Former President Obasanjo had, at the end of his eight-year tenure in 2007, backed Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to be his successor, pairing him with Jonathan, who had just been elected to govern Bayelsa State.
Yar’Adua eventually died in office in 2010 due to a terminal illness, necessitating Jonathan to act as President before being eventually sworn-in as substantive President.
But in a chat with the maiden edition of The Interview magazine, Duke stressed that both Yar’Adua and Jonathan were not mentally prepared for power and lacked the vision to preside over the affairs of the country.
According to him, “Umaru never wanted to be president. He was dealing with his health issues and wanted to retire and go lecture in a university. He was really offered an appointment at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.
“Jonathan, on the other hand, had just been re-elected to be governor of Bayelsa and when he was picked, he was not so pleased. He said to Obasanjo and me, ‘I don’t want this job.’
“If these two men never aspired to the office but were recruited to take on a responsibility as daunting as the management of Nigeria without mentally preparing for the office and having a grand vision of where they wanted to take Nigeria to, then there is a problem.
“The mental preparation is absolutely important. The vision can be scripted for you, but if you are not prepared and you have no capable team to help you follow through, it is grossly unfair. It is like converting a passenger on an aircraft to a pilot,” he stated.