “I’ll tell you what happened. That evening, after the convention, we met at Solomon Lar’s house.
Yes, Obasanjo was there; the secretary of the party was there; Senator Onyeabor Obi was there; quite a few others were there.
“What we decided was that we would reconvene in Abuja the next day and decide on the running mate and submit to INEC.
“So, when we got back to Abuja [from Jos] the next day, INEC called Okwei Nwodo to remind him that that day was the last day for which the name of the presidential candidate and his running mate had to be submitted failing which it meant that PDP would not be contesting that election.
“Nwodo then called Obasanjo.
“He called Obasanjo and not Lar. And Obasanjo told him that Atiku’s name should be submitted so that we could have our candidates.”
He added that there was no consensus on the choice of Atiku because the Abuja meeting could not hold and the deadline had to be met.
“No, there was no [consensus]. The meeting we scheduled to hold in Abuja could not hold any more because there was a deadline to meet and it had to be met. This was taken over by events.
“In fact, let me tell you, some people were still on their way from Jos when all this happened.
“Well, I think it was a well choreographed script which played out.”