A former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, has visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo to solicit his (Obasanjo) support for his 2019 presidential ambition.
The aspirant, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led a delegation of his campaign team on Sunday to Mr Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.
He explained that the visit was to seek his “prayers, advice and support.”
He described Mr Obasanjo as his leader and mentor, and attributed his success as Sokoto State Governor between 1999 and 2007 majorly to the advice from the former president.
He said based on Mr Obasanjo’s advice on savings, he left about N11.8 billion in Sokoto State treasury when he left office in 2007.
Mr Bafarawa also recalled that Mr Obasanjo visited Sokoto State 14 times to commission various projects, adding that he (Bafarawa) replicated an all-inclusive government ran by the former president.
The aspirant hailed Mr Obasanjo for his continued interventions at critical stages of the nation’s history, noting that many Nigerians had misunderstood the intentions of the elder statesman. He also commended the former president particularly for laying the foundation for the crusade against corruption.
“Nobody can successfully lay claim to fighting corruption without recourse to what Obasanjo had done,” Mr Bafarawa said .
The former president in his response noted that “Nigeria can be better than what it is now.” He pledged his support for any step to lift it up.
“My own strong belief is that Nigeria deserves better than we have now and we can get better than what we have. I believe the task of moving Nigeria to an enviable height is a collective responsibility and if we fail to act together as we ought to, the nation will not be where it is supposed to be in 2019,” Mr Obasanjo said.
He recalled his role during Nigeria’s civil war between 1966 and 1970 as well as his travails in prison, saying, “I have made sacrifices for Nigeria and will continue to do so.”
He called for new strategies to fix Nigeria, saying “we have continued to tread on the old path.”
Mr Obasanjo called for more attention to the welfare of less privileged Nigerians and increased educational development, particularly in the North-east.
He charged Mr Bafarawa to strengthen the leadership qualities he identified in him (Bafarawa), including humility, diligence, selflessness and lack of discrimination and also prayed for God’s guidance and support for Mr Bafarawa’s presidential ambition.
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