- Former president Obasanjo and his former vice president, Atiku, have finally reconciled
- The meeting where the reconciliation happened was said to be facilitated by some influential Nigerians
- The influential Nigerians are Matthew Kukah, David Oyedepo, Ahmad Gumi, and Ayo Adebanjo
A former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, met with former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday, October 11, in Abeokuta after which they announced they had reconciled their differences.
Though the former president had earlier vowed not to support the presidential ambition of Abubakar, he disclosed after the meeting that he had forgiven Atiku and endorsed him for president in 2019.
Obasanjo, who supported President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, has since turned against the president, accusing him of poor management of the economy.
According to Premium Times, some influential Nigerians are believed to have facilitated the reconciliation of Atiku and his former boss.
Present at the meeting in Abeokuta were two Christian clerics, Matthew Kukah and David Oyedepo; an Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, and Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.
Although these men had not publicly supported Atiku before, they all reportedly have one thing in common, they openly criticised President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.
Bishop Oyedepo, the president of Living Faith Church, had opposed the president before, during and after the 2015 general election.
The influential cleric had admonished members of his church and Nigerians, in general, to pray for the past president, Goodluck Jonathan, to win the 2015 general election.
The newspaper recalls that sometime in 2015 when Jonathan visited the Living Faith Church in Ota, Oyedepo vowed “to open the gates of hell on anyone that opposes” him (Jonathan).
Also, Gumi, an influential Islamic cleric based in Kaduna, has also openly criticized the Buhari-led administration.
He had several times reportedly called for the resignation of the president.
Although he often said he had no sympathy for any political party, he, however, stated that Buhari has failed as president. He also said his criticism of the government was based on his quest for justice in Nigeria.
Sheik Gumi, as he is popularly called, was also present at the meeting between Obasanjo and Atiku.
Another cleric who was present at the meeting was Bishop Kukah, the Catholic Archbishop in Sokoto.
Like the others, the cleric from Southern Kaduna has repeatedly criticised President Buhari’s performance in office.
He once accused the president of being too distant from his people and cautioned him to adjust his ways of leadership.
The cleric was also quoted saying “the country is so split” and he blamed the president for it.
He was also present at the reconciliation meeting.
The Yoruba leader, Adebanjo, who was also present at the meeting has also repeatedly demanded the restructuring of Nigeria and accused President Buhari of not willing to restructure the country.
He has reportedly faulted many moves of the president and was also against the declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day, describing it as a gimmick by the president to lure Nigerians into voting for him in 2019.
Adebanjo, alongside other Afenifere leaders, had earlier also met with Obasanjo behind closed doors, a meeting which lasted for about two hours.
Although Afenifere claimed the discussion was to strengthen harmony in Yorubaland in preparation for 2019, it is believed that Atiku’s ambition was a major topic of discussion.
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Meanwhile, the chairman, organising secretary for the 40 days prayer session for the re-election of President Buhari and Peace in Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Wada, has said any man of God not in support of Buhari at the moment was not called by God.
Wada who spoke at the second day of the prayer session organised by the National Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) in Abuja on Thursday, October 11, said it is necessary for all religious leaders at the moment to rally round the President Buhari for peace to reign in the country.
He said Buhari is the only messiah that can salvage the country from its present predicaments and with persistent prayers, all the storms confronting the nation can be a thing of the past.
Atiku's acceptance speech after being declared PDP presidential flag bearer | Legit.ng TV