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Obasanjo preempts expulsion from PDP, dumps party

Obasanjo applauds Fintiri over infrastructure development in Adamawa

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday preempted his expulsion from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and announced his disengagement from the party, tearing his membership card publicly in his Abeokuta hilltop mansion. BusinessDay reliably gathered that the state chapter of the party chaired by Bayo Dayo had on Sunday received directive from the party’s National Working Committee to expel the former president following his statement claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP were planning Ivorian Laurent Gbagbo’s style of returning to the presidency by hook or crook. It was learnt that Obasanjo got wind of his expulsion and acted fast.

About two hours earlier, Obasanjo had invited some PDP leaders from his Ward 11, Abeokuta North Local Government Area, including Sunmola Oladunjoye and journalists on his hilltop mansion residence, saying that he was leaving the party not to join another political party, but to remain a statesman, just as he added that he would not be party to those that want to destroy the country. He, however, said that he would continue to identify with anything that would strengthen the nation. Obasanjo said, “This Nigeria belongs to all of us and it must not be destroyed. This is my PDP membership card, where I am standing is that Nigeria belongs to every- body including babies. “We must not allow any- body to destroy it wherever they come from, whatever they have and if they destroy it, it becomes our burden to our children and incoming generation.

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“The question asked is that which party am I? I belong to the group that believes that Nigeria must not be destroyed. Those of you that are marketers you observed that there’s inflation in the market. The bureau de change operators exchange dollars with N150 then and is going to be N250 to a dollar. “What it means is that what you’ve been buying for N150 will be bought for N250, this is not the kind of country we dream of.

There’s no job, employment. Some people have started destroying Nigeria and I will never be in a party that will destroy Nigeria. Perhaps, you don’t understand that it is because there’s Nigeria that is why PDP exists. Without Nigeria, there will be no PDP anymore.

“What some of us should be concerned is how to make Nigeria stronger and our economy would witness… growth. “They said they want to expel me from PDP, al- though I have not been told, I have my ears on ground. We have been trying to run away from a man, but he pleads we wait for him at the other side of the river. I have told you before that I became president on the platform of PDP once I leave PDP I will not join any party.

“I will only be a Nigerian. I am ready to work with anybody regardless of political affiliation. Why would some people say they want to send me away, they don’t need to bother themselves, here is your membership card, take it. “From today on in the presence of all us and with your support I am not going to be in any political party in Nigeria. I am no more a politician but a statesman both internally and externally. The issue that they want to expel me from the party once you people are with me what other people am I looking for? “And on the day of election, whatever it takes the PVC must be obtained; you don’t need to be a politician before you get your PVC. On the day of election, you can vote for your choice, but I will vote for those who repair Nigeria and not those who will destroy it.”

Meanwhile, the PDP’s expulsion letter of Obasanjo signed and issued in Abeokuta by state chairman, Bayo Dayo, reads in part, “Following series of unabated anti-party activities unbecoming of a highly celebrated party man engaged in by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the totality of the executive, leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family in Ogun State hereby state categorically as from today, Monday 16th of February 2015, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo stands expelled and excommunicated from the party thereby losing all rights, previous privileges and respect of our teeming party members.

Reacting, Tony Anenih, chairman, board of trustees (BoT) of the PDP, on Monday said Olusegun Obasanjo will not be missed by the leaders of the party. The BoT chairman said, “He (Obasanjo) has the right to leave any party, and he has the right to join any party, he is a Nigerian”. Asked if PDP would miss Obasanjo, Anenih replied, saying, “Why should we miss him.” On if the former president was not a big loss to the party; Anenih said “to us leaders it is not a loss.” The Edo State chapter of the PDP on Monday in Benin, the state capital, de- scribed Obasanjo’s resignation as a sorry end of a romance that saw the former president ride on the party’s wing right from prison to the highest office in the land. Dan Orbih, Edo PDP chairman, told Business- Day that the action of the Ota farmer was a betrayal of trust of a party that stood behind him when nobody wanted anything to do with him (Obasanjo) when he was released from prison.