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Why Obasanjo Hurriedly Announced Exit From PDP

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BEVERLY HILLS, February 16, (THEWILL) – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Monday hurriedly announced his exit from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because he got information over the weekend that the Adamu Muazu led-national executive of the party had directed the Ogun State executive of the PDP to expel the controversial former leader from the party, over his sustained criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling party.

Sources close to Dr. Muazu, the National Chairman of the PDP, told THEWILL Monday that Obasanjo beat the PDP to the announcement of his expulsion in order to avoid the embarrassment.

“… PDP NEC had approved Obasanjo's expulsion from the party and was only hours from making it public when Obasanjo got wind of the development and hurriedly announced his exit in order to minimize the damage to his reputation,” a source with knowledge of the development told THEWILL.

The party on Monday afternoon announced his expulsion over anti-party activities.

Relations between Obasanjo and President Jonathan, his protégé, who he campaigned for and helped install as president during the 2011 elections, have been frosty for a while. Obasanjo has been an ardent critic of the President over his handling of the nation's affairs. Last Saturday, the war of words between both men continued with Jonathan accusing him of plotting to scuttle the general elections as part of a grand plan to install an unconstitutional Interim National Government, which he said the former President hopes to head.

Obasanjo, who ruled the nation in the 70s first, as military head of state before serving two terms of four years apiece between 1999 and 2007 as a democratically elected president on the PDP's ticket, announced his exit from the party on Monday morning and watched the leader of the party in his ward shred his party membership card before cheering party members and journalists.

Nigeria's electoral commission, INEC, last week announced new dates for the general elections after postponing the February 14 and February 28 polls, following advise from the military that it could not provide security for the polls because of ongoing counter-insurgency operations against the Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.

President Jonathan faces a difficult election on May 28, 2015 , against main challenger, General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC). If the exit polls remain unchanged before the ballot, THEWILL analysts predict a landslide victory for the opposition candidate.