Why I supported Yar’Adua ahead of Falae in 1992 – Obasanjo
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday explained why he chose the late former Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters during his reign as military head of state, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, over the ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, during preparations for the 1993 presidential election.
Obasanjo, who spoke during the public presentation of a book written by former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, held at the Trenchard Hall of University of Ibadan, said though both politicians were his close aides, he picked Yar’Adua because of his belief in the Nigeria project.
He said: “In 1992, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua came to me to intervene on his behalf with Chief Adedibu. It was the usual thing I would do but for Shehu.
“I went to the chief, meeting him one- on- one for the first time and he received me warmly. And I said to him, I know both Olu Falae and Shehu Yar’Adua very well as they both worked directly under me, Olu as Permanent Secretary and Shehu as my political number 2.
“They are both very good. But if we are looking at the entire Nigeria picture, it should be Shehu before Olu. If, however, it is purely a Yoruba issue, it should be Olu before Shehu. If my information is correct that you people are considering Nigeria and not just Yoruba land, then I will recommend Shehu. That led to Chief Adedibu changing his support in favour of Shehu Yar’Adua in 1992.”
He also congratulated the ex-governor for his contributions in the political circle.
Obasanjo added: “You have had the opportunity to serve and you have served to the best of your ability.
“You have kept as best as you could recollect records of events as you wish to present them. It has become part of history and let others contend. And you are already a maker of history.”