Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has taken a swipe at the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stating that they are the current misfortune bedeviling the Nigerian nation.
For the ruling APC, Obasanjo said it cannot claim to be a strong political party in power at the federal level, just as he faulted the PDP’s inability to provide credible opposition to check excesses of the ruling APC .
Obasanjo, who spoke at hilltop home in Abeokuta yesterday when acclaimed factional PDP National Chairman ModuSherrif visited him, also announced that he belonged to no party.
He said, “Let me make it absolutely clear once and again, I have renounced partisan politics, I don’t belong to any political party.”
According to him, for a democracy to thrive, there must be strong political parties both in government and in the opposition.
“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.
Following this dilemma, the former president explained that it must be the concern of all Nigerians that the present democratic dispensation is not allowed to derail and for it not to, there must be a strong political party in government and a strong political party in opposition.
“But for our democracy to thrive we need a strong political party in government and a strong political party in opposition, for democracy to be strong and dynamic.
Continuing, he said, “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.
“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.”
Both Obasanjo and Sheriff met behind closed door for about one hour from where he spoke specifically about the PDP which he said he nurtured for eight years as leader. According to him, unlike the party which he led for eight years, he noted that the PDP was a dying baby whose soul has been taken away from it and urged that the party be taken into intensive care unit, otherwise, Sheriff would be its undertaker.
“I have said to my brother that I wish him well in the dying baby they have put on his laps, because PDP is in comatose and he was of course not in PDP, he has never been in PDP until now.
“When I was in PDP, I tried to encourage 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.
“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.
“And, as they all want to say now, ‘well, you were once the father of PDP’, 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,” he said.