Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has again defended his decision to support the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Lagos Island Club, he said he has been called several names for sticking his neck for his former deputy.
Recall Obasanjo had in the past described Atiku as a ‘shameless liar’ and said God would never forgive him if he supports his presidential bid.
He has since announced that he has forgiven Atiku after the intervention of some clerics.
Here are his reasons below:
In his statement, Obasanjo said he has not retracted his words on Mr Abubakar but that the presidential candidate “has done three things which are absolutely imperative for a leader to be followed and believed.”
“First, know who you are and present yourself as you are – a human being in blood and flesh and susceptible to human mistakes and human frailties. Don’t cover up with sanctimonious veneer of bogus integrity, incorruptibility, uprightness, goodness and false figures and statistics, all of which are contrived to deceive, to cheat, to plunder and to destroy.
“Atiku never claimed to be a saint and I never described him as such. I will never so describe any human being alive let alone calling him a Messiah. On an occasion in the past when I said that someone was not a Messiah, some Nigerians out of bad belle were up in arms. For me, as a Christian, the only Messiah I know and have is Jesus Christ and even then, the man aspect of Him was imperfect while the divine aspect of Him was perfectly messianic.
“Secondly, a leader must be honest to himself and to the people he serves or he wants to serve. He must identify and acknowledge his situation, mistakes, shortcomings and inadequacy; show remorse where and when he has erred, seek forgiveness and repent; and not passing the bulk or keep blaming others and fail to accept responsibility. Atiku accepts responsibility for his mistakes, shows remorse and seeks forgiveness from his political party and subsequently from Nigerians. He asks for forgiveness from me and as a believer, a Christian as such, I forgave him in accordance with the teaching and instruction of my Saviour, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matt 6:14-15 NIV). If anybody blames me for forgiving Atiku, I leave such a person with God Almighty, especially as both Christian and Islamic clerics joined Atiku to visit me to seek forgiveness. Anybody who does not forgive when forgiveness is sought with contrite heart cannot be a true believer and should not expect the forgiveness of God.
“Thirdly, as a leader, you must understand the fundamentals of the problems you have to solve and be courageous, visionary and ready to reach out sufficiently to build a credible team of experts, knowledgeable men and women, concerned and interested citizens and non-citizens to work hard and tirelessly for solutions that will benefit all Nigerians and indeed Africans and humanity. He must have ability to build a credible team, lead them, listen to them and give them enough leeway to achieve and make meaningful contribution without abdicating his responsibility. He must be accessible to them. From my personal knowledge of Atiku, he has these qualities.” Follow us on Instagram @sofovilla | Follow us on Twitter @sofovilla | Like our page on Facebook via @sofovillamedia