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My Choice Of Atiku As Running Mate Was One Of My Genuine Mistakes — Obasanjo

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described his choice of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar during the 1999 Presidential election as one of his genuine mistakes in life.

Gatekeepers News reports that Obasanjo stated this while answering questions, posed by students from selected secondary schools that participated in the final of the National Exhibition and Awards.

The exhibition was organised by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).

The event, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State, featured presentations and exhibitions of some products made by students of the participating schools.

Obasanjo while reflecting on his life and achievements both in the military and as a civilian President, said, one of the mistakes he made, was when choosing his number two when he wanted to become president.

He noted that he had many mistakes, which he can describe as genuine mistakes in his life, but God made him overcome them.

He said: “One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake God saved me.

“The second one was when Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.

“I will say there are many things that could have been a mistake, but God saved me from them all”.

While speaking on opportunities for the youths to take over the mantle of leadership in the country, Obasanjo said youths can never come into power, if the current trend continues.

He said even with the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, you can see that those that are contesting now are between 70 and 80 years old, how can the youths run.

He said: “Another thing inhibiting youth from running is the amount of money involved in going into politics. I hope that things will not continue like this.

“I was 39 years old when I became the Military Head of State. 20 years later, I came back as civilian president, but those there now, do not want to allow the youths. If things continue like this, I do not know how you can come in.”

The former president also tutored the students, that they should imbibe religious tolerance, advising them not to see their own religion as superior to that of another person.

Obasanjo said: “I have no right to say what another man believes in is inferior to mine. If God had wanted all of us to be of the same religion, he would have made it so, and since He did not make it so, no person should attempt to make it so.”

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