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We Can’t Restructure Nigeria Without Tackling Tribalism, Nepotism —Jonathan |The Republican News

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan: we can’t restructure Nigeria without tackling tribalism and nepotism

■ We can’t restructure Nigeria without tackling tribalism, nepotism — Jonathan

■ 1999 Constitution, fraudulent — Ayo Adebanjo

■ How Nigeria can be restructured — Nnia Nwodo

■ Nigeria has worst model of federalism globally — Jega

By Henry Umoru & Luminous Jannamike

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday differed with immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, Afenifere chieftain Ayo Adebanjo and former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over the restructuring of the country.

While Jonathan said Nigeria can’t be restructured without first tackling challenges that polarise the country, such as tribalism and nepotism, Nwodo, Adebanjo, Jega insisted it remained the only way out of the country’s myriad social, economic and political problems.

Jonathan, in his opening remarks as chairman of Daily Trust 18th Dialogue in Abuja yesterday, said the restructuring of Nigeria into 12 states by Yakubu Gowon at the outset of the civil war was to protect it from disintegration.

He said Nigerians have intensified the calls for restructuring because the federal system of governance handed to the country by the British could no longer accommodate the complexities of the nation.

The former president said he believes that the amalgamation of northern and southern Nigeria was not the problem but the divisive politics that had greatly affected the nation’s unity.

Jonathan, who asked Nigerians to first restructure their minds, noted that restructuring alone might not address all the challenges in the system.

He said:  “Within these six decades, our political space has assumed many colourations. We have gone from 12 regions to 36 states and 774 local government councils and moved away from when the different regions had different arrangements to manage the local government level to a unified local government system across the country.

“Yet, all that do not seem to have provided the answer to the questions of the administrative structure of our country and how best it should be governed.  As president, I had the privilege of celebrating our nation’s golden jubilee in 2010 and the centenary of our amalgamation in 2014.

“When we were to celebrate these milestones, some Nigerians saw our intention, arguing that the amalgamation was faulty. They insisted there were no reasons to celebrate because they believe the amalgamation has not helped the growth of our country.

“My belief is that all nations have their unique history; the amalgamation is not the problem in my belief, rather, there was too much emphasis on divisive politics and this has greatly affected our nation’s unity.

“As a country, we have our peculiar challenges and should devise means of solving them but we should not continue to tilt our spleen on the amalgamation.  My conviction is that discussion on restructuring will not help except we restructure our minds because some of the challenging issues at the national level still exist at the state and local levels.

“How do we restructure to make sure that those things don’t happen again? This shows restructuring alone may not solve all the anomalies in our system. I believe that restructuring for a better nation is good but there are other fundamental issues we should also address.

“We cannot restructure in isolation without tackling the challenges that polarise our nation. These include nepotism, ethnic and religious differences as well as lack of patriotism. The issues of tribe and religion have continued to limit our unity and progress as a nation.”

1999 Constitution, fraudulent — Adebanjo

Disagreeing with the former president at the Dialouge, with the theme, ‘’Restructuring:  Why? When? How?’’, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said restructuring was the only way the country could get out of its present quagmire.

He said the 1999 constitution was fraudulent and did not articulate the collective will of the people, having been imposed on the nation by the military, stressing that the country must return to the 1960 Independence Constitution when the regions had autonomy.

He said:  “My view is that 1960 and 1963 constitutions gave us more freedom and autonomy which we are all agitating for.  Why we are emphasizing restructuring now? Because the 1999 constitution is fraudulent; it does not represent the choice of the people.

“Interestingly, when we talk of restructuring, some of our friends from the North will say ‘they want to break the country’. But, anyone opposed to true federalism which is restructuring is the one who wants to break the country.

“The question of insecurity the country is facing now is because the governors do not have control over the security agencies in their states. That is what we need to address now.

“Where should the Presidency go in 2023? That is not the question now. The key question is to first keep the country together. Then, let us make the question of presidency constitutional, not gentleman’s agreement.

