Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, has admitted that he opposed moves by ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo to “elongate the presidential tenure beyond eight years.” Abubakar said he was, “largely frozen out in the second term of our tenure” by his former “boss” for opposing his attempt to elongate the presidential tenure.
“My legacy as Vice President, I would say is the banking consolidation process, for which I gave political backing for. Many big people were putting a lot of political pressure to not change the status quo, but we knew that if that consolidation was not done, Nigeria could not grow. Because of that banking consolidation, Nigerian banks don’t fail anymore the way they used to.
“I oversaw the telecoms revolution, which is why young people like you, I Go Dye, now have a flourishing career. Under our tenure, we witnessed a large repatriation of Nigerians back to Nigeria, driven by the hope of the recovering economy. It is sad that many of those young people are heading back abroad now — this is to show you that leadership matters. I know many of these have been forgotten because it was a long time ago, and successive administrations did not follow up on the progress we made. But that is also not to say we were blameless.
“I was largely frozen out in the second term of our tenure, and I regret that we had that disagreement with my boss. Some say I was disloyal, but I looked at the events in Zimbabwe recently, and it gives me confidence that I did the right thing fighting the attempts to elongate the presidential tenure beyond eight years. If I did not win that fight, do you think we would be having a discussion on young people getting into leadership today?”