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2019: Atiku, Obasanjo in closed-door meeting

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The presidential candidate of the main opposition party, PDP, has arrived the Abeokuta home of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Atiku, who recently emerged PDP candidate, hopes to convince the former president to support his ambition.

Atiku was vice president when Mr Obasanjo governed Nigeria between 1999 and 2007.

However, both men later fell out, with Mr Obasanjo vowing never to support Mr Abubakar’s presidential ambition.

On Thursday, the former vice president arrived Mr Obasanjo’s home at about 1:12 p.m.

He was accompanied on the visit by the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and the Director General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Gbenga Daniel.

They then went into a closed-door meeting with Mr Obasanjo which was still on as at the time of filing this report.

Mr Abubakar is expected to be the main challenger to President Muhamamdu Buhari in next year’s election.

Atiku had on Sunday emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Obasanjo had on August 3 exclusively told PREMIUM TIMES the former vice president should not count on him for support in his bid to actualise his life-long ambition of being elected president of Nigeria.

“How can I be on the same side with Atiku?” he 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 added.

Mr Obasanjo said his remarks should not be interpreted to mean a personal battle with Atiku, coming as 2019 presidential campaign gathers steam with Mr Abubakar amongst the front-runners.

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“I do not have personal grudges with anyone,” Mr Obasanjo said. “If you do not do well for Nigeria, you do not do well for all of us.”

“It is not a question of working with or not working with an individual,” he said. “If you are working for the good of Nigeria, I am working with you. If you are not working for the good of Nigeria it does not matter who you are I am not working with you.

“Most of you do not understand the way I operate. And I thought your own paper (PREMIUM TIMES) will understand better.”

“I know Atiku very well. And I have mentioned my position with Atiku. My position has not changed.

“If my children are getting married, he has sent representatives. If his children are getting married, I have sent representatives. That is social. That is not political.

“But on political ground, my position has not changed. If I support Atiku for a political office other than the one I supported him in the past when I did not know him, maybe, but not now that I know him, God will not forgive me.”

That comment created the impression that Mr Obasanjo was not ready to soften his borderline disposition to his former vice president of eight years.

After the former president said he would not support President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, there was widespread speculation that he would back anyone presented as the major challenger, even if this turned out to be Atiku.

The Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, had visited Mr. Obasanjo this week to plead with him to meet with Atiku and possibly back him for president in the coming election.

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Source: Premiumtimes

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