Autobiographies in recent times are highly anticipated due to the writers’ penchant for making mind boggling revelations.
Publishers encourage such writers to make controversial comments, step on toes and raise the anticipation levels, a tactic that has sold many copies.
However, when the writer is Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, an elder statesman who has the exclusivity of being the only man to have ruled Nigeria both as a military man and as a civilian president, he needs no such encouragement.
In his autobiography, ‘My Watch’, a three-part book containing 58 chapters and 1,522 pages, Obasanjo has opened the proverbial can of worms and the stench might linger for a while.
Here are five interesting revelations made by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in his book, ‘My Watch’.
1. Yar’Adua lied to me on his health
Late president Umaru Yar’ Adua’s health challenges were well documented, and after his death, some Nigerians blamed his predecessor, Obasanjo for deliberately installing a sickly northern president. In ‘My Watch’, Obasanjo duly addressed the issue, explaining that he did his checks on the man’s health and was made to believe he had overcome his health challenges.
2. Ribadu’s woes began by refusing to marry Yar’Adua’s daughter
Obasanjo claims in his memoir that former EFCC boss, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s refusal to marry one of then president, Umaru Yar’Adua’s daughters, was partly responsible for his removal from the EFCC chairmanship as well as his demotion to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police from Assistant Inspector General of Police before his eventual dismissal.
3. President Jonathan’s administration used Iyabo for ‘dirty job’
When Obasanjo wrote a highly controversial open letter to president Jonathan titled, “Before It Is Too Late” in which he criticized the insecurity and corruption in the country, the first response came from an unlikely source.
It was his own daughter, Iyabo, that in her own open letter, questioned Obasanjo’s moral right to criticize others, alleging that he had failed as a father.
In his new book, ‘My Watch’, Obasanjo commented on the episode for the first time, claiming that he had been told that this administration was attempting to induce two of his daughters to do a “dirty job” and that he had warned them both. He added that Iyabo succumbed to their advances because of her character and her mother’s influence.
4. Atiku lied on third term agenda, I never wanted it
Obasanjo did not spare his former number 2, whom he described as a shameless liar. He pointed out in ‘My Watch’ that it was Atiku who was behind the whole episode of turning wholesome constitutional amendments efforts of the National Assembly to a futile exercise and as a means of riding on its ashes to be a Nigerian President. He also wondered why he would want tenure elongation as a civilian president when he did not want same as a military Head of State.
5. Tinubu was one of the most corrupt, of the 36 governors
Obasanjo never got along too well with former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu, and unsurprisingly, Tinubu got a mention in the former’s book.
Obasanjo revealed that then EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu tried to investigate almost all the state governors during his tenure but that of the 28 confirmed to be manifestly corrupt or tainted one way or the other, Tinubu’s case was one of the worst.