2019 presidency: I’m a sinner, Atiku not a saint – Obasanjo

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Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has admitted being a sinner, adding that his erstwhile deputy, Atiku Abubakar, was not a saint but would make a better leader than incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

In an interview with BBC Pidgin aired on Tuesday, he slammed Buhari, stressing that he was undeserving of re-election.

Obasanjo had accused Atiku of being corrupt. However, the former president had publicly endorsed Atiku’s candidacy for the 2019 presidency after saying uncomplimentary things of the former Vice President in the past.

When asked during the interview why he forgave Atiku, Obasanjo said his former deputy expressed remorse over his past actions and asked for his forgiveness.

Speaking further, he said even though Atiku is not a saint, he would do better as Nigeria’s president than the man who currently steers the nation’s affairs.

Obasanjo maintained that Buhari’s performance during his first term in office has shown that he cannot be trusted with a second term.

He said, ““Atiku is not a messiah; he is not a saint. Fortunately, he has not claimed to be. He has not claimed a fake sanctimoniousness. He came here. He acknowledged his past misdeeds and showed remorse,” Obasanjo said.

“I am a believer and a Christian as such and the teaching of God in my own religion is to forgive so that you can be forgiven. In fact, it goes further that if you do not forgive, you have no right to expect God’s forgiveness.

“I’m a sinner and I want God to forgive me sins. So, if anybody who has offended me comes to ask for forgiveness, I must forgive him. That’s number one.

“Number two, the choice that we have for the immediate in Nigerian situation today and the immediate is 2019 is between the candidate of party APC and PDP. The other minor parties will line behind or not sufficiently relevant.

“So, if APC puts down Buhari and PDP puts down Atiku, and from what I know of Buhari and what you know, what he has done and shown is utter incompetence, nepotism, condones evil and misconduct, including corruption.

“The weakness of the body, mind and the totality of Buhari, compared with Atiku, I believe Atiku will perform two times better than Buhari.

“Now, you can steal the whole of Nigeria and if you belong to APC, you are safe. Corruption is not only stealing money; nepotism is a form of corruption.”

Obasanjo also poured scorn on the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration, noting that it’s more about propaganda than actual honest work by anti-graft agencies which he said are being used to hunt down political opponents and critics.”

“You can steal the whole of Nigeria, and if you belong to APC, you’re safe; but you can steal N10, if you criticise Buhari and his government, even when you stole that N10 15 years ago, they’ll come and ask for the N10.

“All these institutions that are meant for the running of good governance, of making Nigeria wholesome, are being abused and misused just to perpetuate Buhari in government. That cannot be the way to go,” the former president said.

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