Nigerian Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed claims that he attended a meeting with the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the party’s convention.
While reiterating his exit from the opposition party, Obasanjo said having announced his exit from partisan politics publicly, it is impossible for him to return to a “divided, factionalized party gasping for breath.”
Speaking to reporters in Abeokuta on Saturday, August 6, 2016, the ex-Chairman, Board of Trustee (BoT) of PDP referred to the members of his former party, who came to greet him during his meeting at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center as ‘invaders and gate-crashers’.
In his words,“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party gasping for breath?”
“Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman,” Obasanjo said.
A statement released by Obasanjo’s media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, explained in details what happened at the meeting in Abuja.
“To clear the minds of doubting Thomases and those behind the orchestrated news in circulation and particularly those who had been calling to ascertain what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua centre.
“The meeting commenced but few minutes into the session, his attention was drawn to the presence of some people walking up to where he was seated. At closer glance, he recognized them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries, saying they came to greet him and they walked out again from the meeting.
“Obasanjo cracked jokes with members of his former party on which platform he was elected as civilian president in 1999 before he later became the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of same party, calling them ‘invaders and gate-crashers’,” Akinyemi disclosed.
Continuing, he said, “The programme ended and immediately he and his entourage headed back to Lagos. He was barely hours in Lagos when he started receiving calls from both far and near, wanting to find out about his presence at a political party programme in Abuja.
“The photo as well as the media report in circulation, which claimed that he was spotted at a political party event is therefore mischievous, as a responsible journalist ought to have gone further to ascertain his actual destination in among the number of venues at the center.
“They simply took the photograph of his alighting from his vehicle to read another meaning. It is shocking also to note that the picture was actually taken while on his way out of the Center after the programme he attended had ended.
“This is height of irresponsible journalism, which the former President is calling for its investigation and sanction on anybody involved in order to serve as deterrent to others who may want to be used either by omission or commission to misinform the public on such sensitive issue,” Obasanjo’s media aide revealed.
On Friday, August 5, 2016, Obasanjo was erroneously reported to have attended the PDP’s convention meeting which held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center.