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I regret not ‘taking’ Lagos from Tinubu, AD in 2003 –Atiku.

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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
elections.

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
South-west
“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
did not.

“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
said.

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
elected.

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
country’s progress.

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
units.

“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
Nigeria.

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
in Lagos.

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