“I Support Mega Party But If Atiku Will Be The Presidential Candidate Then Count Me Out” -Obasanjo
Posted On 08/12/2016
The proposed mega party by some aggrieved opposition politicians of major political parties in the country may already have run into a hitch, following the stringent condition allegedly handed down by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support the new party.
THISDAY learnt that when the notion of the mega party was brought to Obasanjo’s notice, the former president, who was not averse to a new formidable opposition party, was quick to give a condition that his former deputy when he was in office, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, should not by any means whatsoever become the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.
The new opposition party is believed to have the tacit support of some members of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that currently controls 11 states in the country, a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Ahmed Tinbubu, and Atiku Abubakar, a major chieftain of the APC. The party is being championed to challenge the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general election. However, when Obasanjo, according to sources close to the ex-president, was approached to lend his support to the new party, he informed the proponents of the new party that he was prepared to back it on the condition that Atiku was not picked as the presidential candidate of the party. According to a source, who was conversant with the outcome of the meeting with the former president, “He (Obasanjo) addressed the group that met with him, informing them that he had made too many mistakes in his life and for the nation, including the blanket support he claimed to have granted the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari, and therefore was not prepared to make any more mistakes.” The THISDAY source hinted that the former president said that although he was quick to support the APC, however, he was not as quick to support Buhari’s bid to become president in 2015, because he had reservations about his capacity to lead the country. But because the APC to which he had declared his support had also settled for Buhari, he had no option than to tag along. However, given the current state of the nation and political developments, he informed his guests that it would be foolhardy of him to rush into taking yet another critical decision, especially on the presidency of the country. It was for this reason he was said to have reluctantly supported the idea of the mega party, but added that he would only identify with it if Atiku does not emerge the presidential candidate of the party. He was said to have pointed out that Buhari’s obvious unimpressive stewardship to date had lent credence to his initial hesitation to support him and that having worked with Atiku, he could tell where his presidency would head.
Obasanjo made it clear to the proponents of the mega party that their presidential candidate could be anybody with the minimum requisite qualifications and experience, but certainly not Atiku.