“Anybody talking about the election without changing this constitution does not love this country.  It is the 1999 constitution that has made Northern Nigerians believe if they don’t support anybody, he or she cannot be president.

“All the agitation about Biafran separation is because they (Igbos) feel excluded under the constitution. I only hope the progressive elements in the North will persuade President Buhari to restructure the country now before everything burns to blazes.

“The Constitution we have now is a fraudulent constitution, it is not our constitution. Most importantly, it has failed, and everybody testified to this fact. It is simply not working.

“To save us from this situation, we must impress upon President Buhari to change the constitution to one that everybody agrees to.”

How Nigeria can be restructured — Nwodo

Aligning with Adebanjo, immediate past President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, made a strong case for restructuring, adding that the 1999 Constitution overthrew the sovereignty of the regions over their natural resources and domestic security and brought about a fall of education standards, economic well being, and a rise in insecurity nationwide.

He said:  “We should restructure because the constitutional history of Nigeria shows that the only constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made by all the ethnic groups in Nigeria, were the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions.

“The 1999 Constitution overthrew the sovereignty of the regions over their natural resources and domestic security unleashing in the process an unprecedented fall of education standards, domestic security, and economic well being.

“We must do all we can to restructure before the next election in 2023 because the level of dissatisfaction in the country as evidenced by the last ENDSARS protest gives one the impression that any delay may lead to a mass boycott or disruption of the next elections to the point that we may have a more serious constitutional crisis of a nation without a government.

“To restructure Nigeria, we need a constitutional conference of all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. To use the current National Assembly as the forum for constitutional amendment grants a tacit recognition of the overthrow of our democratic norms by the enthronement of a military constitution by which they are composed.

“The outcome of the constitutional conference must be subjected to a public plebiscite in which all adult Nigerians should have the right to vote. This process should be open, it should be supervised by international agencies to validate its transparency and thereafter usher new elections based on its provisions and structure.

“This process, in my view will ultimately refocus our country breed a democratic culture that emphasizes more on selfless service rather than individual enrichment, promote genuine unity instead of ethnic bigotry and challenge our capacity to exploit our abundant potentialities to make life more abundant for our people.

“In a restructured Nigeria, northern Nigeria will earn more from food production than other regions. So, must do all we can to restructure before the next civilian election in 2023.”

Nigeria has worst model of federalism globally — Jega

In his remarks, former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, also made case for restructuring, noting, however, that restructuring without a corresponding improvement in good governance would not work.

He said:  “Across the world, about 25 countries, which represents 40 percent   of the global population practice the federal system of government.  What is clear is that when you look at the Nigerian context, not only has there been a long military rule but in the 20 years of civilian rule, we have not made significant progress.

“Nigeria is one of the worst models of political accommodation of diversities, power as well as resource sharing.  What account for the difference between Nigeria and other countries with more effective management of their diversity are elite consensus and good governance.

“Bad governance and over concentration of power at the centre is a recipe for disaster.  For its stability, progress, and development as a modern nation-state, Nigeria’s current federal structure needs refinement and improvement or some form of what can be called restructuring.

Earlier in his address, Alhaji Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman of Media Trust Ltd, organizers of the event, recalled that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, while campaigning in 2015, pledged widespread constitutional reforms in the form of true federalism.

Noting that the party even set up a committee, headed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai  of Kaduna Stateto look into the matter, Yusuf said the el-Rufai Committee accepted the idea of restructuring, such as state police, revision of revenue sharing formula and abolition of the third tier of government.

He said the recommendations of the Elrufai-committee were accepted by all the organs of the APC but expressed regret that not much had been heard about the issue since the party won a second term two years ago. (Vanguard News)

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Bishop Kukah: Mind Your Utterances, Fani-Kayode Warns Muslims |The Republican News

Bishop Matthew Kukah

By Kayode Oyero

A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has cautioned an Islamic group, the Muslim Solidarity Forum, to be mindful of its utterances against the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah.

