Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to purge itself of “bad eggs and hypocrites” in order to return the party to winning ways. Obasanjo also said Nigeria demands a vibrant voice and opposition with a view to building a virile democracy in the country. He spoke on Sunday evening at his residence in Abeokuta when he hosted PDP leaders from the South-West zone led by the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West), Dr. Eddy Olafeso. Obasanjo stressed the need to purge the PDP of bad elements who lacked the commitment to return the opposition party to its lost glory. For the PDP to bounce back, the former president said the party must shop for those he described as “critical mass of committed people.” This set of people, he submitted, “would be ready to stand with the party come rain, come shine.” Obasanjo pointed out that many leaders of the party were after their pockets and stomachs. The ex-president wondered why some top chieftains left the party and others lost hope shortly after the results of the 2019 presidential election were announced.
He said: “I knew PDP would lose election in 2015 because it was clear. And I knew PDP would 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 people’s 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’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.” While bemoaning the failure of leadership in the country, Obasanjo contended that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was better than President Muhammadu Buhari, who was re-elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC). He said: “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 in his address, Olafeso explained that the visit was to celebrate Obasanjo on his 82nd birthday, which he marked recently. He thanked the former president for his support for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, in the 2019 general elections. He expressed optimism that the PDP would ultimately reclaim its mandate, which, according to him, was stolen in the presidential election. Olafeso described Obasanjo as a loyal, upright and committed leader who is ready to speak the truth to the power, not minding whose ox is gored. “We could not have done well in the last elections in the South-West 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.”
Those that attended he meeting included the Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi; Senatorelect (Oyo South), Kola Balogun; Senator-elect (Ondo Central), Ayo Akinyelure; Rep-elect (Ibarapa North and Central), Hon. Ajibola Muraina; former Minister for State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada and Ekiti PDP gubernatorial candidate in 2018 election, Prof. Olusola Eleka. Also in attendance were former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor- Akerele; former Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, and former PDP governorship candidate in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), among others.