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How Yoruba leaders convinced Obasanjo to reconcile with Atiku

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“If we truly desire to put an end to his reign, common sense dictates we get rid of him. If we are not united Buhari will come back,” Adebanjo explained

Olakunle Olafioye

More revelations have emerged on how the reconciliation between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his estranged Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was brokered.

The sour relationship between the former President and his deputy was resolved last Thursday following which Obasanjo announced that he had forgiven Atiku.

READ ALSO: 2019: Obasanjo changes his mind, forgives Atiku, endorses him for presidency

Obasanjo also announced his support for Atiku, who is flying the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential flag in 2019, while addressing newsmen at the end of a closed-door meeting with him and his entourage at his Otta Farm home.

A chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who was among notable Nigerians who accompanied the former vice president to the reconciliatory meeting told Sunday Sun that Afenifere, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, had earlier visited the former president as a prelude to last week’s reconciliation.

Other Nigerians who accompanied Atiku to the meeting included the founder of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, Islamic preacher, Ahmed Gumi, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah and PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Sunday Sun on how the peace was brokered, Chief Adebanjo disclosed that the Yoruba leaders, during Afenifere’s visit to the former president, convinced Obasanjo that all those who were opposed to the return of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 must forget their personal differences and unite against his re-election.

“We explained to him that if we are all serious about fighting the tyranny and bad government of Buhari, those of us who are opposed to him must forget our personal differences and unite to get rid of him (Buhari) or else we may find ourselves to blame.

“The fight against Buhari is not a personal war; it is a fight in the interest of the nation. All the qualities that were attributed to Buhari are fake. Does he really have integrity or is a collaborator in the corruption he claims he is fighting? The Maina case and the SGF case happened under him. Even the one that was caught in the Ministry of Health and was sacked, Buhari reinstated him. Can he defend his actions in these cases?

“So, if we truly desire to put an end to his reign, common sense dictates that we get rid of him. If we are not united Buhari will come back. That’s what we told him,” Adebanjo explained.

The Afenifere chieftain described the reconciliation brokered between the former president and his deputy as a sign of unity and progress for the country.

READ ALSO: Buhari vs Atiku: Obasanjo, Afenifere unveil preferences

“It is an indication that Nigeria is prepared to send away tyranny. Men of goodwill are united to
get rid of the autocracy we are undergoing now. No matter what our personal differences may be, the opposition to this regime must not be divided. If we are divided he will get over us and deal with all of us. So, common sense dictates that no matter what our personal differences may be, we must forget it and unite to get rid of this government. Buhari’s return will sink this country further. All his claims in the past three years are fake, he only deceived us and we have seen the bottom line after three years,” he declared.

Asked why Afenifere decided to support Atiku against Buhari, the Yoruba leader said: “Atiku is the best available candidate for now. Atiku may not necessarily be the best candidate to be the next president of Nigeria, but he is the best candidate available to fight the incumbent. And since we are convinced that that is the truth, all hands must be on deck to support him to get rid of this bad regime.

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