Former Nigeria President Endorses Opposition Candidate

Nigeria’s former ruler Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday backed his ex deputy to beat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari in elections next year, in a cautious endorsement after a years-long feud.

Atiku Abubakar, who is referred to across Nigeria by his first name, was Obasanjo’s deputy from the return of civilian rule in 1999 until 2007.

Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar
Former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Their relationship soured over Obasanjo’s bid to change the constitution to allow him to seek a third term of office, and Abubakar’s desire to replace him as head of state.

But in an apparent rapprochement, the AFP reports that ageing pair met in Obasanjo’s home town of Abeokuta, in southwest Nigeria, less than a week after Abubakar won the nomination to run against Buhari for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).    mp;amp;lt;a href=”https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/jump?iu=0&sz=1&c=234″ target=”_blank”><img src=”https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ad?iu=0&sz=1&c=234″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>

“You have the capacity to perform better than the incumbent,” Obasanjo told Abubakar, describing him as “president-to-be”.

“You surely understand the economy better, you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.”

Towards the end of Obasanjo’s time as president, the pair traded accusations and counter-accusations, supported by documents purportedly showing massive corruption on both sides.

But on Thursday, Obasanjo said the pair had “reviewed what went wrong” and he had accepted Abubakar’s “remorse” and his request for “forgiveness”.

“I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you,” he added.

Former President Obasanjo Confirms He Has Forgiven Former VP Atiku-Abubakar
Former President Obasanjo Confirms He Has Forgiven Former VP Atiku-Abubakar

Obasanjo, 81, is a former military ruler like Buhari but the pair have not been on good terms and in January this year he said the president should not stand for a second term.

Before the last election in 2015, Obasanjo also fell out with the then-president Goodluck Jonathan and famously ripped up his PDP membership card.

He claimed Jonathan was trying to stay in power “by hook or by crook”, questioned his fitness to govern and said he was surrounded by corrupt cronies and “greedy hangers-on”.

Abubakar’s victory in the PDP presidential primary on Sunday comes at the fourth time of asking.

But questions about the 71-year-old’s business interests and repeat allegations of corruption – which he has denied – could potentially harm his ambitions in a country fed up with graft.

Source: AFP

Former President Obasanjo Leads UN Support-Mediation Team To Liberia

27 December 2017 –

UPDATE: Liberia’s National Election Commission (NEC) says it will begin the release of provisional results of Tuesday’s run-off elections on Thursday, according to a statement issued in Monrovia on Wednesday.

Meantime, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has been tipped by the Secretary General of the United Nations to lead support of the first peaceful transfer of power in Liberia.

UN Sec Gen Antonio Guterres
UN Sec Gen Antonio Guterres

According to a statement issued Wednesday by a spokeperson for the UN Secretary, “The Secretary-General hopes that the will of the Liberian electorate will be respected and that a seamless transfer power will take place within constitutional timelines,” and welcomed the peaceful conduct of elections in Liberia.

Former President Obasanjo will travel to the Liberian capital Monrovia on Thursday, on the request of Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Political Subdivision Map of Liberia
Political Subdivision Map of Liberia

Vote counting is underway in Liberia following run-off election held on Tuesday to decide who will succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Incumbent ice-President Joseph Boakai and former international football icon turned Senator George Weah participated as candidates in the run-off elections. Nearly two million Liberians were eligible to vote in the second round of voting but reports say turnout was low across the country.

The former Nigerian leader Obasanjo serves as a mediation advisor to the UN Secretary General and has been involved in such efforts in several African counties including Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Burundi and Mozambique.

West African Journal Magazine