Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday in Lagos says, no Nigerian vice president had ever acted in the position of a president than his former VP, Atiku Abubakar.
Obasanjo said, Atiku had presided over several Federal Executive Council meetings under his administration, adding that no president after him has ever giving such responsibility to his vice like he did to Atiku.
Obasanjo, who spoke as the guest speaker at the Island Club Quarterly Business Lecture, also debunk the claim that he did not trust his former deputy during the his 1999-2007 presidency.
“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,” Obasanjo stated.
The former president further added that the Nigerian constitution has made it clear that once the president was not available, the vice president automatically acts with full powers.
Obasanjo, made an instance of President Muhammadu Buhari who was out of the country for 104 and he appointed vice president Yemi Osibajo as the acting president, emphasising that the president dose not need to designate his vice to act in an acting capacity before the vice president knows what to do.
Atiku Abubakar, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) served twice as Nigeria’s vice president under Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.