Mixed reactions have trailed as ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo Endorse Atiku for 2019 Presidential Election under the umbrella of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). That seems to end the ice-cold relationship between former president Obasanjo and his former Vice.
He made this declaration while addressing journalists after holding a closed-door meeting with Atiku, which lasted almost two hours.
Atiku is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, having emerged as the overall winner at the presidential primary of the party last Sunday in Port Harcourt.
It was gathered that a lot of degnitaries accompanied the former vice president to make peach with his former boss. Among those accompanied Atiku to the meeting include the founder of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, Islamic preacher, Ahmed Gumi, Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, Afenifere chieftain Chief Ayo Adebanjo and National chairman, PDP, Uche Secondus.
Nigerians from all walks of life have reacted to the development shortly after the endorsement of the former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by his former boss.
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Some are displeased that Obasanjo has continued to endorse candidates for presidential elections, adding that Nigeria does not belong to the former president.
The relationship between Obasanjo and Atiku had become frosty towards the twilight of the Obasanjo’s administration which ran from 1999 till 2007.
It was alleged that Atiku had worked against the third term agenda purportedly muted by his then boss. Obasanjo too had since not supported all Atiku’s earlier efforts at becoming the president. And since then there had been no love lost between the two.
However, on Thursday Obasanjo said he had not only forgiven Atiku, he was ready to support him in actualising his dream of becoming the country’s president.
The former president said from what he could deduce from the meeting held earlier at his pent-house boardroom, Atiku had become penitent and had rediscovered and repositioned himself.
Obasanjo noted that the PDP presidential candidate had done much damage to the government then, the party and against the country, than he did to him.
He revealed that Atiku was meant to succeed him in 2007 but that never happened given the frosty relationship.
Defending himself, the former president said he took the decision he took then in the interest of the nation.
He said, “Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.
“Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo. In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku.
“And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has rediscovered and repositioned himself.
“As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the party, the government and the country.
“I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself.
“I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.
“From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, 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 amends as necessary and as desirable.
“Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on a 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.”
Obasanjo, however, advised Atiku to work with other PDP presidential aspirants, making them part of his campaign team.
He also told the former vice-president to mend fences, wherever necessary both nationally and internationally, warning him to expect dirt from the opposition.
Obasanjo noted that if Atiku continued with his current attitude, getting support both within and outside the country would be very easy, offering to offer assistance where required.
“In addition to appreciating all that the party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested 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.”
Obasanjo Endorse Atiku for 2019 Presidential Election – Mixed Reation Trails