By DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA — Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, reacted to the request of Northern Youth Leaders Forum, NLYF, to forgive his estranged former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, saying; “I have forgiven him.”
Obasanjo who stated this after a two-day meeting with the forum in Abeokuta said he had also forgiven other persons perceived to have offended him.
The forum led by its Chairman, Elliot Afiyo had appealed to Obasanjo to forgive his former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of whatever political sin or offence he might have committed against him.
Abubakar was Obasanjo’s vice, between 1999 and 2007, and was believed to have scuttled the third-term ambition of Obasanjo in 2006.
But Obasanjo while reacting to the request by the NYLF said as a leader and father, he bore no grudge against anybody and if there was, he had forgiven.
According to him: “On the request that you made yesterday, I do not have any grudge against anybody. And if there is any, I have forgiven all as a father.”
Obasanjo who appreciated the group for coming to Abeokuta to make case for a way forward for the country, stressed that since 2003, the group had increased in membership.
He said: “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.”
The leader of the delegation , Afiyo had earlier said: “The leadership ïs in Abeokuta to visit our Baba to identify with his vision for our great country, Nigeria.”
In a position paper submitted earlier on Saturday, he stated; “We have come to you (Obasanjo) as a father indeed.
“With your positive attributes, Chief Obasanjo has no option or alternative than to chastise and later forgive and embrace both the good and bad characters.
“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 ourselves before you on his behalf and plead for mercy and understanding.”
The National chairman added that the mission to come and plead for Atiku did not in any way stop him from charting any noble political course for the nation come 2015.