Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Sunday said he had forgiven his former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as well as other perceived to have offended him.
According to the former president, â€œas a leader and father, I bear no grudge against anybody and if there is, I have forgiven them all.â€
Obasanjo, who was reacting to the request of a group, Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) who met with him in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital yesterday, said: “On the request that you made, I do not have any grudge against anybody. And if there is any, I have forgiven all as a father.”
Obasanjo, however, appreciated the group for coming to Abeokuta to make a case for the progress of the country, saying, “since 2003, the effort of your group has been noteworthy. I am happy that you have also increased in number. Let me appreciate all your support since 2003 and urge you to continue by ensuring that credible leaders are elected in 2015.”
However, the leader of the delegation and National Chairman of the group, Elliot Afiyo, said: “The leadership is in Abeokuta to visit our baba to identify with his vision for our great country, Nigeria.”
He added: “We have come to you (Obasanjo) as a father indeed, elder statesman for sure, an advanced citizen per excellence, an honest and forthright leader, courageous and bold democrat, a loving and compassionate.â€
He stressed that with such positive attributes, Obasanjo had no option or alternative than “to chastise and later forgive and embrace both the good and bad characters.”
He added: “In view of this, we humbly request that you forgive your former vice-president,Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of whatever political sin or offence he might have committed against you. We bow our ourselves before you on his behalf and plead for mercy and understanding.”
He noted that the mission to come and plead for Atiku “does not in any way stop you (Obasanjo) from charting any noble political course for the nation come 2015.”
The group also solicited for the commitment of the former president in finding lasting solution to the incessant blood shed in the country, particularly the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east and the communal clashes in Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba and Kogi States.
He added that the body had collectively and unanimously decided to come and consult Obasanjo “as the oracle of a better Nigeria before taking any decision. Because of our numerical strength of over 12 million registered members.”
He said position of the group “will definitely shape the direction of any election as witnessed in 2003, 2007and 2011.”