Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said that former vice president AlexÂ Â Ekwueme, rejected the position of Senate President after losing the PDP presidential primaries in 1999.
Obasanjo made the revelation in Lagos at the launch of his new book entitled: â€œBabaâ€™s Story: Nigeria is 50.â€
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 60-page book, which was authored by a Ghanaian, Abyna-Ansaa Adjei, tells the Nigerian story from Obasanjoâ€™s perspective.
In the book, Obasanjo is quoted as saying that Ekwueme, who was Vice-President under the Shehu Shagari regime, declined the offer of Senate President after losing the partyâ€™s nomination to him.
“By that time, the party founders have already agreed that Ekwueme would be the President of the Senate,â€ Obasanjo said.
The former ruler also defended his record in office from 1999 to 2007, stating that his administration instituted policies and programmes which helped in shaping the country.
“We made great strides in the area of education, health, telecommunications and banking.
“We also set out to reform our economy, improved on our infrastructure and also achieved an unprecedented debt relief from the international community,â€ Obasanjo said.
Obasanjo disclosed that he left 45 billion dollars in the foreign reserve, 20 billion dollars in the excess crude account and a total debt of 2 billion dollars.
He said the book was his own version of the Nigerian story which was written in a simplified manner for young people to know the rich history of the country.
The book reviewer, Mr. Dare Babarinsa, said it “chronicles the life of Obasanjo from being a farm boy at Ibogun-Olaogun, to becoming a global leader” and recommended it as a must- read for everybody.
The book launch was graced by dignitaries, including Senate President, David Mark; Alhaji Aliko Dangote and a former President of Ghana, John Kufour.
Among traditional rulers at the book launch were the Akran of Badagry, Aholu Menu-Toyi I; and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo.