Obasanjo rued that many of the PDP leaders still preoccupy themselves with what ministers to “their pockets and stomach”. He asked why some of them left the gathering and others lost expectation when the consequences of the 2019 presidential race were declared.
The former president spoke on Sunday evening when Southwest PDP leaders, led by the party’s National Vice Chairman (Southwest), Dr. Eddy Olafeso, visited him at his Pent-House Residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State. At the meeting were: Senate Minority Leader Mrs. Biodun Olujimi; senators-elect Kola Balogun (Oyo South); Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central); House of Representatives member-elect Ajibola Muraina (Ibarapa North and Central); former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Minister for State for Defence Erelu Olusola Obada and the PDP candidate in Ekiti State during the 2018 governorship election, Prof Olusola Eleka.
Obasanjo told his visitors that Nigeria’s circumstance requests a dynamic voice and restriction in PDP to induce a virile democracy. The previous pioneer additionally wailed over the disappointment of initiative in the nation, saying Nigeria “can’t move forward if we continue the way we are”.
Obasanjo, whose Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM) failed to dislodge President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) at the centre, urged the opposition PDP to purge itself of “hypocrites and bad eggs”. He noticed that the cleanse would put the gathering on a higher platform to scout for those he called “minimum amount of submitted individuals,” who “would be ready to stand with the party come rain, come shine”.
Obasanjo said: ”I knew PDP would lose election in 2015 because it was clear. And I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election. You need what I call critical mass of committed people and come rain, come shine, they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.
“You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him. If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person. And if such person has learnt his or her lessons, there can still be room to accommodate the person. Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into the Nigeria project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.
“I said if you compare the two of them (referring to Atiku and Buhari); with what I know and all I have written about the incumbent, which they have decided to cover up, Atiku is better than the incumbent by far. That’s the point I am making. And nobody is perfect. I am not a perfect person. I have my shortcomings. If I deny my shortcomings, it means I am not being truthful to myself. But, my shortcomings have nothing to do with my love for Nigeria. It has nothing to do with being greedy or selfishness.”
Earlier, Olafeso had clarified that the visit was to observe Obasanjo on his 82nd birthday, which he stamped as of late, and express gratitude toward him for his help for the PDP presidential hopeful (Atiku) in the current year’s election. He portrayed the previous president as a dependable, upstanding and submitted pioneer who is “ready to speak the truth to power” fearlessly.
“We could not have done well in the last elections in the Southwest without your support. Your voice resonates above all the lies told in the country and you told the world what is actually happening in your country. You decided that you are going to stand up and fight. There is nothing we can say here that would compensate the role you have played. You supported our presidential candidate and I know for sure that he won that election even if the powers-that-be decided to write results for themselves in the North. It is certainly sure that it is the corner you asked all of us to go that won that election and I know full well that God will take this thing back to our party,” Olafeso said.
Former Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, previous PDP Deputy National Chairman Shuaibu Oyedoku, and Ondo PDP governorship hopeful in 2017 Eyitayo Jegede SAN, among others, additionally went to the gathering.