The Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has revealed how Nelson Mandela, the South African exemplary leader, had, while he was alive, pressured Olusegun Obasanjo to drop his third term presidential aspirations.
The Chief whip said Mandela had played quite an important role in making sure that Obasanjo did not amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that would give him the legitimacy of contesting 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,” Kalu said.
Kalu had revealed this while giving a speech on ‘The Mandela I Know’, at the 10th commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day which took place in Abuja. The event had held in the University of Abuja and was organised by the South African High Commission in Nigeria.
Some of the important personalities in attendance included the Deputy Vice-chancellor, Prof C.B.I Alawa, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Roet and Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof Abdul Rasheed Na-Allah