Obasanjo recants, surfaces at PDP rally

About three and half years after publicly destroying his membership card of the Peoples Democratic Party, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday stunned thousands of party members and supporters when he stormed the rally of a governorship aspirant on the PDP’s platform in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The former president, who, on many occasions, had disparaged the PDP, briskly stormed a rally organised by Oladipupo Adebutu, sending thousands into wild jubilation.
The two-term president who actualised his ambition on the party’s platform, had, in disdain, publicly denounced the PDP.
Advancing reason for his action, the former president said he decided to tear his PDP membership card to let the whole world know that he meant his decision to leave the PDP.
Obasanjo was also quick to add that if he were involved in partisan politics it would deter his mission to have a better Nigeria, noting that, he was ready to sacrifice his membership of the PDP and become a statesman.
Responding to questions from newsmen on the purported rumour of being expelled from the party, he angrily directed one of his aides to get him the membership card.
As he was handed the card minutes later, he threw it away and declared that, “if this is why we cannot have the Nigeria we desire, I am no longer part of this.” The former President, who later handed over his PDP membership card to the ward 11 chairman in Abeokuta North local government, Alhaji Surajudeen Oladunjoye, instructed him to tear the remains of the card.
Accordingly, the ward chairman, Oladunjoye, who led over 350 PDP members of the ward to a fact-finding mission at the Obasanjo’s residence, tore the card into shreds to the admiration of the party followers.
But in a sudden twist yesterday, the former President, who addressed thousands of PDP supporters, wished the party and Oladipupo Adebutu success in their aspiration.
In his remarks, Obasanjo, who spoke very briefly in Yoruba said, “whether it is a play or a real game, they will know.
I saw you here and I came to play with you,” Obasanjo said.
Earlier, the leaders of the party in the state, and its governorship aspirant, Adebutu had paid a courtesy visit to the palace of Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, to ask for their blessings and support.
Adebutu, who is a member of the House of Representatives representing Remo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, was accompanied on the visit by some PDP chieftains in the state.
He had earlier donated electricity transformers to four communities in the state capital.
Speaking during the visit, the lawmaker said he was at the palace to formally inform Alake of his governorship aspiration come 2019.
Adebutu said he decided to join the gubernatorial race in order to enhance good governance and ensure delivery of goodies of democracy to the grassroots in the state.
He said unless good governance is provided by the leadership at all levels, people in exalted positions and wealth will also be affected by consequences of bad governance.
“The high and mighty fences or trenches could hardly secure, but would just entrap one in an environment of poor governance.
“I was offered royal blessings by the Alake in 2015 while I was contesting for a seat in the House of Reps, I want to assure the Alake that I will ensure “good governance, because it would bring genuine growth and development to the people and curbs corruption.
“With proper orientation, fear of God and compassion for others, a leader would able to shun corruption.
And if one has the compassion for others at heart, it would be difficult for one to appropriate collective wealth for personal benefits”, he added.
Responding, Oba Gbadebo lauded the lawmaker for his intervention in the provision of electricity transformers to several communities in Abeokuta.
Alake, who prayed for the lawmaker for a successful aspiration, expressed confidence in Adebutu’s conduct and capacity to deliver good governance if elected as governor of the state in 2009.



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