Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said he refused to succumb to the pressure to tamper with the result of the 2003 governorship election that produced Kano State governor Ibrahim Shekarau.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja where he chaired a session of a roundtable on Party Politics organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, Obasanjo, said he refused to change the narrow margin with which Shekarau won the election.
“I want to thank former Governor Shekarau for what happened to him in Kano. What he did not know, which he may want to know today, is that he won that election with a very narrow margin, and if I had yielded to pressure, that narrow margin would have been changed. He didn’t know that somebody wanted me to talk to the electoral body, but I refused to do so,” Obasanjo said.
Reacting to the statement yesterday, Shekarau accused Obasanjo of presenting completely different picture of what transpired in 2003 in a bid to score cheap credit.
Shekarau, who spoke through his former Director of Press Sule Ya’u Sule, said it was Obasanjo who mounted pressure for four days on the state’s returning officer to announce PDP candidate as the winner.
The former governor said information from competent sources had revealed to them that Obasanjo was personally on the neck of the INEC official, trying to get him to change the result, saying however the officer did not succumb.
Obasanjo identified indiscipline, lack of service delivery and non-adherence to manifestos as the bane of party politics in the country, saying “No human institution will endure for long without discipline. Also, we rarely see service delivery in our party politics”.
Earlier at the event, Shekarau preached against do-or-die affair and knocked Obasanjo for once saying he (Shekarau) was in a wrong party. “Chief Obasanjo once said I belong to the wrong party, and I think he probably didn’t want to say it here and that was why today he said I belong to the other side,” he said.