2019 Build-up: Obasanjo under pressure to back Atiku against Buhari (DETAILS)
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2019 Build-up: Obasanjo under pressure to back Atiku against Buhari (DETAILS)

Politics Nigeria



Atiku and Obasanjo - 2019 Build-up: Obasanjo under pressure to back Atiku against Buhari (DETAILS)

Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo is facing pressure to reconsider his position on not supporting his former vice, Atiku Abubakar for President in 2019.

Thos urging Obasanjo to support Atiku believe that the former leader has genuine intentions for Nigeria and are keen on seeing an end to the Muhammadu Buhari led-administration.

To achieve Buhari’s ouster, Obasanjo’s allies believe there is need for him to reconsider his opposition to Atiku’s ambition. According to them, Atiku remains one of the most qualified and ready candidates for the office of president ahead of 2019, and one who can give Buhari a run for his money.

Obasanjo was locked in a meeting on Saturday with various leaders in the south-west including some his known political enemies in the region.

Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere is said to be discussing with Obasanjo the imperative of not closing the space on anyone on account of personal animosity, citing specifically the case of Atiku.

The reason Afenifere is believed to be making a case for Atiku, not as an automatic candidate of the alliance but one of the many aspirants to come together in collective interest, inside sources say, is his position on the issue of restructuring, which a majority of Afenifere members consider crucial to the future of a united Nigeria.

According to Thisday, some Afenifere sources revealed at the weekend maintained that although they were sure Atiku would implement full restructuring, as this has since formed the core of his campaign, they were certain he would implement it in a manner that would be fair to all parts the country.

The former president also seized the opportunity to visit his estranged ally, Chief Olabode George, first to commiserate with him on the passing of his son, Dipo, and to also reconcile with him by drafting him into the battle to take back the country.

But sources said while Obasanjo had yet to give any positive response to the request to give Atiku a chance, he did not, however, maintain his familiar hard stance on the former vice president, a situation many interpreted to mean he might have begun to soft-pedal.

This is against the backdrop of the speculations that Obasanjo had sworn that never would Atiku rule Nigeria in his lifetime. Such dispositions clearly establish where Obasanjo is believed to stand on Atiku’s long-nursed presidential project. The former president is believed to be the one de-marketing his former deputy on the allegations that he was a corrupt politician, who should not be found anywhere close to power again.

Recent development has shown otherwise giving credibility to the statement that ‘Anything is possible in politics’.

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Updated on December 12, 2018 at 9:00 am