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Obasanjo begs for Daniel *Amid jeers at Jonathan’s rally

By Kolade Larewaju

Abeokuta – IT was a  humiliating experience for the embattled Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Olugbenga Daniel, as he was severely booed by the capacity crowd at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta venue of the Peoples Democratic Party ,PDP presidential campaign rally.

While former President Olusegun Obasanjo received tremendous applause  every time his name was mentioned, from the huge supporters of the party that thronged the stadium, it was boos and jeers for Daniel every time his name was mentioned.

Daniel, only on Friday,  visited the former president at his Hilltop home to beg for forgiveness and to apologise for his role in the struggle for the control of the party which led to the organisation of parallel primaries by the two factions of the party.

From left; Chief Martins Kuye, Minister for Commerce; Governor Gbenga Daniel; Ogun state PDP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Tunji Olurin; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; President Goodluck Jonathan; Alhaji Haliru Mohammed, Acting PDP National Chairman and Speaker House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole during the PDP presidential campaign rally held yesterday at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta.

But while applauses were on for each speaker at the rally, Obasanjo had to intervene in his speech and admonished the crowd to stop booing Daniel and respect the office of the governor which he said Daniel would occupy till May  29, this year.

Obasanjo said he took serious objection to the booing of Daniel,  noting that even if Daniel would not respect elders, he should not be paid back in the same coin.

He said, “What you have just done now is very much uncalled for. If I did not come here and say it, I will be failing in my duty. It does not matter what Governor Daniel must have done, or might have not done. In Yoruba land, we respect, among other things, two things: age and authority.

“If you are not a bastard, if you see an older person, you respect him. Until 29  May, Governor Gbenga Daniel remains the governor of this state and he must be accorded the respect, dignity, the honour that he deserves. If he does not give anyone that respect, we won’t pay him in his own coin. You must show that you are well bred. I take serious objection  to your booing him here when his name is called and that should not be.”

PDP BoT chairman and former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo with his daughter, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello at the rally.

The former president explained that Daniel was in his (Obasanjo) house of Friday with some “men of goodwill” who, according to him, were convinced that something could still be done and that they intervened.

He said, “They assigned to me what they believe I should do and to Governor Daniel what he should do. I have assured them that I would do what I was told to do.”

The former president said that until last week, nobody could come out to campaign and that they were not sure whether Ogun State would be passed over in the series of campaign that the president  has carried across the country.

He said that the presidential campaign was delayed because of “threat and intimidation” and that  Jonathan promised them a whole day and that it has been fulfilled, saying “we are laughing last and we are laughing best”.

Obasanjo said that there must be more care in choosing people that would be put in office and that they must be investigated so as “not to have rascals in government”.

He then campaigned for Jonathan and Chief Adetunji Olurin for governorship, saying the (Ogun) West Senatorial District should be given an opportunity.

Jonathan,  in his address, promised to continue in the vision of Obasanjo, especially in providing rail system for the country and the development of the power sector.

PDP supporters at the rally.

He said,  “We will develop the NIPP. Before the middle of this year, power would be stabilized because of the vision you [Obasanjo] had”.

At the rally were also Vice President Namadi Sambo, who is also the running mate to Jonathan in the April poll, and the acting national chairman of the PDP,  Dr. Haliru Bello Muhammed, among others.  Daniel was not given any role nor gave any speech.

The governor was, however, dressed in the same green Adire made for the occasion which was worn by all the special guests including Olurin, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye and others.


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