THE choice of Atiku Abubakar as vice president in 1999 was a blessing to Nigeria, and not a mistake, the Atiku Support Organisation has said, in response to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
At the weekend, Obasanjo stated at a function with youths in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, that one of his mistakes in life was his choice of number two man, during the 1999 presidential elections.
Disagreeing with Obasanjo, Dr. Victor Moses, National Publicity Secretary of the group, said: “We wish to state without mincing words that former president Olusegun Obasanjo was the best president we’ve ever had as a nation, since 1999. Similarly and without equivocation, Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri Adamawa, was, without a modicum of doubt, the best vice president Nigeria ever had, since independence.
“Obasanjo may recall that Nigeria, under Atiku Abubakar as the head of the economic council, experienced its best economic growth in history.
“As of 1998, Nigeria’s economy was in the red, growing at 2.5 per cent. With Atiku on the economic council’s driving seat, the economy experienced successive growth for eight years in a row and peaked at 15.33 per cent in 2002, the best in Nigeria since 1969.
“GDP per capita annual growth rose from $498 to an impressive peak level of $1,883 in 2007. Inflation was reduced from 10 per cent in 1998 to 5.39 per cent in 2007. Nigeria’s trade balance significantly increased from negative $1.63 billion to an impressive $38.88 billion in 2006.”