The PUNCH had reported that the Sokoto-based group asked Kukah to vacate the state or tender an apology over his comments on Islam.

The acting Chairman of MSF, Prof Isa Maishanu, made this known in a statement in reaction to the cleric’s Christmas Message.

Reacting, the former minister tweeted, “Bishop Hassan Kukah did not attack Islam & has nothing to apologise about. He has always sought for religious tolerance & peaceful co-existence between Christians & Muslims. Those that demand that he “must apologise” or “leave Sokoto” must mind their utterances & keep the peace.

“If anyone can provide me with a video of Kukah calling for violence against Muslims or inciting people against Islam I will give him one million naira.”

Kukah, in his December 25 message, had accused the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of nepotism and failure to protect Nigerians. His message riled some nerves, especially in the camp of the pro-Buharists.

The cleric had said, “One Northern Imam after the other have posted videos of lamentation on the social media asking why, with all the cards of power in the hands of northern Muslims, everything is bursting in the seams. How come our region has become a cesspool of blood and death? Why did President Buhari hand over a majority of the plum jobs to Northern Muslims? Was it for efficacy and efficiency? What was the logic? President Buhari must pause and turn around because his policy of nepotism has been rejected by the gods.”

Kukah’s message was delivered barely a month after the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, lamented the high rate of insecurity in the North, saying it was the worst place in the country to live. (Punch)

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Muslim Coalition Warns Against Attacks On Kukah Over Christmas Day Message |The Republican News

Bishop Mathew Kukah

By John Owen Nwachukwu

Those vilifying the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Archdiocese, Matthew Kukah for speaking against the current administration have been warned to desist from actions that could deplete the peace of the country.

The coalition of Nigerian Muslim Professionals, in a statement made available to DAILY POST in Abuja on Tuesday, said that Nigeria will be a great place if there were two or three persons like Kukah.

A statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Prof. Mohammed Inuwa, noted that Buhari may have meant well for the country but faulted the President in some actions taken by his administration which it said was not promoting unity.

The Coalition said instead of vilifying the cleric, it would be to the President’s best interests to take Bishop’s message as a wake-up call to adjust for the good of Nigeria

It noted that promoting the interest of one region against others is not what a good leader is known for, adding that in as much it loves the president, the Coalition will want him to leave a legacy of a united Nigeria.

The Muslim coalition condemned in its entirety attacks trailing Kukah’s Christmas Day Message, where he bemoaned the state of the nation, warning that unless leaders sit up, Nigeria was heading towards a failed state.

Kukah had also accused President Buhari of piloting Nigeria into darkness in the message titled: “A Nation in Search of Vindication.”

He had emphasised the worsening state of insecurity in the country and berated the current federal administration of glaringly abandoning the nation’s extant federal character principles and rather promoting nepotism with impunity.

The development has been drawing criticisms from the President’s friends, political associates and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

However, the coalition commended Kukah for what they described as “his boldness to speak truth to power”, faulting those vilifying him.

The Nigerian Muslim Professionals took a swipe at those trolling the Bishop, saying they were doing it for their pecuniary gains and not the interest of the country.

It warned against twisting the message to mean the Bishop endorses coup, saying contrary to those promoting that insinuation, the revered Bishop was too learned to support such ignoble path to installing leadership, saying Nigerians with a conscience would not fall to the antics of those twisting the Bishop’s message for selfish reasons.

The group said having followed Bishop Kukah’s activities and preachings since the days of the military, it was convinced that not too many Nigerians took the interest of the country at heart like Bishop Kukah.

“Even during the military era where people dreaded the powers that be at the time, Bishop Kukah, who was then a Catholic priest spoke truth to those at the helm of affairs without fear or favour. He has shown through his actions all the years that he is a true son of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general,” the group stated.

“We should support him for being bold enough to come out to speak what many Nigerians know is the truth but afraid to speak out for fear of the leadership.

“While we must admit that President Muhammad Buhari means well for the nation, we must say that most people in his government are grossly incompetent and don’t deserve to stay around power even in an uncivilized space,” the group stated.

