The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has reiterated that his decision to leave partisan politics was not an appeal from anyone, rather it was a personal conviction and that he was never going to rescind it for anything, particularly joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), his former party.
Obasanjo said that he was never asked to leave the political arena but that he felt it was time to embrace another status as an elder statesman and remain neutral on any issue affecting the countty.
He noted that his doors would never be closed to anyone, irrespective of their political affiliation, that may request his advice on any programme and policies that would further bring development to Nigeria.
The former president stated this on Saturday when a PDP delegation led by the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, four former governors, and members of the party’s National Working Committee visited him at his residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Among the delegations that visited the 84-year-old former president were PDP Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Peter Obi; former Governors, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River).
Others that joined the delegations were the the Deputy National Chairman of PDP (South), Taofeek Arapaja, and other party officials were part of the entourage.
After listening to the request of the delegation, Obasanjo said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.
“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life. Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman”, he added.
Obasanjo, meanwhile, commended Ayu for contesting for the party’s national chairman seat, saying the task ahead of his remain daunting and that it would require that he remain focus often.
The former president explained that the national chairman would often be faced with two problems and that they include addressing the party’s problems and that of the country’s challenges.
Earlier, Ayu appealed that Obasanjo reconsider his decision and return to the party, saying PDP will always need his advise and contribution towards achieving its plans in the country.
The chairman noted that although the elder statement may claim to have left the party but the blood of PDP still flows freely in him and that he would often have sympathy for the party.
According to him, the party will often require his fatherly advice towards governance in Nigeria and that he should not desist from offering same to them.
It would be recalled that Obasanjo was first Head of State from 1976 to 1979. After his prison ordeal, Obasanjo was later elected Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the PDP.