Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said no Nigerian vice president acted in the stead of his principal as much as former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Obasanjo, who was the guest speaker at the Island Club Quarterly Business Lecture, which held Wednesday, stated that, contrary to popular belief, Abubakar presided over several Federal Executive Council meetings under his administration.
The former President took a jibe at President Muhammadu Buhari, who spent 104 consecutive days on medical vacation, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was appointed as “acting president.”
According to Obasanjo, one of the most ridiculous claims he has heard is that he did not trust Atiku, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, to preside over the FEC.
He added, “That is not true because he had occasion to preside a few times that I was out of the country on duty. On those occasions, he was in charge of the FEC meetings and no Nigerian chief executive has devolved to his deputy as much as I did to Atiku.
“I did not need to designate him ‘acting president’ because the constitution is clear; once the president is not available, the vice president automatically acts with full powers, and he consults when and if he considers it necessary.
“But since I was not absent from home for 104 days at a time, people may not know that Atiku actually stood in for me whenever I was out (of the country).
“You have a man who has what it takes in experience, exposure, lessons that he has learnt and he has learnt his lessons. I tried to teach him a few of them. You have a man who has what it takes at this time for us to have a change and we need a change for the better.”