General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), a former Head of State, has revealed that shortly after his release from detention, he warned President Olusegun Obasanjo against entering politics.
When Abdulsalami took power, Obasanjo, who had been imprisoned by the late General Sani Abacha’s administration, was released.
In an interview with Trust TV, the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, who handed over to Obasanjo in 1999, claimed he advised him to abandon politics and return home to take care of his health.
Abdulsalami stated that he had no involvement in Obasanjo’s participation in the 1999 election that propelled him to power.
“He (Obasanjo) came to see me to tell me that he had been approached by this group of people, they want to make him the candidate to stand for election.”
“I said “Sir, if I were you, please disregard this people, Sir, go home and rest and sort your health out and so on and so forth”. He said “Okay, General thank you for your advice, I will get back to you”. He never got back to me. The next I hear was that he was one of the presidential candidates.
“I tried to tell people that I had nothing to do in bringing Obasanjo to contest the election. Whatever must have happened was within the political parties and so on.”
When asked if he had ‘rehabilitated’ Obasanjo so that he could run in the election, he said:
“Like I had all other prisoners! What do you mean by I had to rehabilitate him?
“Well I am thinking of his businesses, whether he was helped with something to revive them which was one of his complaints.
“Of course not only him, all people that were imprisoned in one way or the other, we tried to rehabilitate them; to help them in one way or the other. In one way or the other we did what we could to assist them, so you cannot equate that to bringing him to contest for an election.”