2023: Claims I endorsed specific presidential aspirant false – Obasanjo
Former Nigerian leader, Olusegun Obasanjo, has denied endorsing any of the presidential aspirants that consulted with him lately. Those who visited Obasanjo are his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar; Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, former governor of Imo State, and currently a senator, Rochas Okorocha.
Obasanjo, a former military ruler and, later civilian president, made the rebuttal during a symposium to mark his 85th birthday, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, in the capital of Ogun State.
He said, “As the quadrennial madness builds a head of steam and the runners and riders crisscross the nation in the quest for nomination as the party flag bearer to the highest office in the land, I read and hear about endorsement and statements in support of candidates that I frankly have not made and forming next political parties that I can never get involved in. I was told that social media credited to me names of three people from the south that I am sponsoring for Presidency in 2023.
“My friend, Professor Ango Abdullah, who brought this to my knowledge remarked that he did not believe that I made such a statement because it was out of my character. I have neither named names nor stated my position.
“In situation like the one we are in, I will not rush into naming names without necessary consultations and well-defined principles and criteria. We need to be clear about what Nigeria needs today and why Nigeria needs it. Only then can we answer the question of how that will inform us of the criteria.”
Guests at the symposium were the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, Chief Dele Momodu, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed.
Others were Atiku Abubakar, the Convener of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, PDP Vice Presidential candidate in 2019 election, Peter Obi, former governors, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River).