Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday expressed regret over his inability to help the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, win Lagos State in 2003.
The PDP presidential aspirant said this while holding a meeting with members of the party in the state. The Waziri of Adamawa disclosed that his former boss, ex-President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, before the 2003 elections, gave him the task to deliver the six South/West states then governed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to the PDP. He, however, said he helped PDP win in all the South West, except Lagos. Abubakar said his relationship with a former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu made him not to do much. He said, “When we came to power in 1999, the entire South/Western states were controlled by the AD.
“And when we were approaching the 2003 elections, I told my boss, give me the chance to take over the South-West “And he gave me that authority, and I took 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. In fact, I could easily have taken over Lagos, but I did not. “I have since regretted my decision; please, my sisters and brothers in the party, I want you to forgive me for taking Lagos out of that arrangement.
“If I have another opportunity again, Lagos will be taken to where it belongs. So, I am appealing to you to give me that opportunity so that I can correct the mistakes that I made”, he said. Abubakar said his decision to seek the number one seat in the country was to reposition and put it on the path of progress. He said that the country was having serious issues in the areas of economy and security, assuring that he would fix the problems if elected. Abubakar said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had failed to deliver the promised change.
He said that he was committed to the idea of restructuring, and believed it was key to the country’s progress. The former vice president said he would restructure the country within six months in office, if given the mandate. Abubakar pointed out that the Federal Government was too powerful, and promised to ensure devolution of power to other federating units. “If I am elected, I will make the centre unattractive and ensure that power devolves to the states”, he said.