Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday disclosed that he has forgiven former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar and any other
persons perceived to have offended him.
Atiku was Obasanjo’s deputy between 1999 and 2007 and was believed to have scuttled the third-term ambition of his boss in 2006.
But Obasanjo, who was reacting to a request of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) after a two-day meeting in Abeokuta at the weekend, said as a leader and father, he bore no grudge against anybody and if there was, he has forgiven.
“On the request that you made yesterday, I do not have any grudge against anybody,” he said. “And if there is any, I have forgiven all as a father.”
Obasanjo appreciated the group for coming to Abeokuta to make a case for a way forward for the country, stressing that the since 2003, “the effort of your group has been noteworthy. I happy that you have also increased in number. Let me appreciate all your support since 2003 and urge you to continue by ensuring that credible leaders are elected in 2015.”
The leader of the delegation and national chairman of NLYF, Comrade Elliot Afiyo, said: “The leadership ïs in Abeokuta to visit our Baba to identify with his vision for our great country, Nigeria.”
In a position paper submitted earlier on Saturday, the group stated: “We have come to you (Obasanjo) as a father, indeed, elder statesman for sure, an advanced citizen per excellence, an honest and forthright leader, courageous and bold democrat.”
Afiyo stressed that with such positive attributes, Obasanjo has no option or alternative than “to chastise and later forgive and embrace both the good and bad characters.”
“In view of this, we humbly request that you forgive your former Vice President, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, of whatever political sin or offence he might have committed against you.
“We bow our ourselves before you on his behalf and plead for mercy and understanding.”
The national chairman added that the mission to come and plead for Atiku “does not in any way stop you (Obasanjo) from charting any noble political course for the nation come 2015.”
The group also solicited the commitment of the former president in finding lasting solution to the incessant blood-shedding in the country, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east and the communal clashes in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba and Kogi states.
Afiyo added that the body had collectively and unanimously decided to come and consult Obasanjo “as the Oracle of a better Nigeria before taking any decision. Because of our numerical strength of over 12m registered members.”
He boasted that the position of the group will definitely shape the direction of any election as witnessed in 2003, 2007, and 2011.