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Obasanjo supports APC

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Saturday.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday openly threw his weight behind the All Progressives Congress when some national leaders and governors of the APC visited him, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Our correspondent gathered that the APC leaders at the meeting solicited Obasanjo’s support for the party in the forthcoming elections.

The visitors started arriving at Obasanjo’s Hilltop Mansion around 5:22pm. A former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, led APC leaders, including the party’s Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari; former speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Masari; former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff; Senator Osita Isunazor; Senator Bukola Saraki; Mr. Lai Mohammed to the meeting.

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State came to the former president’s house in company with the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissioin, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; the former minister of aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and others in a convoy of three black jeeps.

Other APC governors at the meeting included Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).

The Chairman of the New PDP, Kawu Baraje led some of his members and the former Kaduna State Chairman, Yero Makama, to the meeting.

Presenting the party chieftains and the APC governors to Obasanjo during the opening of the meeting, Akande said the party was in support of the former president’s 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The APC National Leader, Tinubu who alluded to Obasanjo’s contribution to the building of the Nigerian nation, lamented that the country was divided more than ever.

Apparently referring to Obasanjo’s recent letter to Jonathan, he enjoined the former president not to shy away from speaking the truth.

Tinubu added that the APC had resolved to rescue Nigeria, appealing to Obasanjo to lead the mission.

“You’ve come out of tribulation and held the highest position in this country. We are here because of your courage. Nobody can say he has information more than you. You have surmounted a number of crises. Nigeria is divided more than before; to realise stable Nigeria, we want to encourage you to continue to speak the truth. We’re resolved and determined to rescue Nigeria. We want you as navigator,” he said.

Responding, Obasanjo, who said he remained a card-carrying member of the ruling PDP, described himself as an “incurable optimist” totally committed to Nigeria’s well-being.

He vowed that nothing would distract him from his commitment to the Nigerian nation.

Obasanjo also enjoined the opposition party to play a constructive politics “without bitterness”

The former president said, “I am a card carrying member of the PDP but the politics I play traverses Nigeria, Africa and world in that order. I am a democrat and one of the essential ingredients of democracy is opposition. A democracy that has no opposition built into it is not democracy.

“As an opposition, you are enhancing democracy. You are at home, you are welcome. I will just appeal that the politics you play is politics without rancour, without bitterness, with decency, that has Nigeria at heart. I am an incurable optimist about Nigeria, I am totally committed to Nigeria and nothing will divert me from that commitment.”

At the end of their two-hour meeting, Tinubu, in a chat with newsmen, denied that the APC had come to woo the former president.

He said, “The meeting was not to woo him but to tap from his wealth of political experience.”

One of those present at the meeting, Fani-Kayode told Sunday Punch that Obasanjo embraced the APC at the meeting. He said, “The ex-president told us that APC has taken the first step in the right direction towards making Nigeria great. It was an excellent meeting.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the PDP and the presidency were futile on Saturday as the spokesmen of the party and presidency could not be reached. Their phones were switched off.




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