Ken Nnamani, a former senate president, has revealed that he sacrificed his senate career to stop any attempt to give third term to ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2006.
Nnamani was the president of the Nigerian senate between April 2005 to May 2007.
Though it has been reported that Obasanjo denied that he was involved in the plan to amend the constitution to get extra four years, the former senate president said senators elected on the platform of then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were promised automatic tickets in the 2007 elections if they voted in favour of the bid.
Nnamani, in his newly released book, ‘Standing Strong: Legislative Reforms, Third Term and Other Issues of the 5th Senate’, wrote on the secret meetings that were held to push the third term agenda.
TheCable reports that in the excerpts of the book shared with it, the senate dropped the proposed amendment on May 16, 2006, after a voice vote.
“In my own case, my reelection to the senate was foreclosed because I was marked out as the principal figure among those that ended the infamous project”, Nnamani said.
The former senator noted that knew he would not be given a level-playing field in the party primary, so “I opted to take the High Road and stay out of the contest”.
“Promises were made before the senate vote assuring many of the supporters of a straight ticket back to the national assembly”, he also stated.
Huge sums of money were also said to have been offered to the lawmakers, to back the third term agenda.
Nnamani disclosed that he rejected all offers, like many others, adding that “it was the least sacrifice” he could make to ensure that the constitution amendment process “was not abused”.
“We lost the opportunity of continuing with a crop of lawmakers who had gained experience in the culture of legislation but who were brazenly denied their party’s ticket because they stood against autocracy. The political party system as nurtured by Obasanjo was one where the party and the governors were in the pouch of the president and from the comfort of his bedroom he decided who went where,” he further wrote.
President Muhammadu Buhari will be special guest of honour at the public presentation of the book in Abuja on Thursday.
Retired general and former army chief, Theophilus Danjuma, will be the chairman.