Leave us alone, BOT chair replies Obasanjo
•Says party can’t die
Embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hit back yesterday at former President Olusegun Obasanjo for proclaiming it “dead, sunk and gone.”
Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, told Obasanjo to leave the party alone and allow it to sort out its problems.
The former president had on Friday, at an international symposium “Purpose and Utilitarian Values of Presidential Libraries” organised as part of the activities marking his 80th birthday and the formal opening of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, written off the party that made him Nigeria’s leader between 1999 and 2007.
In responding to a remark at the symposium by a former national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Obasanjo said:”Ahmadu Ali is truthful and that was why I brought him to head the PDP and all went well when Ahmadu Ali was the National chairman.
“We were controlling 30 out of the 36 states. When Ahmadu and I left, the fortune of the PDP began to sink.
“Whether you believe it or not, today PDP is sunk and gone. May the fortune of Nigeria never sink like that of the PDP.”
But reacting to the Obasanjo dig at the PDP yesterday, Jibrin said: “Having left the party on his own, Chief Obasanjo should leave the PDP alone to sort itself out. Nobody forced him out of PDP, so we can only wish him the best in whatever he is doing.
“I do not see any point in his harsh comments about a party he is no longer a part of. We bear Chief Obasanjo no grudge and we don’t want to believe that he still bears any grudge against the PDP.”
The BoT chair who spoke by phone said the PDP “can never die.”
He said steps are being taken to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the party.
Obasanjo, in run up to the 2015 election which the PDP lost, had torn his membership of the party. He said the party was dead.
He later said he was through with partisan politics.
Also yesterday, Senator Jibrin denied claims that some chieftains of the party are seeking the registration of Advanced Peoples Democratic Party (APDP) as a plan B.
He said no such plan exists for now and if it comes up at any time it has to be tabled before all the critical organs of the party, like the BoT, the National Assembly caucus, the league of ex-Ministers and other key stakeholders.
“We’ve never met to discuss anything like that because we are still pursuing our appeal at the Supreme Court so people must be careful what they do,” he said.
“Any group of persons has the right to approach the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to seek registration of a political party. However, nobody has the right to register another party that would be in conflict with an existing one”.
Senator Jibrin pleaded with party stakeholders and members across the country to exercise patience and wait for the outcome of ongoing consultations being spearheaded by former President Goodluck Jonathan.