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Obasanjo: Picking Atiku as my Vice was a mistake

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday said one of his mistakes in life was picking former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as his running mate during the 1999 Presidential election.

Obasanjo, who described Atiku’s choice as his Vice President as one of his “genuine mistakes”, said despite making the mistake, God saved him in the end.

The former President made the disclosure while answering questions, posed by students from selected secondary schools that, participated in the final of the National Exhibition and Awards, organized by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).

The event, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State, featured presentations and exhibitions of some products, made by students of the participating schools.

Obasanjo and his former number two man, Atiku had a running battle during the build-up to the 2003 elections.

It is believed that Atiku, who is now contesting the number seat on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) worked against the third-term ambition of Obasanjo and this led to the former President not supporting Atiku in his Presidential ambition.

Obasanjo, in a reminiscence on his life and achievements both as Military Head of State and a civilian President, said he had made many genuine mistakes in his life, but God made him overcome them.

The former President, who interacted with the students in a questions and answers session, said: “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.

“The second one (mistake) was when Abacha wanted to arrest me. 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 an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.

“I will say there are many things that could have been a mistake but God saved me from them all.” 

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