Nigeria elder statesman and former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has narrated his experience about choosing a running mate in 1999.
Naija News recalls that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain won the 1999 presidential election and led the country through 2007.
Speaking about the process that led to the emergence of his Vice, Obasanjo who was interacting with some secondary school students at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State, said he made a mistake while picking his running mate during the civil rule.
Obasanjo said he selected the wrong vice but it was a genuine mistake in the end. Obasanjo said he made many mistakes in life but that God made him overcome them.
“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
It could be recalled that Obasanjo and Atiku had some disagreements while in office and the issues lasted even years after. Speaking about the second mistake, Obasanjo said he refused an asylum offered to him by the American Embassy when he was about to be arrested by the late former military dictator, General Sani Abacha.
Obasanjo narrated that he would have lost his life during the period of his incarceration, but God saved him.
“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life,” he said.
Speaking on the involvement of youths in politics, Obasanjo expressed worries about the not too young to rule initiative, stating that youths may never come into power if the current trend in Nigeria continues.
The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.
“How can the youths run,” Obasanjo asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.