Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the senate, has disclosed that late South African leader, Nelsen Mandela, mounted pressure on Olusegun Obasanjo to drop his third-term agenda.
Obasanjo had wanted to spend another four years in power, at the expiration of his two terms in 2007, but the move was quashed.
Kalu made the revelation while giving a speech on the topic ”The Mandela I Know”, at the 10th commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day, organised by the South African High Commission in Nigeria at the University of Abuja.
Speaking at the occasion, Kalu said Mandela played a crucial role in ensuring that Obasanjo abandoned the idea of amending the Constitution, to enable him contest for a third term in office.
He said, “I recall my personal interactions with him (Mandela), especially during our national struggle to force President Olusegun Obasanjo to drop his plan to amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and secure an extension of his tenure.
“Disturbed by the details, Mandela placed a call to President Olusegun Obasanjo and told him in clear terms that whatever his plans were, it was neither desirable for Africa.
“That intervention, proved strategic to the leadership question in Nigeria at the time, leading to elections in 2007.”