Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, disclosed how his relationship with National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu prevented the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from controlling Lagos State in the 2003 elections.
Atiku, a presidential aspirant on the PDP platform said this when he visited the PDP secretariat in Lagos State.
His words: “When we came to power in 1999, the entire South West was under the control of the Alliance for Democracy, AD. When we were approaching the 2003 elections, I told my boss, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to give me the authority to take over the South West from the AD for the party. He gave me the approval.
“My effort during that election resulted in our party taking over the states except Lagos State. And the reason was that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I came a long way from the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the PDM. I felt I should leave Lagos for him. In fact, I could easily have taken over Lagos, but I did not.
“I have since regretted my decision; please, my sisters and brothers in the party, I want you to forgive me for taking Lagos out of that arrangement.
“If I have another opportunity again, Lagos will be taken to where it belongs. So, I am appealing to you to give me that opportunity so that I can correct the mistakes that I made.”
Atiku insisted that the mistakes made in the 2015 elections brought the current challenges facing the country, saying: “You are safer in the South West but in the north, we cannot go to farm freely because we could be kidnapped. I believe that at the end of this rainy season, we may not have any food to eat. It has reached that level.
”While I am in the office, aside restructuring Nigeria in six months, I will make the President’s office less attractive because power will be devolved to the states.
“Some people claim that Buhari cannot be defeated in the North but if he contests with a fellow northerner, he will lose. So don’t be deceived by that claim.”
In his remarks, the only PDP member in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Dipo Olohunrinu promised to support the Presidential aspirant saying “We will support you, we will be with you. We are 100 per cent with you and your aspiration.”