2019: Obasanjo backs Atiku, says he's bet­ter than Buhari They’ll lose to­gether - Pres­i­dency God’ll not for­give Obasanjo - APC

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - From Peter Moses (Abeokuta) & Muideen Olaniyi (Abuja)

For­mer Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo made a volte-face yes­ter­day and en­dorsed the pres­i­den­tial bid of his erst­while deputy Atiku Abubakar on the plat­form Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP).

Obasanjo had in the past re­peat­edly de­clared that he would not back Atiku's pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tion. “If I sup­port Atiku for any­thing, God will not for­give me. If I do not know, yes. But once of I know, Atiku can never en­joy my sup­port,” he had said in one in­stance.

The for­mer pres­i­dent had also warned Nige­ri­ans against sup­port­ing the APC or PDP say­ing “I have pub­licly said and I mean it, that as a party, nei­ther PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been; never mind about re­forms and apol­ogy and all that."

But Obasanjo made a U-turn yes­ter­day while host­ing Atiku in Abeokuta. Atiku, who de­feated 11

oth­ers to clinch the ticket, was Obasanjo’s pres­i­dent be­tween 1999 2007, but they had been apart un­til yes­ter­day.

Those present at the event in­cluded PDP Na­tional Chair­man Prince Uche Se­con­dus, PDP chief­tain Bode Ge­orge, Founder of Liv­ing Faith Church Bishop David Oyedepo, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Dio­cese Matthew Has­san Kukah and Kaduna-based Is­lamic preacher, Sheikh Ah­mad Gumi.

Oth­ers in­clude for­mer Gov­er­nor of Osun Prince Ola­gun­soye Oyin­lola, the Direc­tor- Gen­eral of Atiku Cam­paign Or­ga­ni­za­tion and for­mer gov­er­nor Of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel; for­mer gov­er­nor of Cross River State Liyel Imoke, Sen­a­tor Ben Mur­ray Bruce, Otunba Oye­wole Fa­sawe, and Afenifere Leader Ayo Ade­banjo. PDP vice and torn

Atiku has re­dis­cov­ered him­self - Obasanjo

Chief Obasanjo said Atiku had re­dis­cov­ered and re-po­si­tioned him­self and there­fore fit to take over man­tle of lead­er­ship from Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari who would run for a sec­ond term on the plat­form of All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC).

“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 re-po­si­tioned 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 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.

“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,” Obasanjo said.

We Atiku

must work to­gether

Speak­ing ear­lier, Atiku said it was time they worked to­gether so that the coun­try could be repo­si­tioned on the path of unity, truth and pros­per­ity.

“This visit is an his­toric one for both of us and for this coun­try, be­cause, as I have said last Sun­day, I paid trib­ute to him (Obasanjo) be­cause I couldn’t have been what I am to­day with­out his wise coun­sel, with­out his pick­ing me as his Vice-Pres­i­dent for eight years and with­out the train­ing I got from his tute­lage and his lead­er­ship.

“I be­lieve the time has come for all of us to work to­gether, to unite and work to­gether, so that this coun­try can be repo­si­tioned on the path of unity, truth and pros­per­ity.

“Mr Pres­i­dent sir, to­day is one of the hap­pi­est days of my life. As I said a few mo­ments ago up there, after your pres­i­dency, we have had three pres­i­dents in this coun­try, the only Pres­i­dent you have trained is my­self, and I said I am go­ing to com­mit my pres­i­dency, if I be­come one, to the con­tin­u­a­tion of your own pres­i­dency and le­gacy.”

God will not for­give Obasanjo - APC

Re­spond­ing to the de­vel­op­ment, the act­ing Na­tional Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), Mr Yekini Nabena, said the en­dorse­ment of Atiku by Obasanjo has no im­por­tance to the rul­ing party.

Nabena, in a phone in­ter­view with Daily Trust, said the de­vel­op­ment had shown that both Atiku and Obasanjo were “un­se­ri­ous per­son­al­i­ties with no in­tegrity and sin­cer­ity of pur­pose.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, “The de­vel­op­ment has shown that they are un­se­ri­ous peo­ple who have no in­tegrity or sin­cer­ity in them. To­day, you come out to say this. To­mor­row, you say that. To­day, you are say­ing a dif­fer­ent thing. You have al­ready said that God will not for­give you if you for­give Atiku. Both Atiku and Obasanjo don’t even know what they are do­ing.

“Is it not the same Obasanjo that said that if he for­gives Atiku, God will not for­give him? Truly, God will not for­give him now.

“The truth there is that Obasanjo has no po­lit­i­cal rel­e­vance. Even to­day, he can­not win in his polling unit. So, let’s leave it at that point. It’s not im­por­tant.”

From left: Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Dio­cese, Matthew Has­san Kukah; for­mer Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo; PDP Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Atiku Abubakar; and Is­lamic cleric, Sheikh Ah­mad Gumi at the end of a meet­ing be­tween Obasanjo and Atiku in Abeokuta, Ogun State yes­ter­day

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