On Monday, a senior member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) provided commentary on the selection of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), as Atiku Abubakar’s running mate for the PDP in the 2019 elections.
Anthony Ehilebo, a member of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council’s (PCC) Strategic Communications Directorate, claimed during a live interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily that former president Olusegun Obasanjo had suggested Obi for the position.
“In 2019, he supported our candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, but I’ll tell you a backstory that people hardly know. People don’t even know that he was the one that recommended his present candidate of choice to Atiku Abubakar as a condition for supporting him in 2019.
“That was the plan: ‘have these two people run on the platform, so that you [Atiku] can mentor him and by the time he comes of age, he’ll be able to [run for president],” he said.
Ehilebo criticized Obasanjo’s New Year’s support of the former governor of Anambra State in the 2023 elections, saying he would have preferred the former president to “be an elder statesman” and put experience and capacity first.
The PDP stalwart criticized the ex-decision president’s based on his appraisal of the country’s status in 2007 when he left the presidency compared to the political climate now.
“I read the letter where he said the situation and the scenarios are quite different. Respectfully, I beg to differ with the General because when you look at 1999 to 2007, the scenarios are similar and when you want to deal with an issue such as the Nigerian malady that we face today, you must bring in experience, you must bring in capacity.
“President Obasanjo has, in time past, praised Atiku Abubakar for handling the economy while he was going around the world trying to repair the image of Nigeria.
“Atiku explains how they ran government and how he was able to bring in experts like Bode Agusto who he got to run on the government based his affinity for Nigeria, his love for the country.
“And without commensurate pay, he agreed to work for the government of Obasanjo, same thing with people like Soludo, the eggheads that we had in the Obasanjo government. This was after an intense nine month period of developing an economic blueprint.
“Now, you wouldn’t say Nigeria is in that same position and you don’t want to use the (same approach), maybe for some reason. I’ve had extensive conversations with the General and I think his heart is in a good place; he has the best interests of Nigeria at heart,” he said.
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