Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has claimed that he was not aware of Umaru Yar’adua’s illness when he picked him as his successor during the 2007 election.
Yar’adua was declared the winner of the controversial presidential election held on April 21, 2007, and was sworn in on May 29, 2007.
In 2009, Yar’adua left for Saudi Arabia to receive treatment for pericarditis. He returned to Nigeria on February 24, 2010, where he died on May 5, 2010.
His vice president Goodluck Jonathan became president.
In a book ‘Against the Run of Play’ authored Olusegun Adeniyi, Obasanjo insists that Yar’adua’s response to two clarifications he sought from him, convinced him (Obasanjo) to go ahead with his decision.
“One, the lingering doubts about his health, while the other was a very pervasive allegation that he had a manipulative wife who had too much influence on him,” Obasanjo said.
“Not being a medical practitioner, I gave the report to a friend and renowned professional in the medical field who reviewed it and told me that the person in the report was not on dialysis, which meant either he didn’t have a kidney problem or that he had successfully undergone a kidney transplant. That was the report I had about his health,” Adeniyi quoted Obasanjo as saying.