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I have moral issues with PDP leadership – Obasanjo

Obasanjo, a former chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, said in a statement in Abeokuta yesterday that he would rather remain an active ward member of…

Obasanjo, a former chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, said in a statement in Abeokuta yesterday that he would rather remain an active ward member of the party, noting that it was expedient on him to clear the air on “the avalanche of news and cacophony of appeals” and pleadings from some quarters of the PDP leadership. The statement was against the backdrop of reported appeals by the PDP leadership to the former president to return to the party.
“Talking of inviting me back to the PDP is wrong and it is a great misrepresentation as I have never left the PDP and I will never leave. I have said it before and I will say it again, I rose to become the president of Nigeria on the platform of the PDP and for that reason alone, I will remain a card-carrying and ward-active member as long as I have to be a political party member”, he said.
Obasanjo said he had on separate occasions told the president, the senate president and the party chairman separately that he had no quarrel with any individual or group in the party, but that: “There are, for me, issues of principle, morality, honour, integrity, commitment and character which are paramount”.
He said as a vital member of the anti-drug war in sub-Saharan Africa, having an a member of the party on the wanted list in the United States was one out of the issues he has with the leadership of the PDP.
“For instance, as a former president of Nigeria, the chairman of the West African Commission on Drugs and a member of the Global Commission on Drugs, I cannot accept that the zonal leader of my political party and, worse still in my zone, will be an indicted drug baron wanted in America.  How do I explain that to friends outside Nigeria?  This is only one of the many issues that I have pointed and still pointing out”, he said.
Obasanjo maintained that with national and international standard to maintain and reputation to keep and sustain, he  had for these reasons, opted to remain active only at the ward level of the party till the leadership does the needful.
“But under no condition will my commitment to Nigeria be diminished.  And, for me, it is commitment to Nigeria first and any other commitment can only follow in second or third place. Where any other commitment is in tandem with what I see and understand as commitment to Nigeria, such other commitment will share a pride of place with Nigeria”, he said.
The former President asserted that his interest and commitment to Nigeria go beyond partisan politics, stressing: “Today, Nigeria needs all hands on deck to deal with our pressing problems of security including the issue of Chibok girls, widening inequality, infrastructure, impunity, corruption, poverty and youth education, skills-acquisition, empowerment and employment.  
“These are issues of concern to most Nigerians.  We all need to join hands to move Nigeria forward.  I don’t need to be begged for that. Rather, I beg and appeal to those who are begging me to realize that we must put Nigeria’s interest above politics – party or personal – otherwise, we will all be judged at the bar of history if not the bar of current affairs. In addition, we must preserve, sustain and deepen democracy and democratic practices”, he added.

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