Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said, he has made several “genuine mistakes” in his life but God had helped him to overcome them.
Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta on Saturday to students who participated in the final of the National Exhibition Awards, organised by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE).
According to the Former President, his choice of Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar was part of the “genuine mistakes” God had helped him to overcome.
The Former President and the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Abubakar were in office between 1999 and 2007.
His words are; “ I don’t say I don’t make mistakes, I make many of them but one thing that has happened to me is that God has never disappointed me, and that is very important. For instance, One of the mistakes I made was picking a number two when I wanted to become the president, but because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me out of it.”
“Some people thought it was a mistake for me to go into the Army, it could have been a mistake or when Abacha wanted to arrest me and I was told by the American new ambassador that, they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given asylum but, I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.
“I will say there are many things that could have been a mistake but God saved me from them all.”
While speaking on opportunities for the youth to take over the mantle of leadership in the country, Obasanjo said the youth would never come into power, if the current trend continues.
He said, “With the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, you can see that those that are contesting now are between 70 and 80 years old; how can the youth run.
“Another thing inhibiting youth from running is the amount of money involved in going into politics. I hope that things should not continue like this,” he said.
“I was 39 years old when I became the military head of state. 20 years later, I came back as civilian president, but those there now do not want to allow the youths. If things continue like this, I do not know how you can come in.”
It would be recalled that Obasanjo was elected president in 1999 after the country returned to democratic rule, and chose Atiku Abubakar as his vice president. The duo served for eight years as they were re-elected in 2003 for another term of four years.
Atiku was said to have been interested in succeeding Obasanjo in the 2003 presidential election but his principal was bent on running for the second term. This was said to have degenerated into a full-blown feud towards the end of their second tenure as Atiku pushed again to be president after Obasanjo, but failed.