Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he has forgiven his former vice-president Abubakar Atiku for some grievances he has against him while in office.
He also endorsed Atiku as his candidate choice for the presidency in next year’s general election.
Obasanjo, earlier, often criticised his former vice and alleged he had cases of corruption against him internationally.
However, Obasanjo in a u-turn called Atiku “president-to-be”.
Obasanjo said, “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.”
He said he believed that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has repositioned himself and fit enough to have his support in the next year’s presidential election.
“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.”
Stating reasons for endorsing his former vice, Obasanjo said, “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.”
The former president said he does not regret his previous stance against Atiku, as actions against his former vice were in “national interest”.
“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.”
Obasanjo told Atiku that his faith as a Christian would not allow him to keep grudges, saying he also asks God for forgiveness on a daily basis.
“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.”
Obasanjo urged Atiku to prioritise matters of national interest and uphold the tenets of the nation’s constitution above personal and political matters when elected president.
“Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. 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,” Obasanjo said.