THE shocking resignation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the spectacle of tearing his membership card publicly has continued to generate reactions within and outside the party hierarchy, leaving some people in doubt as to what becomes the fate of PDP in the forthcoming general elections.
However, some political pundits in the state believe the pull out of OBJ from PDP has left a great vacuum difficult to fill by the party and it will surely affect the success of the party in the March 28 and April 11, 2015 polls, while the Ogun State chapter of the party has stated categorically that with or without the Ota farmer, as Obasanjo is fondly addressed, the party’s victory is sure at the elections.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Sunday, February 22, 2015, Kashamu Buruji’s spokesperson, Mr. Austen Oniyokor described the action of the former Head of State as nothing more than self-seeking, whimsical and disdainful political grandstanding. He, therefore, expressed optimism that with or without OBJ, the party is capable of emerging victorious both at the state and the national level.
“Let me tell you, democracy is about the people and it’s a game of number. We measure people’s electoral value by the elections they have won for themselves or those they assisted others to win. In these two categories, Obasanjo has nowhere to stand.
“Here is a man, who as a candidate of PDP and two-term president had never won his polling booth for his own election let alone delivering his local government or the whole state. Now, if somebody can’t win his polling booth in his own election, how can such a person assist others to win their elections?
“My brother, this is not a political statement but fact of history and it’s incontestable. I leave Nigerians to draw their conclusions whether Baba’s exit will have any negative effect on PDP or not.
“Let me also state categorically, the man has never won any free, fair and credible election. They secretly wrote results of the elections even before the elections were held. That’s why there were lots of electoral petitions during his tenure and which led to upturning of some of these so-called victories during his time. Now, how many of such petitions succeeded during President Jonathan’s administration?
“There is no doubt, OBJ has ruled Nigeria as military and civilian head of state. But he was only lucky. Maybe that’s’ what informed his political grandstanding. He has an over-bloated impression of his political clout, and some gullible Nigerians also helped to reinforce the wrong impression. OBJ is only living on his past glory as head of state not that he has any electoral value at all. He’s completely disillusioned.”
Reacting to the tale of jubilation in Kashamu’s political camp, he said, “I can tell you authoritatively that Kashamu is not necessarily happy that OBJ has left PDP because the more the merrier. However, if at all he is happy, it’s just because the culture of imposition and arbitrariness that OBJ is synonymous with has come to an end in PDP. And that it pleases God to use Kashamu as an instrument like he used small David to see to the end of mighty Goliath.
“It’s not by Kashamu’s power or might, it’s God that chose him to demolish all OBJ’s illegal structures in PDP from state to the national level. So, jubilation or no jubilation is not the issue at the moment but the end of an undue imposition in our great party.”
Corroborating Onyiokor’s submission, state party chairman, Engineer Dayo Bayo also carpeted the former PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) chairman, arguing that his leaving the party has nothing to do with the success of the party both now and in future.
“Many people are thinking that as an elderly man, if OBJ leaves PDP, the party will be in disarray. That’s a lie. After all, we have many elders in the party. How many of them do you hear talking like Baba is doing? As an elderly person, I think OBJ should have reserved his comments, not talking all the time.
“Before, we all saw him as our political father but now it has got to a stage we couldn’t condone his excesses again. For him to have invited an APC man to destroy his PDP membership card, it’s uncalled for. The Oladunjoye who he instructed to tear his membership card is from APC, not our member.
“And if we were friends and we had a misunderstanding, would you call an external person to destroy our common property? As an elderly man, he wasn’t expected to behave that way.
“He has forgotten so soon, he is one of the luckiest person on earth which I don’t think he himself knows.
“Left to Baba, Ayo Fayose wouldn’t have been any governor in Ekiti. But God’s thinking is completely different from that of man. Baba can’t make himself God on us. Our destiny lies in the hands of God. It’s only God that makes things to happen. Baba has never won in his ward let alone local government.
“Nobody is indispensable. It’s only when you’re there that you think you are the only one that can make things happen. When you’re gone, someone else will even do it better. So, life continues.
“Now, everybody is campaigning, only God knows who is going to win. So, the destiny of the country or PDP is not in the hands of anybody but God. Our prayer is that let God’s decision favour us. No human being can say he is all in all. Therefore, OBJ’s exit has left no vacuum in our party.”
Asked to shed light on OBJ’s expulsion from the party, he reacted, “As far as I am concerned and as the chairman of the party in Ogun State, Obasanjo remains expelled. But the final decision is still in the hands of the party leaders at the national level. As elders, they may still see one or two things to correct in our steps at the state level. But left to me, even when OBJ was in the party, he was never an addition to us let alone when he called it quits.”
On Monday, February 16, 2015, OBJ a.k.a Baba Iyabo, tore his PDP membership card in a melodramatic way. And that has since been generating mixed reactions within and outside the country. He, however, stated that he didn’t regret his action as he has nothing to do with the party again.
– TADE ASIFAT