Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has defended his endorsement of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He said despite the fact that Atiku lost to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he remains “far better” than the incumbent.
The elder statesman spoke on Sunday evening when the Southwest PDP leaders led by the party’s National Vice Chairman (South West), Dr Eddy Olafeso, visited him at his Pent-House Residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In attendance at the meeting were Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi; Senators-elect Oyo South Kola Balogun; Ondo Central Ayo Akinyelure; Rep-elect (Ibarapa North and Central), Hon Ajibola Muraina; former Osun State Governor Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Minister for State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada and PDP gubernatorial candidate in Ekiti State 2018 election, Prof Olusola Eleka.
He said: “Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into the Nigeria’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.
“I said if you compare the two of them (referring to Atiku and Buhari) with what I know and all I have written about the incumbent, which they have decided to cover up, Atiku is better than the incumbent by far. That’s the point I am making. And nobody is perfect.
“I am not a perfect person. I have my shortcomings. If I deny my shortcomings, it means I am not being truthful to myself.
“But, my shortcomings have nothing to do with my love for Nigeria. It has nothing to do with being greedy or selfishness.”
Obasanjo told his guests Nigerian situation demands a vibrant voice and opposition in PDP to engender a virile democracy.
The former Head of States also bemoaned the failure of leadership, saying Nigeria can’t move forward “if we continue the way we are.”
He urged the PDP to purge itself of “bad eggs and hypocrites,” whom he said, lacked commitment to return the opposition party to its lost glory.
Obasanjo lamented many of the PDP leaders are still preoccupied with what ministers to “their pockets and stomach,” wondering why some of them left the party while others lost hope the seconds the results of 2019 Presidential election were announced.
Obasanjo, whose Coalition for Nigerian Movement(CNM) failed to provide a formidable force to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari and his the All Progressives Congress(APC) at the centre, advised PDP to purge itself of “hypocrites and bad eggs.”
He noted the purging exercise would put the party on a higher pedestal to scout for those he called “critical mass of committed people,” who “would be ready to stand with the party come rain, come shine.”
Obasanjo said: “I knew PDP would lose election in 2015 because it was clear. And I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election.
“You need what I call critical mass of committed people, and come rain, come shine they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.
“You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him.
“If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person. And if such person has learnt his or her lessons there can still be room to accommodate the person.”
Also at the meeting were former Lagos Deputy Governor Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; former Deputy National Chairman Shuaibu Oyedokun; PDP Governorship candidate in 2017 Ondo State Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede SAN among others.