Atiku Abubakar and Olusegun obasanjo
Atiku Abubakar and Olusegun obasanjo

On Obasanjo’s Obsessive Hatred for Atiku, By Adnan Mukhtar

NEWS DIGEST – It’s no longer news that former President Olusegun Obasanjo finds pleasure in criticising Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and hitting him below the belt at the slightest opportunity.

I’m writing this after his recent statement that he regrets nominating Atiku as his running mate in his first and second term in office.

He spoke in Abeokuta last week to students from selected secondary schools who participated in the final of the National Exhibition and Awards, organised by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).

Obasanjo whom Atiku served as Vice-President from 1999 to 2007 has not been in good terms with him since the end of their time together in the Villa.

He however endorsed Atiku’s candidature in 2019, telling the world that he had forgiven him, that as a Christian, his faith doesn’t allow him to keep grudges against Atiku especially when he himself asks God for forgiveness.

I was a secondary school student when Obasanjo was President and Atiku his Vice President. I was not exposed to the political happenings of this country but I read a lot on newspapers, books and columns by some respected writers like Late Sam Nda Isaiah, Mohammed Haruna and Mahmud Jega.

The biggest fault of Atiku in the eyes of Obasanjo was his attempt to contest for the office of the President after Obasanjo’s first term.

Atiku was said to enjoyed the support of party chieftains, governors and some relevant stakeholders in the country to the extent that Obasanjo had to beg him to shelve his presidential ambition which he did.

Analysts and followers of political events have it that if Atiku had continued with his ambition, it was obvious that he would have defeated his principal in that primary election.

Perhaps the major reason Obasanjo may never recover from his obsessive and compulsive hatred for Atiku is the role the latter played in killing his obnoxious third term agenda. That is however one of the reasons Nigerians love Atiku as a great democrat who saved the country from the grip of an emerging lifetime dictator.

The former president had also once alleged that Atiku had corruption cases outside the country which he must answer.

“God will not forgive me if I support Atiku for president,” he once said before he changed his mind and supported him in 2019.

As bitter as Obasanjo is about Atiku, the former President hasn’t for once denied the capacity of his former Number Two.

Among all the Presidential Aspirants on display for 2023, there is no doubt that Atiku is better than all of them in terms of capacity, exposure and knowledge of the economy.

He was a Vice President with one of the best economic team while in office. He chaired the Economic Council that brought GSM to Nigeria, stabilised the Naira and paid off Nigeria’s debt.

He co-founded one of the largest oil and gas, ports logistics services firms in Africa.

Because of his passion for education, he founded the first American University in Nigeria located in Yola. The school has graduated thousands of students with children of the poor who were  on scholarship (The Chibok girls for example).

The Waziri of Adamawa has an enviable track record of performance in the private sector and public office. Nigerians should give him a chance to lead the country to greater heights.

Adnan, a Political PR Consultant wrote this from Kano. He can be reached on [email protected]

sahara hausa