The endorsemsent of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar by former President Olusegun Obasanjo took many by surprise.

Many people did not see it coming because of the frosty relationship between the two.

In fact Obasanjo had at one point vowed never to support Atiku's presidential ambition.

So his endorsement of Atiku on Thursday at the Olusegun Obasanjo Library Complex took many by surprise.

A former Minister of Police Affairs, Major General David Jemibewon (retd.), and a former Director of Military Intelligence, Brigadier-General Ajibola Togun (retd.), appeared not really surprised by the endorsement.

They backed Obasanjo’s decision to endorse the 2019 presidential bid of his former Vice President.


Reacting to the development, Jemibewon, who served as military governor of the defunct Western Nigeria, said the former President was eminently qualified to assess the political situations in Nigeria.

He said, “People may argue Obasanjo had consistently given bad report or opinions on Atiku but the salient question is: Is it not possible that you may hold an opinion today and tomorrow you hold another opinion?

“I think he has the right to do that and he has not violated any law, written or unwritten for doing that. He is expressing his democratic right. And I do not think anybody can query that.

“Chief Obasanjo had occupied that highest position in the country and so if anybody is really qualified to make an assessment of any situation politically in this country, he is the one.

“Obasanjo has a right to his personal opinion and those who are castigating him are also expressing their opinions and maybe somebody somewhere may castigate them for castigating somebody who also made his opinion known.”

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Togun, who is also a former deputy director of States Security Services (now Department of State Services), also commended Obasanjo for forgiving and endorsing Atiku.

He said the former President did the right thing by letting go of the past and seeking a way to move the country forward.

He said, “There’s nothing wrong with what Obasanjo did. He did it as a matter of candidacy and not really as a party issue.

“They had differences, but from what the ex-President said, he said he saw that the former Vice President had retraced some of his steps.

“We are all human beings and we may err. Even God blamed himself for creating us, but He still loved us and forgave us our sins. So, it is good that Obasanjo also practised forgiveness. It is all for the good of this country.”

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