FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo February 17, 2015 made world news as usual, when he finally dumped the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with an unprecedented party membership card learning act before the full glare of journalists at his Abeokuta home. Baba’s biding farewell to PDP was long over-due, but the way and manner of his exit, many believed was rather absurd and dishonourable. At the visit of party leaders from his ward 11 of Abeokuta north local government area of Ogun State: Obasanjo directed his ward chairman Alhaji Sunmonu Oladunjoye to tear his party membersip card, apparently to demonstrate his final decision to quit PDP and prefer to remain a statesman.
Some have celebrated Obasanjo’s severance from the PDP, especially the opposition. All Progressive Congress (APC), yet many others took the ex-president’s act to the cleaners for “displaying act that are contradictory to his status as a statesman of international repute the ex-leader-of this country.” Rightly, the ex-president deserves a place in the history of PDP.
After his incarceration on the allegation of plot to overthrow General Sani Abacha regime, Obasanjo was offered the PDP presidential ticket on a platter of gold as a “settled issue between the military and political establishments to polity the South West that was angered by the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election widely acknowledged to have been won by Chief Moshood Abiola, whose death is custody remains a mystery.
Throughout the eight years rule of Nigeria the words of Obasanjo were laws and he demonstrated this, among others, with the seizure of federal allocation of Lagos local government council even when the Supreme Court described such seizure as illegal. Those who had differences with him were not spared PDP governors including Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo) and Joshua Dariye (Plateau) were impeached, using Federal and state agents.
His influences at the National Assembly were over bearing such that the leadership of the two legislative chambers became the barber’s chair, it was not surprising that the Senate alone produced five presidents in Obasanjo’s eight years tenure.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was alleged to be a tool in the hands of Obasanjo and perceived enemies were nailed or chased around. While other were forced out of the PDP. The sun however, set for the ex-president when he failed to stage manages his third term bid in office. Even his mastermind in the amendment of the PDP constitution that only former president would be eligible to chair the party’s Board Of Trustees (BOT) did not last long in the power chess game and when realized that there were plans to amend the party’s constitution he quickly resigned as BOT chairman in 2012 which made his politically, Chief Tony Anenih to regain his position in 2013.
More than these, Obasanjo’s stay in the PDP has been eventual, he militarized the party to the extant that internal democracy became an aberration; one of which is the K-leg saga in Rivers State, the former President however became the worst critic of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan whose ascension to the highest office in the land was almost single-handedly orchestrated by Obasanjo.
If Obasanjo was not accusing Jonathan of corruption, the former President attacked the latter of training snipers, fanning the ember of ethnicity and plotting to climb to power at all means.
President Jonathan’s response to the accusation of his former boss exposed Obasanjo as a man playing the gods in the wake of national woes of which he is part of.
There was no love lost between Obasanjo and his political godson, Jonathan and every attempt at reconciling the differences always, ended in widening the gap even as the ex-president loyalist in the PDP national working committee (NWC) were gradually phased outgoing by political detail, it was obvious that Obasanjo, who gradually withdraw from the party activities had lost bearing in PDP power house, coupled with the fact that Jonathan was no longer ready to take orders anymore from him.
On the other note Jonathan is suppose to be the godson of Obasanjo and Obasanjo use to be the generator house of the PDP which leads me with asking, dose the exit of this great military/political man means the down fall of the PDP?