Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 December 2012

Nigeria: Jonathan Still Unsure of Contesting 2015 Poll

Photo: Vanguard
Former president Umaru Yar’Adua, right, with his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo, left, and successor President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2009.

Abeokuta — Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday, declared that his passion, patriotism and love for the country, would not allow him to keep mute on burning national issues.

Obasanjo gave this assertion when he hosted the National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Bamanga Tukur in his Hilltop country home, Abeokuta.

He disclosed that the country, the party and government would remain his primary concern, saying, "because, if there is no Nigeria, there will not be a party, and if there is no party, there will be nothing to govern on the platform of the party.

"If there is anything that requires my own comment, position or views I will say it. It is only when you kill me. It is my passion, patriotism and love that will continue to make me say my own. If it is the party that I see that something is inimical to the growth, I will talk."

Obasanjo described the PDP national chairman as a respected leader, who is a delight to have always. According to him, "it is always a delight to have our Ogas (Boss) to visit us to see what we are doing or what we are not doing.

"To know our anxiety, aspirations and concerns. And also to disabuse the minds of the rumour mongers. The President is my President. Without Nigeria there will be no party even when I was in prison I was not quite. Those who want me and the chair to quarrel; this visit will keep them quite. But my mouth will not be quite,"

Obasanjo who also used the visit to dispel his death rumour wondered why people would continue to spread such rumour, remarking, "Am still alive anyway."

The National Chairman said he was in Abeokuta, to appreciate and thanked the former PDP Board of Trustees chairman for his persistent and consistent role not only for the party, "but, for the country and the international communities. Your support has never been relenting and I have come to say thank you sir."

Tukur however affirmed the leadership of the Dipo Odujirin-led executive in the state, declaring that the party only recognize the elected executives.

According to him, "whoever that the people have elected as far as am concerned, is the chairman of our party in Ogun".

It would be recalled that Senator Odujinrin along with 28 others were elected as members of the state Executive Committee (Ex-co) in an election supervised by members of the National Working Committee of the party in August this year.

But, Odujinrin's chairmanship has been opposed by a faction of the party who claims a court ruling is to their favour.

On the protracted crisis in the state chapter of the PDP, Tukur said, "let me assert here that there is no crisis here in Ogun PDP at all. I have come here because of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the leader of our party and am now the chairman.

We do take this with the leaders of our party throughout the country because you will remember in my own programme of reconciliation, reformation; rebuilding and so I have been going around to the leaders and stakeholders of our party. So I can assure you that there is nothing about crisis here.

Secondly, about discipline in our party; if you listen to what I said in Akwa Ibom when First of all, our own principle today is rebuilding our party based on equity and justice, no imposition so that everybody will feel to be part of that great party. Because it is only when you give people the leadership they did not elect that is when you then start to get crisis.

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