DANIEL CAN'T RETURN TO PDP -OBASANJO
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has ruled out the possibility of former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, returning to
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), just as the hierarchy of the party
in the Southwest lampooned him for what it described as anti-party activities, which caused PDP a dismal performance in the state.
Speaking during PDP's Southwest Zonal Strategic Meeting held
in Abeokuta, the state capital, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PDP lamented what he described as indiscipline and disunity among
He said this just as the National Vice Chairman of the party in the zone; Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, lamented how 'Daniel worked so hard against the interest of the party'.
Obasanjo, who said the meeting was organized for the party to re-strategize for future challenges and elections, also canvassed unity and cohesion among members for a common goal.
According to him, the turbulent political storm that swept the party from the South-West did not make the party fall, recalling that the party had similar experience in the past.
'We stumbled, but did not fall, this is a bitter lesson for us to go back to the drawing board and make fast adjustments.''
Going proverbial, Obasanjo said: 'When a child falls, he looks forward, but if an elder falls, he looks back to see what led to his fall. I want the PDP members to do likewise,' he said.
While challenging members to work as a team for the common goal, Obasanjo urged the party 'to accommodate genuine run-aways from the party, who want to come back', but cautioned that those who deliberately destroyed the party in the past and did not show remorse should be avoided like a plague.
His words: 'As much as I agree with the suggestions that we must allow those who had strayed to return to the party, I want to caution that we must not totally forget the past because evildoers will never rescind from their bad deeds.'
Making veiled reference to Daniel, Obasanjo said: 'Those who misbehaved last year, if you say we should forgive them totally, they will do worse things next year. But those who have shown remorse should be allowed back into the party. But there are some that what they did was so bad that by the grace of God, I will never be in the same party with them for the rest of my life.''
He identified absolute indiscipline and gross violation of the party's constitution as the bane of the party's downfall, adding that this was not the time to lament about the past, but to look forward for better party cohesion.
'There is nothing new under the sun, in the past, we stumbled and regained our stand, today, we are going to regain our lost glory especially in the South West.'
Obasanjo, who also used the opportunity to speak on the Speakership of the House of Representatives, insisted that the constitution of the party zoned it to the South-West.
'The speakership of the House of Representatives, which the constitution of the party zoned to the South – West, is our legitimate right that must be given back to us.''
He adds: 'The National Secretaryship of the party being zoned to
the South-West is not an issue because naturally it belongs to the zone.
According to him, the injustice done to the South-West over speakership must be corrected as that is the basic thing.
'The South-West needs the Speaker of the House of Representative, let
the PDP at the National level do the necessary adjustment.''
However, the former President, who canvassed unity among Nigerians, also
vowed that he would die serving the country, adding that at the political level, it would be through the PDP.
While admonishing supporters not to allow rumour-mongers to destroy the party, Obasanjo charged them to prepare for future elections in other states, saying 'The day an election result is announced, preparations for another one begins.'
In his key note address, Oladipupo while giving a review of the states
in the zone lamented the poor showing of the party across the zone and attributed it to lack of unity, internal democracy and
indiscipline among some leaders and members of the party.
The crisis, he said, made it impossible for the party to regain its power in some states in the zone where elections were held.
Specifically, in Ogun, the South-West PDP national leader described the
activities of Daniel as anti-party, recalling how he formed a new party to challenge the party on which
platform he ascended the governorship seat.
Also, the PDP national leader regretted the activities of the former governor of Ekiti, Ayo Fayose whom he alleged collaborated with opposition to ensure the loss of Ekiti state to other parties, during
the re-run and even during the court processes.
'Today, some people are calling for his return to the party. While I am not against his return, the truth has to be said that this young man was one of the strong party members who contributed to the party's destruction in Ekiti.
The crisies in Oyo and Lagos states which led to the Action Congress of Nigeria taking over just like in Ogun state during the governorship elections also attracted his attention calling for urgent steps to stop internal wrangling among the party members.'