The Presidential flagbearer of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice-President to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar met with his former boss in Abeokuta the Ogun State capital earlier today and secured the endorsement of Obasanjo to the surprise of all Nigerians.
Atiku at the weekend emerged winner of the presidential ticket of the PDP knows that endorsement of Obasanjo would go a long way to making his campaign easy across Nigeria. Atiku and Obasanjo had issues when they were in power over Atiku’s refusal to support Obasanjo’s third term bid. At the time, all Nigerians supported Atiku for standing up and telling truth to power, which caused him his relationship with Obasanjo.
But the outcome of their meeting today has changed the entire dynamics of the 2019 presidential race, which has firmly pitched Atiku against the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Interestingly, fearless Obasanjo unlike other leaders that are cowardly did not mince words in endorsing Atiku, whom he said is better qualified to handle the economy and abolish nepotism, which the incumbent has reintroduced in the Nigerian political landscape.
Describing Atiku as a ‘true wazobia’ Nigeriann, Obasanjo also said he has forgiven Atiku over what transpired between them at the time but cautioned him to learn from history and ensure that he leads a Nigeria where all Nigerians will feel loved by their president and not one that will promote his own ethnic nationality in presidency.
Atiku’s visit to Obasanjo is the first known visit to a notable personality since he emerged as President Muhammadu Buhari’s main opponent in 2019. It will be recalled that in his acceptance speech at the PDP convention, he paid glowing tribute to Obasanjo, saying he could not have achieved much politically without the contribution of the elder statesman.
Atiku chaired the national economic council when he served as Obasanjo’s deputy between 1999 and 2007. Obasanjo has never liked Buhari’s ethnically preferential style of leadership and had continually rated Buhari poorly especially on the economy.