Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said anyone who doubts his exit from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and by extension his quitting partisan politics, will doubt his or her mother’s gender.
The former Nigerian leader, who was reacting to reports that he attended a meeting of the PDP yesterday in Abuja, said it was unthinkable and preposterous for anybody to contemplate that he would reverse himself and return to a divided party “gasping for breath”.
It was earlier clarified here that Mr. Obasanjo’s visit to the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center in Abuja on Friday for a programme on Agriculture, coincided with the inauguration of the PDP’s national convention committee, which was also taking place in one of the several halls in the center.
Confirming our report, the ex-president said he attended farmers’ event at the center organized by the Commodities Association Stakeholders on “Zero Hunger Nigeria” and not for any PDP event.
He noted that those behind the media report linking him with the PDP convention committee’s meeting were probably looking for ways to annoy and embarrass him, but assured that anybody hoping to drag him back to party on whose platform he was elected president twice, for whatever reason, would fail just “like any man serving a dead mice to a cat”.
“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party gasping for breath?”
“Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman”, he stated.
The elder statesman explained that he had ordinarily attempted to ignore the media report, but felt the need to clarify the situation due to plethora of phone calls he was still receiving from people who were confused about the said report.
“To clear the minds of doubting Thomases and those behind the orchestrated news in circulation and particularly those who had been calling to ascertain what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua centre.
“The meeting commenced but few minutes into the session, his attention was drawn to the presence of some people walking up to where he was seated. At closer glance, he recognized them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries, saying they came to greet him and they walked out again from the meeting”, a statement signed by the former Nigerian leader’s spokesman, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, said on Saturday.
It further said that “Obasanjo cracked jokes with members of his former party on which platform he was elected as civilian president in 1999 before he later became the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of same party, calling them ‘invaders and gate-crashers’.
“The programme ended and immediately he and his entourage headed back to Lagos. He was barely hours in Lagos when he started receiving calls from both far and near, wanting to find out about his presence at a political party programme in Abuja.
“The photo as well as the media report in circulation, which claimed that he was spotted at a political party event is therefore mischievous, as a responsible journalist ought to have gone further to ascertain his actual destination in among the number of venues at the centre.
“They simply took the photograph of his alighting from his vehicle to read another meaning. It is shocking also to note that the picture was actually taken while on his way out of the Centre after the programme he attended had ended.
“This is height of irresponsible journalism, which the former President is calling for its investigation and sanction on anybody involved in order to serve as deterrent to others who may want to be used either by omission or commission to misinform the public on such sensitive issue”.