Olusegun Obasanjo, former president has said he decided to forgive Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who served him as vice president because he is a practising christian.
Messrs Obasanjo and Abubakar served as President and Vice President respectively from 1999 to 2007 which shows the duo served two terms of four year each as stipulated in the constitution.
An alleged bid by the former president to secure a third term was thwarted by the former vice president and the duo became political enemies since then until last year when Obasanjo forgave and endorsed the former number two citizen popularly known as Atiku, to slug it out with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking a second term in office.
The former president had once claimed God will not forgive him should he forgive the former vice president and endorsing the political ambition of the latter to become president.
Months after he made the comments, Obasanjo backtracked and forgave Atiku who went with religious and traditional leaders to seek forgiveness from his former principal.
Stating why he forgave the 2019 flag-bearer of the PDP, the former president who made reference to the Bible said the development was because he is a practising christian.
“Atiku accepts responsibility for his mistakes, shows remorse and seeks forgiveness from his political party and subsequently from Nigerians,” Obasanjo said in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Lagos Island Club.
“He asks for forgiveness from me and as a believer, a Christian as such, I forgave him in accordance with the teaching and instruction of my Saviour, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matt 6:14-15 NIV).
“If anybody blames me for forgiving Atiku, I leave such a person with God Almighty, especially as both Christian and Islamic clerics joined Atiku to visit me to seek forgiveness. Anybody who does not forgive when forgiveness is sought with contrite heart cannot be a true believer and should not expect the forgiveness of God,” he said.
Obasanjo also said some people quoted him out of contest when he said Atiku was not the “expected Messiah.”
“Atiku never claimed to be a saint and I never described him as such. I will never so describe any human being alive let alone calling him a Messiah,” the former president said.
“On an occasion in the past when I said that someone was not a Messiah, some Nigerians out of bad belle were up in arms.
“For me, as a Christian, the only Messiah I know and have is Jesus Christ and even then, the man aspect of Him was imperfect while the divine aspect of Him was perfectly messianic,” he added.