Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the only presidential candidate that could perform better than the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in steering the affairs of the country come 2019 election.
Obasanjo made this known when the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, including Abubakar, came to paid him a courtesy visit at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Those who visited included National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Senator Ben Bruce, Elder Oyewole Fasawe, former Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, Hamad Gumi, Bishop David Oyedepo, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Chief Bode George among others.
Speaking, Obasanjo congratulated Abubakar for his emergence as the presidential flag bearer of PDP and said that with his wide experience in economy, politics and businesses, he believed his former deputy could perform better than Buhari in governing the country.
Obasanjo while affirming the former vice president as the next president to rule the country said that he knew Abubakar was to succeed him when he left office in 2007, but he missed his chance to be the president then, saying that he had foriven Abubakar and mended fences with him.
The former president who urged Abubakar to be truthful, however charged him to make sure his administration fight corruption, shun nepotism, tackle insecurity and uphold the country’s constitution if elected as the president of the country.
Obasanjo admonished Abubakar to strive for the unity and sustained the oneness of the nation when he becomes the president. He also charged him to work together with other presidential aspirants in the just concluded presidential primary of the party in his presidential campaign in order to make his dream a reality.
He said; “I believe with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody in life and in every situation. For me, relatively and all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach, and possibly the best machinery and preparing for seeing the tough and dirty campaign and from what I see, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better, you have business experience which can make your administration business friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs for our youths.”
“Please uphold truth integrity, principle, morality and fight corruption crime and insurgency . The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand on you today, we need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding all the provisions of the Nigeria constitution. And oneness and unity of our country must be sustained”
And when you become Nigeria president, which insha Allah you will be, remembered what we did together in government, we ran and administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationships, friendship, or gifts although sometimes our grounds have been lost, you should endeavors to start from where we stopped and recovered some lost ground.”
“Yes! when it stated it was meant that Atiku should succeed Obasanjo. In the presence of all of us here, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong and my former vice president and president to be had shown remorse, has offered apology, has asked for forgiveness and I said in the circumstances we are in, forgiveness is of God, if I as a human being on daily basis asked for the forgiveness of God and whatever might had been done to me inadvertently or advertently I should forgive and in many case I have said that between me and you, there is nothing personal I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attitude you exhibited in the position you found yourself. I strongly believe that I was right and it was in the overall interest of every one including yourself and everything that I made such as decision from what transpire between the couples of us, you have shown remorse, you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amend as necessary and as desirable whenever or wherever there had been something to be corrected. I believe that you and I have worked together to correct them obviously.”
“I have nothing but to forgive and sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you. Obviously you have mended fence with the party and fully reconcile with the party that is why today you are the presidential candidate of the party in addition to appreciating all that the party had done for you, may I advised you to work together with all those who contested for the party slot with you as a team for your campaign.”
“There are still areas, nationally and internationally where you have to mend fences and make amend you will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet to be put out by the opposition but I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude of what you have with all the men that are here today with a remorse and contrite heart the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared and if there is anything that I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I stand ready to do it.”
“You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways as pastor Bakare one time running mate of the incumbent said you are a Wazobia man and that should help you in confronting the confrontable as shunning nepotism As you know along the road you are today many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and worked.” He added
On his own part, Abubakar therefore called on Nigerians to unite and work together to make the country a better place to live.
Abubakar who thanked Obasanjo for that he remained the only presidential candidate the former president had trained, saying that the wise counsel and tutelage that he learnt from Obasanjo would guide him in steering the affairs of the country if he become the president.
He said ” I want to thank my boss president Olusegun Obasanjo for giving me the opportunity to visit him. And I want to say I remain the only president that he has trained. I paid tribute to him because I couldn’t have been what I am today without his wise counsel, without him picking me as his vice president for eight years and without the training that I got from his tutelage and his leadership. I believe the time has come for all of us to unite and work together so that this country can be reposition on the part of unity, growth and prosperity.”