The President’s outburst came against the backdrop of strident criticisms that he was being teleguided by the former president who paved the way for his emergence.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, President Yar’Adua, who noted that Obasanjo was not controlled by anybody when he was in power, said he did not see any reason why there should be fears and apprehension about him being controlled by Obasanjo.
Adeniyi said after reading about such fears in the newspapers, the President would laugh over them because he was his own man.
The Special Adviser said President Yar’Adua could not afford to be controlled by anybody, not even former President Obasanjo, and that the President was quite aware of the fact that he was totally responsible to Nigerians whom he swore to serve honestly.
“He (Yar’Adua) will just laugh about it because they (reports) are not true. You yourself know about power. How do you imagine that the President of Nigeria will be controlled by anybody, elsewhere? President Obasanjo himself was president. I don’t know if anybody controlled him.
“So, I wonder why President Yar’Adua will sit down here knowing that he is not only responsible to the Nigerian people but also that he will be held accountable at the end of his stewardship.
Nobody is going to query Obasanjo for whatever happened between May 29, 2007 and May 28 or 29, 2011. Whatever happens in Nigeria, President Umaru Yar’Adua will be held responsible. Adeniyi added that, “all these things, I read them just like he reads them and he just smiles about them.
President Yar’Adua had earlier said in an interview with the Financial Times of London before his inauguration that he was not Obasanjo’s puppet.
That newspaper had insinuated that with the former president stepping into the position of chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Obasanjo would be the one ruling.
But President Yar’Adua had said he would be the President of Nigeria ruling by the constitution of the country and not by PDP constitution.
Adeniyi also said the President would unveil his plans for the power sector and the Niger Delta in two to three weeks’ time just as he disclosed that additional names of ministerial nominees would be forwarded to the National Assembly before next week.
The new ministerial nominees are to accommodate names of the choices of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and perhaps Peoples Progressives Alliance (PPA) participating in President Yar’Adua’s Government of National Unity.
Giving an update on how far President Yar’Adua had gone in unfolding his plans for the power sector, he said the President “ has met several times with the PHCN and the BPE and he has met several times with the NNPC. Because when you look at most of these issues, you will discover that there are issues you need to sort out with one agency or the other.
“All these stakeholders within the sector are being brought into the picture. So that by the time we have a comprehensive way forward it is going to be a Programme that takes a holistic picture of the whole power industry.
There will be no excuse for failure after all these issues have been sorted out. I think that is what is going on now, consultations with all the different stakeholders and very soon, within the next two, three weeks, I think he will come up with his plans for the power sector. Same goes for the Niger- Delta,” he added.