Senator Ben Obi has faulted former Senate President Ken Nnamani’s claim of scuttling the alleged third term bid of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obi, who represented Anambra Central in the Fifth Senate, noted that he and a number of others were the arrowheads.
He told The Guardian that Nnamani’s submission at the recent presentation of his book, ‘Standing Strong, Legislative Reforms, Third Term and other Issues of the Fifth Senate,’ was a misrepresentation of facts.
Obi said the erstwhile Senate President was not even a member of the Movement against Third Term, which spoke and worked against the elongation plan.
The Anambra State native listed Senators Uche Chukwumerije, Olorunnimbe Mamora, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Badamasi Maccido and Seidu Dansadau as the first set of lawmakers that joined the pressure group he reportedly formed and coordinated to stop the project.
He added that he was rather the person briefing Nnamani on the activities of the group, not under compulsion, but as a mark of recognition to him as the presiding officer of the Senate.
His words: “I was the one meeting and briefing all the governors that supported us as well as the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. At a particular meeting, I told members that I would be briefing Senator Ken Nnamani, who has become the Senate President at that time since he was the one presiding, but I was so thoroughly abused by my colleagues for allegedly being a traitor.
“They felt I was leaking the secrets of the group to Nnamani, who was not one of us.”
Senator Obi claimed that at the time Nnamani put the questions before his colleagues, he was not aware that “two principal promoters of the third term bid – Senators Dalhatu Tafida and Ibrahim Mantu, who were guiding him on actions to take,” had left his camp and joined his group.
He continued: “If you recall, that was the reason Nnamani, looking at Mantu and Tafida said: ‘I put this question before you…,’ and they were looking at him.”
He had put the question, expecting to get an answer from these two people, but he couldn’t believe what happened. Then he said: ‘Let me put the question the second time…,’ again. The people were just looking at him. Then, he hit the gavel. That was how we carried the day.”
Obi added: “So, the story of the third term was very clear (as regarding) those who were in it and those who were not in it.”
He insisted he masterminded the failure of the third term in the Senate for fear that “ex-President Obasanjo might become too dictatorial if allowed to continue in office.”
“We started seeing the signs of certain dictatorial tendencies. He was using Nuhu Ribadu of EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) to attack whosoever was not in his good book,” Obi alleged.