Ex-Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has neglected repeated pleas from concerned member of opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to help resolve and revive the party following its defeat in the March 28 presidential election.
President Goodluck Jonathan, lost to his All Progressives Congress challenger, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military head of state, making it the first time in 16 years the party lost to the opposition. The party, ruled Nigeria since the return of democracy 16 years ago, also lost its majority status in the National Assembly just as it won a fewer number of states unlike in the past election.
With the defeat, the ruling party will now take on the opposition role as from May 29 when Mr. Jonathan hands over power to Mr. Buhari.
Concerned about the future of the party, some of its leaders have been reaching out to the ex-president, Obasanjo to return to the party and help build it ahead of future elections.
According to premium times, members him to return to lead the party were serving governors and federal lawmakers who believed the party should play viable opposition in the next dispensation. Sources have it that, the party men have been pressuring the ex-president through visitation and phone calls.
“I’m done with party politics here on earth and in heaven. Period,” Mr. Obasanjo was overheard telling a PDP chieftain who telephoned him recently to raise the matter.
Mr. Obasanjo was also said to have told some people pressuring him that he could have considered returning to the party had his membership card not been publicly thorn before the general elections.
He was quoted as saying his membership card has been shredded and that “as it is now, a goat has eaten up the pieces”.
After a meeting with President Jonathan sometime in February, the outgoing governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, had assured that the PDP would beg Mr. Obasanjo to return to the party.
“When a father is angry with his children, the children should beg him. Baba is more than a party man. He is an icon, a national symbol and a leader and inventor, a creator of all the institutions today in Nigeria from the president to the governors, who are his own sons, are all his creations.”
“And so when a father is angry with his children, we will only say we are sorry to him. But then, we cannot be renounced for whatever it is. We might have made some mistakes, but abandoning us is not the solution because the country is first before anything else. So, he is our Baba even up to the president.”
But Obasanjo confirmed to premium times that he had foreclosed any possibility of returning to the PDP.
“I agree that Nigeria needs a strong and viable opposition and I will continue to encourage that,” the former President said. “I will continue to do that even without belonging to a political party. I have moved beyond party politics.”