Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has given reasons why he prefers the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, as the next leader of the nation.
Speaking at the Island Club Quarterly Business Lecture in Lagos, today, Obasanjo drew comparisons between the two leading candidates in the upcoming presidential election on February 16, as he insisted that Atiku would be a good leader because he has experience, exposure and has learnt his lessons well, of which he (Obasanjo) tried to teach him a few of them.
He said, “I’ve been called names because of my position on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri of Adamawa – my former Vice President. Those things that I have said, as far as my knowledge of Atiku is concerned, I stand firmly by them because they are to the best of my knowledge very true.
“And what I’ve said and written about Buhari are clearly true, and they’re not controverted, if anything, they have been confirmed and proved beyond any shadow of a doubt. Only two Sundays ago I said what I believe are understood as to the way the Buhari administration is going about the coming election. And within less than a week, things started showing itself. But, let us leave that because Nigerians are rising up to defend our fledgeling democracy, and to defend our future progress. Nobody else will do it for us. We have to do it for ourselves and that is why I believe that we have no better man to lead us out of the morass we are: morass in economic terms, the morass in security terms; morass even in international affairs terms.
“Atiku has done three things which are absolutely imperative for a leader to be followed and to be believed. First, a leader must know who he is and present himself as he is – a human being in blood and flesh, and susceptible to human mistakes and human frailties; don’t cover up with sanctimonious veneer of bogus integrity. Incorruptibility when you have corruption on your nose; uprightness when everything around you is crooked; goodness and false figures and statistics all of which are contrived to deceive, to cheat, to plunder and to destroy.
“Atiku never claimed to be a saint. (He turned to ask him if he had ever made the claim and Atiku said no) And I never described him as such. I will never describe any human being alive, let alone calling him a messiah. On an occasion in the past, when I said that someone was not a messiah some Nigerians, out of bad belle were up in arms for me. But, as for me, as a Christian, the only Messiah I know and I serve is Jesus Christ.”
Atiku, who was the Guest Lecturer at the event, spoke about how he would fix Nigeria’s problems if elected president and harped on his belief that the private sector must be allowed to drive the economy and provide jobs while the government provide enabling environment for business to thrive.
The lecture was attended by PDP stalwarts, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus; the southwest leaders, Chief Bode George and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, and the gubernatorial candidate of PDP in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje.