My rift with Obasanjo is over – Atiku

The former vice president says he harbours no hatred or enmity against his former boss.


A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said the rift between him and former President Olusegun Obasanjo is over.
He stated this on Tuesday when he granted audience to the leaders of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum, NYLF, who visited him in Abuja.

Mr. Abubakar was Mr. Obasanjo’s deputy when the latter was Nigeria’s president between 1999 and 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The former is now a member of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

The duo disagreed before they left office. The former vice president is believed to have played a prominent role in scuttling the third-term ambition of his boss.

The first move towards reconciliation between the two was in January 2009 when Mr. Abubakar visited Mr. Obasanjo at the latter’s hilltop palatial residence on Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The move was said to have been facilitated by the then Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Before then, Mr. Obasanjo’s former aide and now senator, Andy Uba, had paid furtive visits to the former vice president both in Lagos and Abuja. On one occasion, Mr. Uba was said to have asked Mr. Abubakar to join him in his car for a ride to Ota.

NYFL had in March this year visited the former president at his Ota, Ogun State residence during which he said he had forgiven his estranged deputy, saying “I have forgiven him.”

Mr. Obasanjo added, “I do not have any grudge against anybody. And if there is any, I have forgiven all as a father.”

Mr. Abubakar told his guest on Tuesday that he harboured no hatred or enmity against his former boss.

“I don’t harbour any grudge against my former boss,” he said. “Yes, we had disagreements in office. These were mere disagreements. I harbour no hatred or enmity against him or anybody. I never had anything against him and I will never have.”

The former vice president explained that in politics, he has opponents, but no enemies, stressing, “Politics is not war.”

Mr. Abubakar, however, thanked the group for successfully brokering peace between him and Mr. Obasanjo and noted that the effort had marked the leaders of the youth organisation as serious-minded people fully prepared to take over the leadership of the country from their seniors.

On the current security situation in the country, the former vice president appealed to the Federal Government to take the challenge more seriously.

“If we can go to other countries to rid them of these kinds of problems, it shows that we have the capacity to put this one down immediately so that the suffering of the people can be reduced,” he said.

Earlier, NYFL Chairman, Eliot Afiyo, described Mr. Abubakar as an “honest and forthright leader, a courageous and dogged democrat, a loving and compassionate guardian, an accommodating and caring shepherd and a role model.”

He expressed happiness and satisfaction with the joint decision by Messrs Obasanjo and Atiku to accede to their request to bury the hatchet, adding that it was a development that would go a long way in healing the rift in the country.

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