Remarks By Chief Olusegun Obasanjo On The Visit of PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to Abeokuta on Thursday October 11, 2018

1

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar with former President Olusegun Obasanjo exchanging pleasantries in Abeokuta on Thursday after the meeting

October 11, 2018

I am happy to welcome the distinguished leaders of goodwill who have led the PDP Presidential Candidate and my former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, to my humble abode and I welcome the Presidential Candidate himself.

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.

3

Pastor David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) after the meeting of PDP’s presidential flagbearer Atiku Abubakar with former President Obasanjo on Thursday

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.

2

Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kuka, the host, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, PDP presidential flagbearer, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and Islamic Cleric, Ahmed Gumi (L-R)

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.

God bless you all and God bless Nigeria.

News Bytes – @newsbytesnow

Advertisements

Flash! 2015 Primaries: Atiku Congratulates Buhari Over “Well-Deserved Victory” As Jonathan Maintains Sambo As Running Mate

APC PrimariesGen. Muhammadu Buhari has won at the ongoing APC primaries held in Lagos emerging as the party’s flagbearer and will contest against the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 Presidential election.

PDP primaries

Jonathan’s candidacy was ratified by the PDP at the just-concluded primaries which held at the Eagles Square, Abuja. The president has also picked his vice as running mate in his bid for asecond term in office.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has congratulated Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for a “well fought for and deserved victory”. Atiku who was also an aspirant in the APC primaries polled 954 out of a total of 7,214 votes.

Final Poll Count
Atiku Abubakar = 954
Muhammed Buhari = 3430
Rabiu Kwankwaso = 974
Sam Nda-Isaiah = 10
Rochas = 624

Flash: Excessive Spending on Security Is No Panacea, Says Atiku As Many Eulogises Late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua

Former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned against excessive security expenditure in the fight against the religious sect, Boko Haram, explaining that it may not serve as solution in curtailing the present security challenges in the northern part of the country.

He also warned against the rising rate of unemployment in Nigeria, citing the estimation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that there are about 75 million unemployed Nigerians in a population of about 150 million people.

Atiku was the guest lecturer at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Memorial Lecture, during which the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, former governor of Lagos state, Senator Bola Tinubu and other Nigerians extolled the virtues of the former Chief of General Staff, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who died in the Abakiliki Prison, Ebonyi State on December 8, 1997.

However, the event held at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja was almost marred by the absence of some of the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua associates, including, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo whom he served as his deputy,  Chief Anthony Anenih, northern governors among others.

Though he spoke on “Rebuilding Public Education as a Bridge to Nigeria’s Future”, Atiku warned that the security challenges in the northern parts of the country and especially those posed by the activities of the terror group, Boko Haram, would not be addressed with too much expenditure on security.

“But problems that are widespread and which have festered for a very long time cannot be solved simply by throwing money at them, like the too much expenditure to curtail the Boko Haram security challenges,” he said.

Likening too much expenditure on security to too much expenditure on education without any solution in sight, he said, “Americans call such a thoughtless practice ‘throwing good money after bad’.  We must make the structural, institutional and policy changes that are crying out for attention.  As we do those and engage in proper planning we shall have a better sense of the resources that are needed for our educational rebirth, what we can afford and the best way to deploy them – as a country, state or locality as the case may be. In any case, I believe that if we reduce corruption and waste in our system, we will be able to allocate a quarter of our budgets to education, in line with the recommendation of UNESCO. And it will be a sound investment to make.”

Decrying the high rate of unemployment in the country, the former vice president said, “The International Labour Organisation estimates the number of our unemployed young people to be 75 million this year. Ironically, we also have thousands of jobs available in certain sectors such as information and communications technology, which cannot be filled because of the scarcity of requisite skills in the available graduates. Many of our young people are roaming the streets of our major cities either begging or engaging in the marginal hawking of products with little income to justify the risks to them and the nuisance to society.”

He therefore called for the decentralisation of education, saying, “We have thousands of university graduates who remain unemployed or underemployed despite the enormous resources put in by their families and the government for their education.  Enrolment and admissions have not kept up with our population growth, and quality, rather than keep pace with our needs, has actually deteriorated a great deal, making our degrees increasingly worthless.”

He proffered solutions ranging from proper planning, professionalism, proper identification of policies and lack of adequate funding as panacea to improved level of education in the country.

Also speaking at the event, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, who was represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Labaran Maku, extolled the qualities and lifestyle of late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who he said dedicated his life to the unity of Nigeria as a country both when in the military as an army officer or in politics.

According to Anyim, “He served Nigeria as a patriot, a nationalist, but as a soldier in the battlefield or as the number two in command between 1979 and 1983. He was a courageous soldier”, who in his short spate of life left a lasting legacy.

Anyim also said that Nigeria missed his advice and service especially now that the country is encountering some challenges of insecurity in some parts of the north, adding that his service and that of General Usman Katsina would have helped to solve the crisis facing the north.

In his eulogy of the late General Yar’Adua, the former senate president, Nnamani described him as a symbol of unity and dedication to service, while calling for all hands to be on deck to uplift the falling standards of education in Nigeria. Nnamani said that Nigeria should emulate Singapore and South Korea who through education have risen to where they are today.

According to the former Lagos state governor, Ahmed Tinubu who was represented by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the late Yar’Adua lived and died for the unity of Nigeria and Nigerians. 

He said that though, the former Chief of General Staff was born into loyalty, he lived and died for the enthronement of democracy.

Tinubu described Yar’Adua as the Nigeria’s equivalent of the United States of America’s George Washington, as through his quest for democratic rule and good governance he founded the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) which fought for the return for democratic rule in Nigeria.

As a true Nigerian, Tinubu said that Yar’Adua does not believe in tribalism or advocate religious bigotry or regionalism, stating that his death was a painful sacrifice he made for democracy to take place in Nigeria. He launched the book, “Shehu Musa Yar’Adua: Neither North nor South, East nor West: One Nigeria” with the sum of N2.5 million.  Anenih, though absent, launched the book with the sum of N7 million.

Former President Obasanjo whom Yar’Adua served as Chief of General Staff, was absent, northern governors were equally absent at the memorial. The governors of Niger State and Katsina State were however represented at the occasion.

Courtesy This Day

Like our page: http://www.facebook.com/NewsBytesNow