During the week, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and his ex-vice president and new PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar met to reconcile their longtime feud which began during their second tenure in office back in 2003-2007. It seems like both PDP’s most powerful players finally reached a common ground based on a mutual agenda to dislodge President Muhammadu Buhari, during their meeting which held on Thursday afternoon, as Obasanjo has endorsed Atiku for president.
Atiku was said to have led some prominent personalities to Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, Ogun state for their meeting which ended with Obasanjo accepting Atiku’s apology. The question to be asked here is, what were the key things discussed during their meeting? Well, let’s take a look at the top 5 issues that were raised and resolved at the power meeting:
- Atiku has changed for the better: Obasanjo said to Atiku that he has reviewed what went wrong in the past and believes that Atiku has re-discovered and re-positioned himself. In his words to Atiku; “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. “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.”
- Displacing President Buhari in the 2019 upcoming election will be resilient: Obasanjo, who is strongly against Buhari’s re-election having stated at several times that Buhari has failed Nigerians, has proclaimed that among the other presidential aspirants in the PDP, Atiku is the best fit to displace the president during the 2019 polls, but hinted that the road to 2019 be a difficult one. In his words; “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.”
- Atiku better than Buhari: According to Obasanjo, the PDP presidential candidate has the “capacity to perform better than the incumbent.” He said Atiku understands the economy better and has business experience, which can make his administration business-friendly and boost the economy while providing jobs. In discussing with Atiku he said; “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”.
- Begin from where they left off: According to Obasanjo, gaps have been created between the time both of them left office in 2003 and now, and urged the presidential candidate to remember the “democratic” government they ran between 1999 and 2003. He urged Atiku to always consider merit against blood relationship and nepotism which Buhari has been accused of doing in his government. In his word to Atiku; “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.”
- Obasanjo’s foremost demand from Atiku: Obasanjo urged Atiku to always remember that the Nigerian constitution “must be scrupulously defended” and to respect the rule of law. In his words; “Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency,” he requested of him. “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 presidential election in 2019 is going to be one of Nigeria’s most interesting and historic elections. As much as most people will not like to admit, this presidential race is mainly between Nigeria’s two most powerful political parties and their strongest candidates.
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