By Shola Abayomi.
The Chief Whip of the Senate and former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, has revealed what aborted the third-term ambition of former president Olusegun Obasanjo during his time as the country’s leader between 1999 and 2007.
The former governor who spoke at the 10th commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day which held on Thursday at the University of Abuja and organised by the South African High Commission in Nigeria, explained how the late South African leader and anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela prevailed on the former Nigerian president to shelve his third-term presidential agenda.
“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”, Kalu revealed.
The event was attended by the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Roet, Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Abdul Rasheed Na’Allah, and the Deputy Vice-chancellor, Prof C.B.I Alawa.