Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday dismissed his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as divided, factionalised and gasping for breath.
Obasanjo, seemingly annoyed by media reports that he was sighted at a PDP event at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja at the weekend, said the reports were aimed at scoring “cheap political gains.”
The former president sensationally tore his membership card of the party ahead of the 2015 elections, saying he was through with party politics.
The PDP went on to lose that year’s presidential elections and its control of the majority of the 36 states.
The former president said having announced his exit from partisan politics publicly, it is unthinkable and preposterous for anybody to contemplate that he would reverse himself and return to a comatose PDP
The ex – Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of PDP made this known to reporters in Abeokuta, yesterday, in a statement. He said he was at the Yar’Adua Centre as a guest of the Commodities Association Stakeholders which had no relationship with the PDP.
His words: “Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman.
“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalised party gasping for breath?”
His office followed up with another statement, saying: “While ordinarily his first reaction to the news was that those behind it targeted to get him annoyed and embarrassed him, his conclusion was that he has told the world that he has quit partisan politics and that is final. Anybody hoping to drag him back will fail like any man feeding mice to a dead cat.
“To clear the minds of doubting Thomases and those behind the orchestrated news in circulation and particularly those who had been calling to ascertain what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, on the invitation of the Commodities Association Stakeholders, His Excellency was invited to the “Zero Hunger Nigeria” event at the Centre’, the statement said.
“He arrived at about 10.00am and immediately moved to the meeting. The meeting commenced but few minutes into the session, his attention was drawn to the presence of some people walking up to where he was seated.
“At closer glance, he recognised them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries, saying they came to greet him and they walked out again from the meeting. The former president cracked jokes with them calling them “invaders and gate crashers”.
It said as soon as the programme ended Obasanjo and his entourage headed back to Lagos.
He said he was barely hours in Lagos when he started receiving calls from far and near wanting to find out about his presence at a political party programme in Abuja.
The statement added, “The photo news in circulation, which claimed that he was spotted at a political party event is therefore mischievous, and a responsible journalist ought to have gone further to ascertain his actual destination. Shocking also to note that the picture was actually taken while on his way out of the centre after the programme he had attended had finished.”