I regret not ‘taking’ Lagos from Tinubu, AD in 2003 –Atiku.
former Vice President, Atiku
Abubakar, on Monday said he
regretted not doing much to help
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
win in Lagos State when he had
the opportunity in 2003.
Mr Abubakar, a PDP presidential
aspirant, spoke in Lagos while
holding a meeting with members
of the party in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
reports that the meeting was part
of his nationwide tour of state
chapters, to seek support for his
aspiration ahead of 2019 general
He revealed how his former boss,
Olusegun Obasanjo, before the
2003 elections, gave him the task
to deliver the six South-west states
then governed by the Alliance for
Democracy (AD) to the PDP.
Mr Abubakar said that in carrying
out the task, he delivered all the
states to PDP, except Lagos.
The former vice president said that
he deliberately did not do much to
win Lagos because of his
relationship with the former
governor, Bola Tinubu.
He apologised to party members
for what he called his mistake,
saying that Lagos would have been
better off, if he had delivered it to
the PDP then.
“When we came to power in 1999,
the entire South-western states
were controlled by the AD. And
when we were approaching the
2003 elections, I told my boss, give
me the chance to take over the
“And he gave me that authority,
and I took all the states with the
exception of Lagos. Why? Because
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I came a
long way from the SDP, PDM and
all of that, and I felt I should leave
Lagos for him. In fact, I could
easily have taken over Lagos, but I
“I have since regretted my
decision; please, my sisters and
brothers in the party, I want you
to forgive me for taking Lagos out
of that arrangement.
“If I have another opportunity again, Lagos will
be taken to where it belongs. So, I am
appealing to you to give me that opportunity so
that I can correct the mistakes that I made,” he
Mr Abubakar said his decision to seek the
number one seat in the country was to
reposition and put it on the path of progress.
He said that the country was having serious
issues in the areas of economy and security,
assuring that he would fix the problems if
Mr Abubakar said that the ruling All
Progressives Congress (APC) had failed to
deliver the promised change.
He said that he was committed to the idea of
restructuring, and believed it was key to the
The former vice president said he would
restructure the country within six months in
office, if given the mandate.
Mr Abubakar pointed out that the federal
government was too powerful, and promised to
ensure devolution of power to other federating
“If I am elected, I will make the centre
unattractive and ensure that power devolves to
the states,” he said.
Earlier, the Director-General of the Atiku
Campaign Organisation, Gbenga Daniel, said
that his principal had the capacity to reposition
NAN reports that Mr Abubakar was also
accompanied on the visit by former Minister of
Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe.
Former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe,
was among leaders that received the aspirant
- Previous BUHARIMANIACS AND BUHARIDEENS Femi Aribisala.
- Next Anambra South 2019: Why Ifeanyi Ubah should be Taken Seriously. Written by Agaji James Atah Ifeanyi Ubah :His reentry into politics for a shot at the senatorial slot from Anambra South is a fixture that may turn out to be Nigeria’s political El classico .The match up for the coming duel offers one of the most interesting ring side views in the build up to the 2019 elections. He is taking his chances against two of the most formidable opponents to ever step into the ring in a winner takes all square up. To win the crown,he’ll have to beat incumbent senator Andy Uba, of the APC and wrest the APGA ticket from the iconic Bianca Ojukwu. On the surface, it looks like mission impossible when you consider the odds. First of all, Bianca is heiress to the most powerful political dynasty East of the Niger :the late Ikemba of Nnewi and founder of APGA. She will be hard to beat because she fought in the trenches beside her husband in the founding of APGA and iater as arbiter in sustaining the party’s momentum from centrifugal forces and splinter elements that threatened the very survival of the party after Ojukwu’s demise. Symbolically therefore, Ifeanyi Ubah may be seen to be fighting against the Ikemba of Nnewi in Nnewi. She is widely considered the Benazir Bhutto of Anambra. Andy Uba on the other hand offers a less institutional challenge than Bianca. But ,he creates all the complications of removing an incumbent establishment type with a firm grip on all the intrigues and power play that go into successful electioneering in Nigeria. For good or for bad, Andy Uba and his brother Chris Uba remain key stakeholders in the political architecture of Anambra state and are known to owe allegiances to powerful national networks with far reaching influence on political outcomes anywhere. However, Andy Uba’s detached and conservative nature and his lack of involvement in the lives of members of his constituency may be his Achilles heel. Three titans, one trophy. Enter Ifeanyi Ubah,the youngest of the three, but perhaps the one with the most bragging rights. Billions and business successes aside, Ifeanyi Ubah comes with the best prospects for the job as a real representative of the people. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, he clawed his way to the the top by hard work and inherent ingenuity. He became a billionaire in his thirties and in the process carved a name for himself as one of Nigeria’s greatest philanthropists with a series of large scale people oriented projects around his constituency and the nation at large. He can win easily if he gets his strategies right. His handlers must therefore pay attention to his key selling points. First of all, they must convince stakeholders in APGA that his candidature can only deepen the Democratic culture within APGA and not necessarily an affront on the late Ikemba. Even Bianca understands the future of the party may only be guaranteed by a dynamic evolution of democratic culture and merit based leadership system instead of static worship of cult figures and parochial sentiments. The late Ikemba could not have wished for a more robust political culture. This is in line with the political attitude of the people of Anambra. When Peter Obi attempted to become a cult figure and omnipotent political oracle in the state, Ifeanyi Uba was one of the first people to oppose Obi’s transmogrification . Long before the people turned against Peter Obi, Ubah had defected to APGA with his game changing block of supporters across the state. His defection to APGA was strictly on principle. This same principle has guided his attitude towards the people in his constituency in the creation of layers of empowerment projects for different segments of the society. Let a thousand flowers bloom is a Chinese maxim that Ubah has brought to life in the lives of members of his constituency. He is a revolutionary factor in the human and material development of his Nnewi base. Unlike most politicians who became billionaires from politics, Ubah is one of a handful of billionaires going into politics. Head to head, he will out class Andy Uba in Nigeria’s money politics. In the area of impact on constituency and goodwill from the electorate, Andy Uba is lost in the shadows of Ifeanyi Ubah. The real challenge now is for APGA to move fast in strategic deployment of its best resources. Bianca and Ubah do not necessarily have to square up against each other. They’re both quality assets with political weight on a national scale. Bianca with her technocratic bent and record of past political appointments could lbe reserved as ace candidate for national appointments from Anambra. This will pave the way for Ifeanyi Uba to emerge in a replay of the US democratic party arrangement that saw Obama emerge as President and Hilary Clinton as Secretary of state. In the feisty environment of the upper chambers and shifting sands of Nigeria’s current political climate, the billionaire business man and master of boardroom politics may just be the best hand for the job