I regret not winning Lagos for PDP in 2003 – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Monday said he regretted not doing enough for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to win the 2003 election in Lagos State.
Abubakar, a PDP presidential aspirant, spoke in Lagos while holding a meeting with members of the party in the state as part of his nationwide tour to seek support for his 2019 presidential aspiration.
The 71-year-old revealed how his former President 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.
Abubakar said that in carrying out the task, he delivered all the states to PDP, except Lagos.
The former Vice-President said that he deliberately did not do much to win Lagos because of his relationship with former Governor Bola Tinubu.
He apologised to party members for what he called his mistake, saying that Lagos would have been better off if he had delivered it to the PDP then.
“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.