I Did Not Have Any Personal Issue With Obasanjo – Pius Ayim
Former Senate President, Pius Ayim, says he has no grudge with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Rather, he described the former Nigerian leader as one who has always remained focused and determined in his activities.
“I did not have any personal issue with (former) President Obasanjo,” said the former Senate President during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
“(Former) President Obasanjo was a very outstanding President Nigeria ever had. President Obasanjo was focused and determined in all that he wanted to do.”
Anyim, who represented Ebonyi South, succeeded Chuba Okadigbo as the Senate President in August 2000 after the latter had been impeached – at a time when Obasanjo was president.
He held the position until May 2003, but not without a disagreement between the legislature and the executive. This was said to have led to a rift between the duo with purported impeachment plots.
During his interview with Channels Television, the former Senate President stressed that there was no rift between him and Obasanjo.
“We had a little disagreement, and it was the National Assembly and the Executive; not Pius Ayim and (former) President Obasanjo. What brought about the problem was a motion moved by Senator Idris Abubakar from Gombe, it wasn’t a motion moved by me,” he explained.
“It was the action taken in the Senate that the former President was reacting to, and it was friction between National Assembly and the Executive.
“Of course, being the head of the legislature, I cannot run away from it; I was leading the legislature and he (Obasanjo) was leading the Executive on the other hand, but there was nothing personal.”
Hunger For Power
Ayim, who also served as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) under former President Goodluck Jonathan, revealed why he chose not to return to the Senate after 2003.
He faulted the claim that he was concerned the former President would block his bid in an apparent continuation of the supposed disagreement between them.
Instead, the former SGF stated that I would amount to hunger for power to sit on the floor of the house, having served as the most senior lawmaker in the land.
“I had been President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, I had gotten to the peak of that career; there was no reason for coming back because if I come back and I was not elected President of the Senate, I will be at the floor,” he said.
“Apart from that, if I have to come back, I should not expect to be elected as the President of the Senate because it should rotate and when I was leaving, I said that I believe in rotation. So, what makes you think that it was because of anybody?
“The election was in my zone; it wasn’t in the National Assembly. So, I wouldn’t have come back after being President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly to sit on the floor for whatever reason, that should be a hunger for power, and I didn’t think I was hungry for power.”