“I am not a perfect person. I have my shortcomings. If I deny my shortcomings, it means I am not being truthful to myself.”
Those were the words of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He spoke on Sunday evening, when the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders led by the party’s National Vice Chairman (South West), Dr Eddy Olafeso, visited him at his Pent-House residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The visit, according to Olafeso, was to celebrate Obasanjo on his 82nd birthday which he marked recently and also thank him for his support for the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2019 elections.
Still speakimg about his shortcomings, Obasanjo, however stressed that they have nothing to do with his love for the country.
“But, my shortcomings has nothing to do with my love for Nigeria. It has nothing to do with being greedy or selfishness,” he said.
Obasanjo also advised the PDP to purge itself of bad eggs but accommodate repentant ones. According to him, Nigeria’s current situation demands a vibrant voice and a strong opposition like the PDP to engender a virile democracy.
His words: “I knew PDP would lose election in 2015 because it was clear. And I knew PDP will need to be rebuilt after losing the election.
“You need what I call critical mass of committed people, and come rain, come shine they are committed. With that, you can make Nigeria better.”You see peoples’ faces beautiful but you don’t know what each person harbours inside of him. If you discover a bad egg, remove such a person. And if such person has learnt his or her lessons there can still be room to accommodate the person.
“Politically speaking, you can’t be my friend if you don’t buy into the Nigeria’s project. For me, till death, I will continue to push for a better Nigeria.
“I said if you compare the two of them (referring to Atiku and Buhari); with what I know and all I have written about the incumbent which they have decided to cover up, Atiku is better than the incumbent by far. That’s the point I am making. And nobody is perfect.
Those who attended the meeting include Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, Senators-elect, Oyo South, Kola Balogun, Ondo Central, Ayo Akinyelure, Rep-elect (Ibarapa North and Central), Hon Ajibola Muraina, former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Minister for State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada and PDP gubernatorial candidate in Ekiti State 2018 election, Prof Olusola Eleka.
Also present were former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, former Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedoku, PDP Governorship candidate in 2017 Ondo State Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede SAN among others.
In his speech, Olafeso described Obasanjo who is popularly called the Ebora Owu, as loyal, upright and committed leader that is “ready to speak the truth to the power” fearlessly.
“We could not have done well in the last elections in the South West without your support. Your voice resonates above all the lies told in the country and you told the world what is actually happening in your country. You decided that you are going to stand up and fight. There is nothing we can say here that would compensate the role you have played.
“You supported our presidential candidate and I know for sure that he won that election even if the powers-that-be decided to write results for themselves in the North. It is certainly sure that it is the corner you asked all of us to go that won that election and I know fully-well that God will take this thing back to our party,” Olafeso said.
It would be recalled that in the build up to the 2019 election, Obasanjo built the Coalition for Nigerian Movement(CNM) which later birthed the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to provide a third force to the PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC). After the movement however failed to live up to expectation, the former president threw his weight behind his former deputy, Atiku of the PDP.