Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo knelt down for then Vice-President Atiku Abubakar in his bid to get the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2003 election.

Soyinka made this known while revealing how politicians desperately lobbied to get the then ruling party’s presidential ticket.

Atiku, according to insiders, was highly favoured to win at the expense of Obasanjo, his boss at the time.

The literary icon was speaking at a special reading session to mark the presentation of his latest book, “Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?: Gani’s Unfinished Business”, at the Freedom Park, Lagos.

At the event, former Commissioner for Information in Edo state Louis Odion asked Soyinka whether he believed Governor Ayodele Fayose’s claim of witnessing Obasanjo going down on his knees in Tripoli before the late Libyan leader Muamar Ghaddafi in his desperate bid to extend his chairmanship of the African Union (AU).

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The outgoing Ekiti governor made the claim in an interview published by an Abuja-based monthly magazine The Interview. But Obasanjo has neither denied nor confirmed the claim.

And in his response, Soyinka said he had no cause to doubt Fayose, given his knowledge of how Obasanjo did the “unthinkable” in 2003.

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Soyinka said, “Before the PDP primaries in January 2003, Obasanjo got everyone he knew could reach me on the surface on the earth including Yemi Ogunbiyi and my son, to get me to help him intercede when it was clear that (Abubakar) Atiku was in a position to take his job. He knew Atiku had a lot of regard for me and calls me ‘Uncle’.”

“Of course, I could not have knelt before Atiku not to embark on a course of action that would lead to his boss’ disgrace. But I can confirm to you that Obasanjo as President knelt down before Atiku so that he would not lose his job,” the literary giant added.

“But I warned Atiku that for making Obasanjo to kneel down for you, be sure you would have to pay heavily for that. I guess my warning came to pass if you remember Atiku’s dramatic change of fortune once Obasanjo was sworn in for a second term of office.”

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