The group said it would not shy away from the truth even though most of the president’s actions drawing criticisms were in favour of its region.

It flayed the glaring marginalisation of the Igbos in every facet of national life, saying the development was not promoting national cohesion which nationalists that laid down their lives for the country’s independence wanted.

“There’s nothing wrong with Bishop Kukah’s statement in the actual sense. Some regions particularly the South East has been marginalized in successive governments, and the administration of President Muhammad Buhari came and amplified it with the worst,” it added.

It described those attacking Kukah as faceless individuals who were being promoted by selfish people in leadership to silence the truth.

” We strongly condemn the wrong approach taken to respond to a message by a patriotic Nigerian by these incompetent people working to derail the president’s agenda.

“It is completely wrong to be attacking Bishop Kukah by some faceless sponsored groups. Bishop Kukah did not in any way call for a coup, he is too learned to do that.

“We stand completely with Bishop Kukah, this government must be fair to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion,” it said. (Daily Post)

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Secret, Devisive Recruitment In DSS By DG, Bichi Revealed |The Republican News

DSS Director General, Mr. Bichi


24 HOURS after VP Yemi Osinbajo and SGF Boss Mustapha both warned separately that cracks on the Nigerian wall could lead to its break-up, a scandalous report came out in the People”s Gazette showing how the DG of DSS has put a sharp knife to the rope holding what is left of Nigeria together through an insentive and impunitous lopsided recruitment into the agency.
Director-General Yusuf Bichi was said to have activated a lopsided hiring process that tend to overfill the State Security Service with personnel from the northern parts of Nigeria. Peoples Gazette reported based on official documents and contributions of senior intelligence officials.

The Gazette’s findings obtained over a period of two weeks showed that the North has a massive share of the roughly 1,300 Nigerians currently undergoing cadet training at two different camps of the secret police in Lagos and Bauchi.

Of the total 628 cadet trainees who had resumed at the Bauchi facility as of September 23, 535 trainees joined the service from either the Northeast or the Northwest. Only 93 were from either the Southeast, South-South, Southwest or North-Central.

The Gazette’s findings also show that at least 71 of those currently undergoing cadet training hail from Bichi Local Government Area, Kano State — the director-general’s home local government area. Officials said the number was more, but the Gazette could not independently confirm the higher figures — as well as a slew of other disturbing allegations of bigotry against Mr. Bichi — prior to its publication.

The list of candidates was not compiled by state, but officials believe a state-by-state breakdown would exist at the headquarters in Abuja.

In Lagos, the Gazette was unable to obtain official attendance records of trainees at the camp in Ojo, but multiple participants, including senior officials, said Mr. Bichi disregarded the federal character concept and skewed the process for Nigerians from the North.

A top official estimated 708 trainees were at the Lagos training facility as of September 26. Officials were unsure how many people were taken as cadet trainees in total because some were still arriving three weeks into the six-month exercise.

Senior intelligence officials said even though the sectional disparity mirrors Nigeria’s reality under President Muhammadu Buhari, they are, nonetheless, worried that the development could potentially tip the ethnic and religious balance of national security in favour of a section of the country for decades.

“Some of us are worried less about the audacity of focusing on one part of the country to bring in new cadets than we are about its long-term implications,” a senior DSS official told the Gazette “We know he might find it difficult, but the DG would leave a better legacy if he sees himself first as a Nigerian.

In July, the Yellow House sent out a memo to all state and FCT commands, informing them that Mr. Bichi had ordered a fresh round of recruitment for the agency’s next generation of intelligence officers.

Mr. Bichi directed that each state command should conduct a rigorous selection process and forward four successful candidates to the headquarters for possible admission into the service. The DG also imposed strict entry guidelines for every potential recruit, according to the July 6 memo.

The directive also cancelled a 2018 recruitment process that was underway at the time, but said those who were successful in that process may join the fresh exercise.

Mr. Bichi emphasised that the four candidates for each state must be below 30 years of age and be selected across the three senatorial districts that make up a state.

