05 September 2016

Opposition boss was handed a dying baby – Obasanjo

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, head of the AU’s 70-member election observer mission in Zimbabwe speaks to media in Harare Friday, Aug. 2, 2013.  Obasanjo said voting in the country itself was peaceful but the observers noted “incidences that could have been avoided and even tended to have breached the law.’’ (AP Photo)

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), handed over to the embattled National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff as a dying baby that needed to be in intensive care.

Obasanjo made the remarks yesterday while speaking to newsmen after a private audience with Sheriff at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta.

“But the PDP that they have given him now is a dying PDP; a dying baby. It needs to be in intensive care. So, otherwise, he will just be an undertaker,” Obasanjo noted.

Besides, he said: “…a political party is an institution and in a democracy, it’s a very important institution that we must all nourish, we must all cherish. I have said to my brother that I wish him well in the dying baby that they have put on his lap because PDP is in comatose and he was of course not in PDP, he has never been in PDP until now.”

He said at one time he invited Sheriff to joi

n the PDP but the former Borno State Governor refused to honour the request.

According to him, the soul of PDP has been taken out of it and those who allowed that to happen are unperturbed about its fate or that of the country.

Obasanjo noted that for the country’s democracy to thrive there was need for a strong political party in government and a strong opposition party.

“For democracy to be strong and dynamic, today PDP cannot claim to be a strong party in opposition. I don’t know if APC can claim, at the national level, to be a strong party in government either,” the former president point out.
He described the situation as a misfortune of the country which must be the concern of all Nigerians that the present democratic dispensation must not be allowed to be derailed.

Obasanjo explained that he had to receive Sheriff because is open to all Nigerians and non-Nigerians of goodwill but reminded him that he had renounced partisan politics.

The former president said Sheriff reminded him that he was once the father of PDP but explained that it is not the PDP of today.

Sheriff acknowledged that Obasanjo had spoken his mind, stressing, “he built the PDP that everybody cherished. Baba, whether he’s today in politics or outside politics, he has a role in the Nigerian nation and every one of us are looking onto him, if we have a problem we must come to him for solution.

“He said he’s not going to play any partisan politics, we agree but he is our father, father of the Nigerian nation and the grandfather of PDP, therefore that soul that has gone, he has to bring it back to us and through his advice, we will get it right. But you know Baba is very correct; so many things have gone wrong and it would be alright insha Allah,” Sheriff said.

On how to make it right, the factional chairman remarked that, it is a matter of consultation and talking to the right people.

“Baba has told you already that Nigeria needs a strong party in government and outside government. And he also told you that both are needed for democracy to survive. He keeps saying it out of his practical experience as a two-time president of Nigeria. Every wisdom that we want to lead our party, he has it. That’s why we come to consult him,” he said.


Source: dailytrust.com

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