“I am not desperate and if I were desperate, I would have taken the presidency in 2003. If I were desperate, I would not have stepped down for Abiola“
• Woman collapses at Benin Airport while waiting for ex-VP
Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, said he is not desperate to be the nation’s president.
He made the assertion while fielding questions from journalists shortly after his meeting with the Oba of Benin in his palace in Benin City.
Atiku, who was at the Oba’s palace to seek royal blessing for his political aspiration, said if he were desperate to be the nation’s president, he would have long achieved it and would have not stepped down for Abiola.
“What do you expect my critics to say. There is nothing wrong in entering the race. I can run as many times as possible. I am fit, qualified. I still have ideas that I believe can put this country on the right path.
“I am not desperate and if I were desperate, I would have taken the presidency in 2003. If I were desperate, I would not have stepped down for Abiola, “ Atiku said.
He said his decision to contest for the position of the president was borne out of his desire to improve the lots of Nigerians, promising that he would remain in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if he was not given the ticket to run in 2019.
Earlier, the Benin Monarch, Oba Ewuare II, tasked all political office seekers to make the security of lives and property their priorities, noting that without security, nothing much can be achieved in the country.
READ ALSO: An hour with Oba Ewuare II
He expressed worry over the state of insecurity in the country, saying that something must be done to arrest what he called ‘unprecedented’ state of insecurity.
“If there is no peace and security, there is nothing anyone can do. The high level of unprecedented insecurity is something to worry about. We don’t have to fragment the country. We must do our best to keep the country as one. We have all it takes to make Nigeria the best country,” the Monarch said.
Oba Ewuare II also expressed worries over the development in the National Assembly.
“We are not too happy to see what is happening in the Senate, the House of Reps and State Houses of Assembly.
“Those in leadership must find a way to ensure that those who elected them there are taken care of”, he counselled.
Meanwhile, an aged woman identified as Grace Osagie, reportedly collapsed yesterday at the Benin Airport while waiting for the arrival of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. According to eyewitness, the woman suddenly slumped while standing under the sun alongside other Peoples Democratic Party faithful who came to the Airport in their large numbers to welcome the former Vice President who is a presidential aspirant of the party.
READ ALSO: Atiku’s return to PDP remarkable – Sowunmi
The incident drew the attention of sympathisers who came to the rescue of the woman. They poured wateronherinabidto revive her.
They also made concerted effort to find out the group she came with to the Airport.
The woman, eventually regained consciousness in a short while but could not stand on her feet.
She later introduced herself and mentioned where she came from, saying “My name is Mrs. Grace Osagie and I live at No 11, 2nd Victory, New Benin.”