It was confirmed that all commands complied with the directive, conducted a thorough selection of four candidates and sent the results to the headquarters.

But shortly after the candidates were cleared and sent to the headquarters before the July 15 deadline contained in the memo, Mr. Bichi seized the moment and initiated a recruitment process of his own, the Gazette learnt.

On September 1, Mr. Bichi told a few officials at the Yellow House to call people from a prepared list and offer them a role at the SSS. Those who were called were immediately asked to go to the Lagos or Bauchi training school, officials said.

Starting September 8, cadet candidates reported for training in Lagos and Bauchi, in some cases without the awareness of the director of state security in the state they applied from, documents and officials said.

“I just heard that some people from the state where I work, including some who did not make the cut for the four candidates we selected and passed to the headquarters, had reported to the training school either in Lagos or Bauchi,” an SSS chief said.

“Based on the four-per-state arrangement, only 148 people should have been employed across 36 states and the FCT,” the SSS chief said. “But we suddenly discovered that training schools in Lagos and Bauchi had over 1,300 between them.”

Mr. Bichi kept the list of those he had been sending to the training school secret, officials said. It was unclear how many people he intended to recruit, but they kept showing up.

Mr. Bichi has kept the process largely to himself, making it difficult for insiders to access his list or the criteria with which he was selecting cadet candidates, officials said.

For a long time, the SSS did not admit candidates who had a third-class university degree or lower into the service. Only those who did well in university and polytechnic were admitted as a security intelligence officer (level two), equivalent to an assistant superintendent of police.

In recent years, however, the service has been admitting candidates who graduated with a third-class, but it has been placing them on a rank below that of a security intelligence officer, officials said.

In Bauchi, some of the candidates were asked not to bother checking in for training at all, according to information gathered.

In at least one case, a candidate was asked not to go to Bauchi for training, but to resume directly at the DDS state command in Kano, the Gazette learnt.

A female third-class graduate resumed at the Kano State field office of the secret police on September 22 without undergoing training. Her employment letter said she should resume immediately as a cadet officer but go for a basic course training in 2021.

The Gazette’s findings show that the woman is also from Bichi Local Government Area. Her identity was not revealed based on legal considerations.

In Lagos, the 708 candidates undergoing training are so many that some lecture halls have been converted to hostels, the Gazette learnt. The facility was not sufficiently equipped to take in as many trainees at once, officials said.

Mr. Bichi’s regional recruitment agenda came three years after his predecessor implemented a similar hiring process that failed to reflect Nigeria’s diversity.

In 2017, Premium Times revealed how the 479 cadet officers that were commissioned from the 2016 recruitment exercise were substantially from the North. Lawal Daura was in charge of the SSS at the time.

This worrying fits perfectly into the ethno-agenda of Gen Buhari which has manifested in running the country as if he heads only a section of it.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has taken the government to court based on its serial sectionalism.The case comes up at the Federal High Court in Abuja on 2nd October.
We will not cease to do all we can to rescue the country from the nepotic grip of President Buhari.

Yinka Odumakin
South West

Chief Guy Ikokwu
South East

Senator Bassey Henshaw
South South
Dr. Isuwa Dogo
Middle Belt

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Yusuf Buhari Emerges As 4th Richest Child Of A Sitting President — Forbes

Son of Nigerian president, Yusuf Buhari

Forbes is about to publish a list of the richest president’s/despot’s kids on the planet and Yusuf Buhari made it to number 4 with a net worth of $2.3bn US dollars . Not bad when you consider that Yusuf’s father has only been President for 4years and that majority of the top ten rich kids have had the privilege of having their daddies in power for an average of 10yrs straight.

Yusuf also is the second richest African to make the billionaire thief club with daughter of Angolan president being the only other African to beat him to score 3rd on the list with a net worth of $10bn.

The daughter of late Venezuelan socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez topped the list with a whooping net worth (or should we say loot) of $6bn to dust Yusuf.

