Obasanjo Quits PDP, Partisan Politics

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Oladunjoye tearing Obasanjo's PDP membership card
Oladunjoye tearing Obasanjo’s PDP membership card

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday ended his 16-year relationship with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as he gave up his membership of the ruling party.
And at the highly dramatic event which has in attendance the PDP Ward 11 Abeokuta North executives and members at his hilltop residence in the Ogun State capital, Obasanjo also announced that he would not join any political party but will henceforth comment on public issues as an elder statesman.
The former president also debunked claims that he was working towards the installation of an interim national government in the country.
But hours after Obasanjo announced his dumping of the PDP, the Adebayo Dayo-led executive of the PDP in Ogun State, said the former President’s ward had in a letter dated February 12, accused him of anti-party activities and expelled him.
The Ward 11 PDP members, led by their chairman, Alhaji Usman Oladunjoye, said they came to see Obasanjo on the strength of a strong rumour that the former President was about to be expelled from the PDP by the Ogun State wing of the party.
The party men and women also asked Obasanjo to tell them where he belonged.
Thanking his visitors for their concern, Obasanjo said: “You asked me two questions and I will answer them comprehensively. This Nigeria belongs to all of us and it must not be destroyed. This is my PDP’s membership card, where I am standing is that Nigeria belongs to everybody including babies. We must not allow anybody to destroy it wherever they come from, whatever they have and if they destroy it, it becomes our burden to our children and incoming generation.
“The question asked is that which party am I? I belong to the group that believes that Nigeria must not be destroyed. Those of you that are marketers you observed that there’s inflation in the market. The bureaux de change operators exchanged dollars with N150 then and is today going towards N250 to a dollar. What it means is that, what you’ve been buying for N150 will be bought for N250, this is not the kind of country we dream of. There’s no job, employment. Some people have started destroying Nigeria and I will never be in a party that will destroy Nigeria. Perhaps, you don’t understand that it is because there’s Nigeria that is why PDP exists. Without Nigeria, there will be no PDP anymore. What some of us should be concerned about now is how to make Nigeria stronger and our economy would witness economic growth. I won’t join another party.
“They said they want to expel me from PDP, although I have not been told but I have my ears on ground. We’ve been trying to run away from a man but he pleads we wait for him at the other side of the river. I have told you before that I became president on the platform of PDP. Once I leave PDP, I will not join any party.
“I will only be a Nigerian, I’m ready to work with anybody regardless of political affiliation. Why would some people say they want to send me away? They don’t need to bother themselves, here’s your membership card, take it,” Obasanjo said as he handed over the card to Oladunjoye.
“Help me tear into pieces my membership card”, he said.
Oladunjoye dutifully executed the directive. The visiting PDP members then broke into a rapturous song praising Obasanjo and shared the pieces of the card among themselves.

fragments of the torn PDP card
fragments of the torn PDP card

“From today on, in the presence of all of us and with your support, I am not going to be in any political party in Nigeria. I am no more a politician but a statesman both internally and externally,” Obasanjo declared.
The former President Obasanjo also dismissed claims that he was planning the installation of an interim national government (ING).
His words: “How can anybody in his right senses talk of ING in a democratic setting? Some of them are working for it (but) God will not allow it.”
PDP Reacts
In a reaction to the development via a statement, National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Olisa Metuh, wrote: “While we concede the inalienable rights of every citizen to hold opinion and to decide who to associate with, we are however deeply saddened that Chief Obasanjo, a revered leader of our party, our first presidential flag bearer, whom the PDP offered the platform to rule our nation for eight years, could decide to abandon this party at this critical point in time.
“This is especially as Chief Obasanjo, who was also the Chairman of the highest advisory organ of the PDP, the Board of Trustees (BoT) discountenanced all pleas by elders and leaders of our great party with regard to his reservations on certain issues within our fold. Many Nigerians are still bewildered as regards what manner of provocation that could have led a former President to lose his composure and go to the extent of tearing the membership card of the party that he once led.
“Indeed, the PDP is hugely at a loss as to how the decision and action of the former President who had enjoyed the benefits of being elected to the highest position of leadership will assist in deepening our democracy and stabilizing the polity. “It is our considered opinion that no matter the provocation, a statesmanly disposition from a person of Chief Obasanjo’s status could have encouraged our citizens and progress stability in the system. We believe, however, that what this country needs now is patriotic actions that engender national unity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence of our people irrespective of political, ethnic and religious persuasions. The overall interest of our nation and wellbeing of our citizens must remain paramount and above all personal and group interests. “Finally, we direct all our members across the country to remain focused on our campaigns and not to be distracted on this issue. With an array of credible candidates led by our Presidential flagbearer, President Goodluck Jonathan, we are sure that we will emerge victorious come March 28 and April 11, 2015 general elections.”
Also, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, said Obasanjo “has the right to leave any party, and he has the right to join any party, he is a Nigerian,” stressing that the former president will not be missed.
However, Secretary PDP BoT, Senator Walid Jubril, faulted the way Obasanjo left the party: “If I were him, I will not behave the way he did, there are procedures of leaving the party. He was Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT of the party and with his position, he would have followed the procedure. There is nothing to celebrate there, it is not worth it, that is his palaver, not our own. As he left, millions have come to the party, many people like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar left before now. We are facing our Transformation Agenda for the people of Nigeria. Obasanjo should have a re-think and do the right thing by following the procedure of the party which gave him the platform to become the country’s president for eight years.”
Dayo said: “Following the series of unabated anti-party activities unbecoming of a highly celebrated party man engaged in by Chief Obasanjo, totality of the executive, leaders and members of the PDP family in Ogun State hereby state categorically as from today, Monday, February 16, 2015, that Olusegun Obasanjo stands expelled and ex-communicated from the party, thereby losing all rights, previous privileges and respect of our teeming members.”
He added that “whatever Obasanjo does or say henceforth must no longer be seen from the prism of a PDP leader.”

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