The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to clarify his recent comments, regretting picking a running mate for the Presidency in 1999.
Obasanjo, had while addressing a leadership mentoring session with selected students in Abeokuta, Ogun state on Saturday, said picking a running mate when he wanted to become Nigeria’s president in 1999 is one of the mistakes in his life.
“One thing that has happened to me is that God has never disappointed me and that is very important. For instance, one of the mistakes I made was picking a number two when I was going to become president”, Obasanjo was reported to have said.
Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, was Obasanjo’s vice-president from 1999 to 2007.
However, addressing a press conference on Monday in Kaduna,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Senator Walid Jibrin, called on Obasanjo to clarify his statement within 48 hours.
Jibrin said, “Our attention has been drawn to a statement said to have been made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, that it was a mistake for him to have appointed Atiku Abubakar as the Vice President in 1999.”
Jibrin said although Obasanjo did not specifically mention Atiku’s name, the report of what he told his audience, was such that he was referring to the PDP Presidential candidate.
He said “Obasanjo should come out and clarify the statement – whether he was misquoted or he meant what he said.
“It is when he makes that clarification that the PDP will officially reply him…
“One can assumed that what he said may be correct, but we want to give him time up to tomorrow (Tuesday) or next (Wednesday), if he comes out to say he had been misquoted or he meant what he said on Atiku, you will hear the bombardment and I will break the egg.
“I will also tell Nigerians and the whole world who Obasanjo is, how Atiku assisted him to rule Nigeria and how Atiku refused his third term ambition.
“It is therefore, very important that we hear from Obasanjo openly.”
The BoT Chairman also disclosed that a reconciliation committee will be constituted to visit the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Nwike, who lost the Presidential ticket and the Vice Presidential nomination.
“We in PDP know how to solve our problems. We know that Governor Nyesom Nwike may not be happy, it is the intention of this party to constitute a reconciliation committee that will meet Nwike to talk to him, appeal to him and pray that he will not leave our party,” he said.
Jibrin described Nwike as “a great man who has been fighting for the party and the party will not want to see him moving to another party”,
He said the party will meet with all the contestants (in the primaries) to bring them together.
“We will all visit Nwike together and if it means kneeling down to Nwike, we will kneel down for him”, the BoT Chairman said.
Jibril noted that Nwike had on several occasions, declared that “he will never, never, leave PDP.”
Jibril said, “We respect him, we respect his integrity and honesty in supporting the PDP.
“It is our believe that in any contest, there must be a winner and a loser.”
He called on members of the party to be united in order to win the 2023 elections.
He lamented that the PDP lost the recent governorship election in Ekiti because of lack of unity.
“I want to call on PDP members to come together and work together in unity.
“We should not be divided against ourselves. We must unite within ourselves. But if we begin to have problems within ourselves, there would be more problems for us.
“What happened in Ekiti should not happen in the next governorship election in Osun state.
“We lost Ekiti because we are not even united among ourselves. If we are united, we would have won in Ekiti hands down.