Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Monday revealed that if not because of his personal relationship with the national leader of All Progressives Congress, (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) would have overrun and takeover Lagos State from the defunct Alliance for Democracy, (AD).
Atiku, a frontline presidential aspirant of the PDP who said this yesterday when he visited the party secretariat in Lagos boasted that he has the political sagacity to take over the South-West and the North if the PDP gives him the opportunity to prove his political prowess.
However, debunked claim that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot lose election in the north, saying, whenever he contest election with any northerner, he always lost.
The former Vice President stated that if allowed to become PDP flag bearer, he would devolve power to states and make the President office less attractive because the states were very important to governance.
He noted that the importance of state in governance made him to ask former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to handover responsibility to take back South- West states from AD to him. “And he did.”
‘’When we came to power in 1999, the entire South West States was under the control of Alliance for Democracy, AD. When we were approaching the 2003 election, I told my boss, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to give me the authority to takeover South West from AD for the party. He gave me the approval.
“My effort during that election resulted in our party taking over the states except Lagos state. And the reason was that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I came a long way from Social Democratic Party, SDP. And he asked me to leave Lagos for him. I could easily have taken over Lagos. Today, we have lost South West again to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“I want you to forgive me for leaving Lagos out of that arrangement. If I have that opportunity again, Lagos and other five states will return to PDP controlled states. I can tell you that and I know what I did to preserve Lagos.
“I want to appeal to Nigerians and members of PDP, to give me that opportunity to return, in order to correct the mistake I made 14 years ago,” Atiku added.
The PDP presidential aspirant alleged that mistake made in 2015 election brought the current challenges facing the country, noting, “You are safer in South West but in the north, we cannot go to farm freely because we could be kidnapped. I believe that at the end of this rainy season, we may not have any food to eat. It has reached that level.”
He argued that the reasons the country had been confronted with numerous challenges were because Muhammadu Buhari administration wasn’t sensitive to issues affecting its citizens.
“And while I am in office, aside restructuring Nigeria in six months, I will make the President office less attractive because power will be devolved to the states.
“Some people claim that Buhari cannot be defeated in the North but if he contests with fellow northerner, he always lost. So don’t be deceived by that claim.
“For instance, Buhari hasn’t won in my state for once until I assisted him during 2015 election. So, don’t be deceived by that claim because it isn’t supported by any evidence,” he added.
The former vice president stressed that the 2019 election was very important and Nigerians mustn’t return APC to office because it would determine solutions to present challenges and projection for future of the country.
“If we make the mistake to return APC to power again next year, we will have ourselves to blame. For instance, Lagos State and its resources have completely become the property of one person. So, if you continue with that, it means that you will still be under control of one man for another four years.”
Earlier, Talabi, who spoke alongside National Coordinator, Dr. Enweruzo, stressed that Atiku’s visit to Lagos indicated that his resolve to ensure Nigeria regain its pride in Africa.
He said: “His entrant into Lagos today marks a new beginning for PDP sure ticket. His apologetic statement which he mentioned that South west should pardon him for wrongs done in past during PDP, showed that he has the interest of Nigeria at heart.
“I believe that with his experience and visit to Southwest, he would surely win the Primaries and 2019 presidential election.”