Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and PDP presidential candidate, on Thursday visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to seek his blessings ahead of the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria
Atiku who arrived Obasanjo’ residence within the sprawling Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) by noon with entourage comprising the Director – General, Atiku Campaign Organisation(ACO), Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Spokesperson of ACO, Segun Sowunmi among others went into closed door meeting with his erstwhile boss.
In his speech at the press briefing chief said “Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you. Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party. That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party. In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.
“There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends. You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition. But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared. And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.
“I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate – all at the national level. With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.￼
“For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, 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.
“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 President said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.
“As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank them all. May their coast continue to be expanded. And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin. Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.
“Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.
“Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.
“The fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.
“All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
“Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.”
Atiku Abubakar had long tried to mend ways with Obasanjo but has been rebuffed until Thursday, October 11th, 2018. He was on Sunday, declared the Presidential candidate of the PDP, a party he represented as the Vice President of Nigeria for 8 years.
Obasanjo’s voice is considered very critical to the electoral ?fortune of any politician and it is generally believed that whoever earned his endorsement stand a better chance of winning
The visit to Obasanjo would be the first time the former president would meet with his former deputy since the later emerged as presidential candidate of the PDP. Atiku and Obasanjo
Atiku had on his part actively played a role in stopping the third term agenda reportedly schemed by Obasanjo. Though Obasanjo had in the past vowed not to ever support Atiku’s long nurtured presidential aspiration, there is expectation that the former president may unbend upon his even more harsh assessment of the incumbent president, Muhammmadu Buhari.
Today’s meeting between the two men, was packaged by Afenifere leaders who had on Tuesday visited Dr. Obasanjo ahead of the visit