- An APC chieftain has revealed how former vice president Atiku Abubakar lost the opportunity to become president in 2003
- Chief Idahosa also said that it was Atiku that planned and funded former president Obasanjo’s election campaign
- He, however, said that the former vice president wants to become the country’s president at all cost
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Charles Idahosa, has revealed how former vice president Atiku Abubakar missed the opportunity to become president in 2003.
NAIJ.com gathered that Idahosa said Atiku would have contested and possibly become the president in 2003 if former president Obasanjo had kept his promise to spend just a term in office.
In an interview with The Independent newspaper, the APC chieftain said Atiku’s acceptance of Obasanjo’s plea to run for second term cost him (Atiku) the opportunity of becoming the president in 2003.
He said: “Obasanjo in the presence of all of us knelt down in front of Atiku begging him to allow him do a second term. I think that was how Atiku missed the opportunity by agreeing to Obasanjo’s plea.
"His thought was that at least, if Obasanjo completes his second term, he will hand over to him but you all know the story of Third Term Agenda and that was how they fell apart. Atiku had the best opportunity to become president in 2003 and lost it. He had the support of PDP governors then. Now, in the process of jumping from one place to another to realise his ambition, he has lost woefully.”
He further revealed that it was Atiku that planned and funded Obasanjo’s presidential campaign in 1999.
Asked if Atiku’s defection to the PDP is a threat to the ruling party, he said: “But Atiku as I speak today cannot be a threat to APC or President Muhammadu Buhari if the president decides to run which I believe he will do.”
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Idahosa, however, admits that Atiku will be a tough candidate against President Buhari if he gets the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential ticket in 2019.
He further laments about the recent conflicts rocking the ruling party.
He said: “It is unfortunate that we are not putting our house in order and this is a very crucial time for us because the election is just around the corner.”
NAIJ.com previously reported that a political group, Initiative for Demonstrating Change (IDC), stated on Wednesday, December 13, that the presidential ambition of the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, would jeopardize the hope of the Igbo people to present Nigeria’s president in 2023.
The national coordinator of the group, Chinedu Ogah, however, advised southeast leaders to shun Atiku and vote for President Buhari in 2019 so that they can keep the 2023 Igbo presidency hope alive.
Atiku versus Buhari: Who will win? - on NAIJ.com TV