Picking Atiku as my VP in 1999 was a mistake – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said picking a running mate when he wanted to become Nigeria’s president in 1999 is one of the mistakes in his life.

The former president spoke on Saturday during a leadership mentoring session with selected students in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

Obasanjo, however, said God saved him from the mistake because it was a ‘genuine’ one.

He said, “One thing that has happened to me is that God has never disappointed me and that is very important. For instance, one of the mistakes I made was picking a number two when I was going to become president. But because it is a genuine mistake, God saved me out of it.

“Some people thought it was a mistake for me to go into the army. It could have been a mistake or when Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked I should be given asylum. I said, no.

“It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life. So I will say, many things that could have been a mistake but God saved me from them all.”

Obasanjo was elected president in 1999 after the country returned to democratic rule, and he was re-elected in 2003 for another term of four years.

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was Obasanjo’s vice-president from 1999 to 2007.

Before the end of their tenure in 2007, the duo’s relationship had disintegrated.

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