Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and his “right-hand man” ex-vice-president Atiku Abubakar are two notable Nigerian politicians that have come a long way in their political careers.
Despite working together from 1999 to 2007 to democratically rule the country, the two ended it on a wrong footing. With the upcoming 2023 presidential election, they’re back at loggerhead after fifteen years.
During an interview with students from selected secondary schools in the final stage of the National Exhibition and Awards, organised by Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE), the Obasanjo reflected on his life and achievements at the military-civilian levels.
Obasanjo said, “One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the President. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me.
“The second one was when Abacha wanted to arrest me. The American ambassador informed me and told that America had given me asylum.
I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life”.
Although the name of Atiku Abubakar was not mentioned, the statement was directed to him as he was the number two of Obasanjo.
The political banter
Due to the tendency of the statement to affect Atiku’s 2023 political aspirations, a statement was released by the National Publicity Secretary of Atiku Support Organisation Victor Moses.
It states, “We wish to say without mincing words that former president Olusegun Obasanjo was the best president we’ve ever had as a nation since 1999.
Similarly and without equivocation, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri Adamawa, was, without a modicum of doubt, the best vice president Nigeria has ever had since 1960 independence”.
Atiku Abubakar – PDP 2023 presidential aspirant
Apart from being a renowned politician, the 75 going to be 76 years old by the 25th of November, is also a businessman worth billions of naira.
He started his career in the Nigeria Customs Service, where he rose and became the Deputy Director, the second to the highest position in the service then. After retiring from the service in 1989, he plunged into business and politics.
Gradually, he built his businesses in different industries ranging from real estate to agriculture, buying and selling, oil and gas, media, manufacturing and education.
For effective and centralised business operation, in 2019, Atiku brought all his businesses under one umbrella ‘Priam Group’.
Through years of grit, Atiku has built an empire worth billions of dollars.
Olusegun Obasanjo – the former president of Nigeria
Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, is a billionaire renowned for his love of agriculture, which led to the founding of the famous Ota or Obasanjo’s Farm in Ogun State.
Besides agriculture, Obasanjo has also dabbled in sectors such as oil and gas, education, real estate and hospitality.
In 2020, he entered the Nigerian clothing industry when he launched the Heritage Apparel plant in Abeokuta, Ogun State. With revenues from his businesses, Obasanjo has built an empire worth billions.