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2019: Obasanjo Slams Buhari Again, Refutes Having No Preferred Candidate |RN

                                                   Buhari, Obasanjo

Niyi Odebode  and Tunji Bosun 

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday denied a report which indicated that he had dropped his support for the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

He faulted the report which also stated that he had no preferred presidential candidate. Obasanjo said only a fool would sit on the fence.

The ex-President said these in a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, made available to journalists in Abeokuta.

In  the  statement titled,  “2019 elections and reports of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s neutrality”, Obasanjo said he was in Cairo to attend the maiden edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair  where  he acted as  the Chairman of the Advisory Council when his attention was drawn to the report (not in The PUNCH) with the headline, “Atiku: Obasanjo shifts political gear to neutral”

Obasanjo said in the statement that Nigeria was being destroyed by incompetence, lack of focus and nepotism.

He said while he chose not to use the Owu convention in Iwo, Osun State on Saturday as a platform for a  political campaign, he adopted a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu sub-ethnic group.

According to the statement, the former President “ believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise”.

The statement said,  “It is disingenuous, if not malicious, for anyone to suggest that Chief Obasanjo was being neutral when he chose not to use the Owu convention as a platform for political campaign but instead adopted a communal and familial approach in talking to members of his Owu family.

“For the records, and as accurately reported by some media organisations, what the former President said at the convention in Iwo was that while he would not impose any candidates on them, Nigerians should vote for credible candidates who would drive growth and development and make their lives better than it is now.

“Chief Obasanjo’s statement did not suggest his neutrality. In fact, the former President believes that only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed. Chief Obasanjo is no such fool nor is he so unwise.

“The former President reassures Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Chief Obasanjo reaffirms that he is on the side of what is best for Nigeria and what we have currently, at the helm of affairs of Nigeria,   is not the best for Nigeria, so nobody should fool himself or deceive others about Chief Obasanjo’s position.

“The former President further urges Nigerians, who are victims of what we have for now, to stop just complaining and go out to get beneficial change.

“They must know that such change will not come if they remain inactive, just complaining and complacent and allow themselves to be deceived by sycophants and enemies of Nigeria.

“If they do not become active and get the much-needed change of the current administration to a government that will improve the economy, regain the confidence of investors and generally drive growth, development and economic progress with security, what is coming will be much worse than what Nigerians currently suffer.

“On his part, Chief Obasanjo will remain consistent in speaking out whenever and wherever he sees evil as he is known to do no matter whose ox is gored. Nobody should manipulate Chief Obasanjo’s position, particularly on the 2019 presidential election and what he said in Iwo,  to perpetrate or perpetuate continued destruction of our country, “the statement said.

Obasanjo, had in a letter to the President in January this year, urged Buhari not to seek re-election. He had accused the President of incompetence in many areas, including the economy.

The ex-President had stated, “There are other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on the performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest.”

Urging the President to shelve his 2019 presidential ambition, he stated, “I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.”

After the emergence of his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate, Obasanjo in October endorsed the ex-vice-president.

The endorsement followed a peace meeting brokered by the founder of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo; an Islamic preacher,  Ahmed Gumi; the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah;   a  chieftain of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the PDP National Chairman,  Uche Secondus.

The relationship between  Obasanjo and Atiku had become frosty towards the twilight of the Obasanjo administration which ran from 1999 till 2007.

There were allegations that Atiku had worked against the third term agenda purportedly mooted by his then boss. Obasanjo too had since not supported all Atiku’s earlier efforts at becoming the president.

Obasanjo, had in an exclusive interview with Premium Times on August 3 after his arrival from Kigali, said God would not forgive him if he supported Atiku.

“How can I be on the same side with Atiku?”  Obasanjo was quoted to have asked. “To do what?  If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support,” he said.

But on October 11, 2018, after the peace meeting, Obasanjo said he forgave Atiku in the interest of the nation.

He stated, “Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, on 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 rediscovered and repositioned 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 a 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.” (Punch)

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