Ahead Of 2023: PDP Begs Obasanjo As New Chairman, Other Leaders Visit Abeokuta - DE-REPORTORIAL


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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ahead Of 2023: PDP Begs Obasanjo As New Chairman, Other Leaders Visit Abeokuta

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday stated he won’t return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under which he ruled Nigeria from 1999-2007.

He told the National Chairman of the PDP Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and the National Working Committee(NWC) members that visited him in Abeokuta on Saturday that only God will help them shoulder their responsibilities this was contained in The Nation Newspaper.

The Nation had reported that the team visited Obasanjo to discuss party matters and solicit his support for the 2023 general elections.

Obasanjo reminded Ayu that having called it quit with partisan politics over seven years ago with the public shredding of his PDP membership card, he was not going to go back.

The elder statesman spoke while addressing the PDP NWC members and other leaders of the party shortly after a closed-door meeting with them in his Penthouse within the sprawling Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The PDP leaders in attendance were former Ondo Governor Dr. Segun Mimiko; former Cross River Governor Donald Duke; his successor Senator Liyel Imoke; PDP 2019 vice-presidential candidate Dr. Peter Obi; former Jigawa Governor Sule Lamido; former Minister of Police Affairs Adamu Waziri; former Kogi Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi and former Oyo Deputy Governor Taofeek Arapaja among others.

The delegation led by Ayu was in Abeokuta to plead with the former President not to be tired of PDP and its members whenever they come “knocking, asking for advice and asking for wisdom.”

Obasanjo, however, emphasized that he is only interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have his advice.

The former Governor said:” I have been with the party right from inception. Whatever I do in my own life because I became president on the platform PDP, PDP will continue to be part of the history of my life, but having said that, the day that my ward decided to tear my PDP card was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP and that day I vowed that I will not be a member of any political party again, but I will remain a statesman in Nigeria, in West Africa, in Africa and indeed in the world.

“So, I thank you very much for coming and you are living up to your word because immediately after you were given this appointment, this job, you called me, in fact, you sent a message and I called you and you said you will see me and I said I will see you any time and any day.

” I’m happy that you are here and as I jokingly said when you said you will see me, I thought I will be probably one or two, but I really didn’t realise that your visit will be turned to an invasion.

“You are all welcome because I’m among friends what can I say or do with Sule or Adamu Waziri here with you or even Mimiko?

“Chairman, let me say this, I want to especially pray that the responsibility that is put on your shoulder you will be able to carry it, God will help you carry it.

“Your case is like the case of Idi Amin. Idi Amin came to me and he said ‘my brother, you have Africa load and it is on your shoulder, I pray God will help you carry the Africa load’.

“Iyorchia, you have PDP load with Nigeria load and it is only God that can help you to carry this load which of course, I believe if God gives you a responsibility, He will also give you the wherewithal to be able to carry that responsibility and in my hope which is also some people’s disappointment is that some of you who knew how things were done 21 years ago are still there but then some people will say here if you knew how it was done 21 years ago why have you not consistently be doing it?

“I think you can answer that, I will not answer for you, but if you ask me, I retired 14 years ago and I remain retired and I will remain retired by the grace of God.

“But if I retired from partisan politics, if politics is the welfare of the people, I must not retire from the welfare and well being of people whether in my own community, in my own state, in my own country, anywhere in Africa or indeed anywhere in the world and that is why I have the type of responsibility that I now have in the horn of Africa which is not an easy responsibility, but it has to be done, but I will say that your own responsibility is not an easy one either, but it has to be done.

“Bear in mind and I want to emphasize that I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that will bring me back to partisan politics but I will always be interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have my advice, I will distinctively give it in the best interest of Nigeria and in the best interest of Africa.”

Responding, Iyorchia Ayu commended Obasanjo for warmly receiving them, recalling the golden era of PDP was when he served the country as President for eight years.

Ayu said: “As soon as I emerged as the chairman of the party, it was inevitable that I have to come here.

“Sir, we thank you for the service you rendered and the great work you have done in the PDP as the first president your period as president under the platform of PDP is seen as the golden era of the PDP because not only did you grow the economy to be the biggest economy in Africa, you were able to eradicate Nigeria from slavery by negotiating and cancelling so much of our foreign debts that would have made it very difficult to run the country.

“By the time you left office, Nigeria was totally set free, direct foreign investment was on the increase on a daily basis, we were respected in the international community, everywhere we went.

“I remember I accompanied you as your Minister to a number of countries, Germany and India I saw the respect they accorded you in India and I was very proud to be a Nigerian.

“Today, unfortunately, we don’t have the same recognition because what we have falls short of leadership that Nigeria deserves.

” Apart from Infrastructural intervention which you did, most of the institutions, some of them being used today to hunt people like EFCC, the ICPC and so on and so forth you actually put them in place.

” I remember when you took some of us to Germany to the offices to the Transparent International and we had a very useful discussion there.

” So, you are very passionate about this country and you did a lot and we thought we should come and thank you for what you have done not to just Nigerians but to our party and Africa.

“Over these years that you are in power, you saw every Nigerian as one family, you didn’t discriminate against the South, the East, the West, or the North. Even though in your first tenure, the South West didn’t actually support you, you brought them back on board and they supported you in your second tenure and that is the spirit of democracy.

“Even though you retired from partisan politics, partisan politics will never retire from your blood because you want the right thing done, and since you want the right thing done, for life you will remain the emeritus member of the PDP.

“You cannot build a house and leave it to collapse. You throw a challenge to me that if I have been there from the beginning why have I not done anything, maybe I was doing something but it was not good enough, we will continue to contribute our own quota, we will continue to come to you, so, I want to plead with you, please don’t be tired of us as we come knocking asking for your advice, asking for wisdom because the word of elders is the word of wisdom and there is no leader here in this country than president Olusegun Obasanjo. We appreciate you and we will do everything to rebuild this country.”

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