Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar as a presidential candidate.
Speaking at his home in Abeokuta, the elder statesman said Atiku has ‘re-discovered and re-positioned himself’ for good.
Obasanjo 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 re-discovered 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.
“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.
“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. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.
“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. As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.
“As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank them all. May their coast continue to be expanded. And 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.
“Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. 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 fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.
“All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
“Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.”
Gbenga Daniel resigns from politics, says he will “take on some new challenges”
A former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.
Daniel, in his letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, dated March 14, 2019, also announced his resignation from partisan politics.
He said the decision to quit partisan politics was personal to him.
Daniel was the Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organization before the former Vice President emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the election conducted a few weeks ago.
“This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.
“My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges,” he said in the letter.
Obasanjo urges people of Oyo state to support Makinde
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the people of Oyo State to cooperate with Mr Seyi Makinde, the governor elect of the state.
A statement issued by Obasanjo’s Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said that the former president made the call when the Oyo State governor-elect visited him in Abeokuta on Thursday.
According to Obasanjo, the love and votes of the people of Oyo State have ensured the emergence of Makinde, adding that their continued support was necessary to make him succeed as a governor.
“He cannot do it alone and since you have supported him before and during the elections, you need to continue to be together to make him successful,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying in the statement.
He urged Makinde to jettison the type of democracy that only targeted or benefited selfish interests of selected few.
“You have a onerous task ahead in improving the status of the capital of the old Western Region and you have to work to unite them all.
“You need to shun corruption, be transparent and embark on developmental projects which would be a delight to the people of Oyo State.
Osinbajo rallies APC supporters for polls in Kano, others
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged All Progressives Congress (APC) members not to relax or take anything for granted ahead of the March 23 governorship election rerun in some states.
Osinbajo communicated this while addressing party faithful at the PMB/PYO Volunteers Appreciation Dinner at the State House Banquet Hall on Thursday in Abuja.
INEC has fixed March 23 for supplementary elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto states where governorship elections were declared inconclusive.
He thanked the volunteers for their commitment and trust, saying that with the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria was on course for greatness.
“I believe that with your support our country will continue to move forward; everything we want for our country will be done, and by the grace of God, every one of the President’s projects will be done.
`Our economy will turn around and we will see prosperity in this great nation.
“Let me just say that we are still not done with elections.
“On March 23, we still have some outstanding states; as you know, there are rerun elections in about six states.
“ And we still need to put efforts in those six states. We cannot afford to slack up and say the job is done; we still have some things to be done,’’ he said.
Osinbajo expressed APC’s condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the process, and asked for a minute silence in their honour.
He said that the campaign was about the Nigerian people whom he said were very trusting and supportive of their leaders without asking for much.
The vice president said that the Buhari-led government had achieved much in four years in spite of earning less—a feat which was achieved because of Mr President’s honesty and integrity.
Mr Ade Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, said that Nigerians had demonstrated their confidence in the ability of Buhari and Osinbajo to pilot the nation.
He said that Nigerians not only voted but made sure that their votes counted.
Ipaye commended the President and vice president over their energetic campaign that saw them going round the country.
The deputy chief of staff also thanked God for securing the President, vice president and the campaign team throughout the campaign.
Retired Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa, Director, Women and Youths, APC Campaign Team, expressed appreciation to Osinbajo for arranging a platform to thank the volunteers.
He thanked God for protecting the vice president in the helicopter crash as he and the crew all came out unscathed.
Marwa said that Osinbajo exhibited uncommon commitment and courage by proceeding with his schedule shortly after the crash.
“Something told me we will be victorious after the vice president survived the crash.
“Why else should the vice president survive if not that God has prepared him for another four years.
“He continued with his campaign immediately after the crash; he deserves applause.
“We thank God for the president who was able to visit all the states; he went to each and every state.
“This is the first time we are seeing a vice president mingling with the downtrodden in the markets and everywhere.”
There were also goodwill messages from some other party functionaries.
The gathering was thrilled by a cultural troupe and comedians.
APC dismantle two symbolic broom statue in Abuja
The gigantic broom symbolising the All Progressives Congress (APC), constructed at the City Gate in Abuja, has been dismantled.
The construction of the broom project, which signifies the APC logo and was done with iron rods, came to limelight in February.
There was another giant broom constructed at the Unity Fountain, also in Abuja.
The project had been widely criticised at the time it was mounted, a few days to the general election.
However, on Friday, construction workers disassembled the projects at the two locations.
Many Nigerians had condemned the project as a waste of resources, especially as Nigeria is not a one-party nation.
The Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA) was also not left out of criticism for permitting the party to use the site for the erection of the statue.
At the time of this report, it could not be ascertained if the order to dismantle the project was given by the APC leadership or the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).