Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in Lagos on Monday, while addressing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, expressed regrets for not delivering Lagos State for the PDP in 2003.
Atiku noted that his boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had authorized him to deliver the entire South-West states to the PDP, but he revealed that because of his long-standing relationship with the Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he decided to spare Lagos for him.
The former Vice President who is seeking to become President in 2019 expressed regrets for his decision, saying that if given a second chance, he would right his wrongs.
He further noted that all other states in south-west that he delivered to the PDP had already been wrested out of the party.
Atiku was accompanied by his campaign team (former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and Chief Godsday Orubebe, a former Minister of Niger Delta) to the state over his 2019 ambition.
“When we came to power in 1999, the entire southwestern states were controlled by the AD (Alliance for Democracy). And when we were approaching the 2003 elections, I told my boss, ‘give me the authority to take over the South-West’. And he gave me that authority, and I took over all the states with the exception of Lagos.
“Why? Because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I came a long way from the SDP, PDM and all of that; and I felt I should leave Lagos for him. I could easily have taken over Lagos along with the rest. Today, virtually we have lost the South-West again.
“My brothers and sisters, I want you to forgive me for leaving Lagos out of that arrangement. If I have another opportunity, Lagos will work together with the rest of PDP states; I can tell you that because I know what I did to reserve Lagos.
“So, my fellow brothers and sisters, I want to appeal to you to give me that opportunity to return, so that I can correct the mistakes I made.
“That mistake brought us to where we are today. Today, we are the worst economy since the return of democracy in 1999.”