By Adanigho Julius, Warri
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed the behind-the-scene details of how former Rivers Governor Peter Odili lost out in the race to emerge late President Musa Yar’Adua’s running mate in 2007.
Odili was a leading contender for the vice presidential slot but lost out in dramatic manners at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention in Abuja.
Obasanjo, who was handing over after a two-term rule, said Odili was favoured for the slot but was dropped because of corruption cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Speaking on Sunday in a virtual interview with historian and academic Toyin Falola, Obasanjo said: “Now, we needed a running mate for Yar’adua. There were two possibilities – the first possibility was Peter Odili.
“Peter Odili was a much stronger personality than Goodluck Jonathan but Peter Odili had an EFCC issue which made him to be dropped and once he was dropped, the next man was Goodluck Jonathan and Goodluck Jonathan had all going for him.
“He was not a strong character as Peter Odili, I will admit that, but he was not a pushover; he had been a deputy governor, he had been a governor and his state was doing fairly well.
“I don’t know what else anybody will say because the deputy president had to come from the South and we had agreed that it would come from the South-South.”