Former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, says Nigeria’s major opposition party, PDP is in an intensive care.Obasanjo met behind closed doors yesterday in his Abeokuta residence with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
As he emerged from the meeting, the former president told reporters that the PDP under his leadership was vibrant.
“I was once the leader, for eight years. I was the leader of PDP but the PDP that I was the leader of is not the PDP of today.
“The PDP of today, if you can talk of a party again as PDP, its soul has been taken out of it and those who allowed that to happen are, unfortunately, either in the country or out of the country unperturbed about the fate of the party and indeed the fate of the country.
“I have said to my brother (Sheriff), that I wish him well on the dying baby they have put on his laps, because PDP is in comatose and he was of course not in the PDP, he was never in the PDP until now.
“When I was in PDP, I tried and encouraged him to come and join PDP, but he did not come. But the PDP they have given him now is a dying PDP; a dying baby, it needs to be in intensive care; otherwise, he will just be an undertaker.
“But like I said, it is the responsibility of all Nigerians of goodwill and all friends of Nigeria that wish this country well that we should ensure that the institutions that will underpin a virile, dynamic, thriving democracy are put in place.”
Obasanjo who renounced his PDP membership and tore his card in the run-up to the 2015 elections said that Nigeria needs a strong political party in government and an equally strong political party in opposition “for our democracy to thrive.”
He said that neither the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nor the PDP is strong enough.
“Today, PDP cannot claim to be a strong party in opposition, I don’t know if APC can claim, at the national level, to be a strong party in government either. Now that is part of the misfortune of this country today,” he said.
“That being the case, it must be the concern of all Nigerians that the present democratic dispensation must not be allowed to be derailed and for it not to be derailed, we must have a strong political party in government and a strong political party in opposition.
“When they talk about institution, a political party is an institution and in a democracy, it is a very important institution that we must all nourish and we must all cherish.”
The former president reiterated that he remains non-committed to any party as he has quit politics for good.
He said: “He (Sheriff) called me yesterday (Friday) and said ‘where are you’ and I said, ‘I am in the country’ and he said ‘May I come and see you?’ and I said ‘my house is open to all Nigerians of goodwill and even non-Nigerians of goodwill. And I said, he can come.”
“Let me make it absolutely clear once and again, I have renounced partisan politics, I don’t belong to any political party, not to talk of his own faction of PDP or any other faction of PDP.? But he came and I am very happy to receive him and I said ‘look, for my own education, for my own knowledge, tell me what exactly is happening’, and he briefed me.”