By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA – The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun got messier on Tuesday as the National Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Markarfi met with the former President,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta and shunned the party Secretariat where hundreds of party members had assembled to welcome.
Makarfi who arrived Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta in the company of the Chairman of the South West caretaker Committee Chief Eddy Olafeso and the former Minister of Steel, Mr. Sharafa Ishola among others met with the former President in closed doors.
Shortly after the four-hour-meeting,the newsmen who had assembled at the venue , were shocked when the former President instructed the party Chairman not to talk to the media.
While meeting with Obasanjo, hundreds of members of the party drawn from all the local governments in the state had assembled at the party Secretariat in the state which is adjacent to Obasanjo library to give Makarfi a rousing welcome.
But, they were shocked after they had waited endlessly for the national Chairman who shunned them and went back to Abuja.
Shortly, after the meeting, Obasanjo described the meeting as private, reiterating his stand that he would not go back to the party after he had left it .
Obasanjo who spoke with newsmen in pidgin said,”This na two colleagues meeting, two colleagues before, before. When I was the President, Chairman was a Governor, two colleagues before before.
“I have told the Chairman that I was in PDP before, but not now, ‘God forbid, ‘shey’ when a dog vomits, it will go back to eat its vomit, no’. I have said no partisan politics for me again and not partisan politics, but, Nigeria is my passion until death do us part and anything that concerns Nigeria; the good of Nigeria, you will see my involvement.
“So, the Chairman has come to greet me and ‘I greet am’, and now that we’ve greeted ourselves, Chairman will be going, you gentlemen and ladies of the press, you can now go, leave the Chairman alone.”
When asked of his message for the PDP, Obasanjo further said “I have said that publicly before and I will say it again, for our democracy to thrive and continue to be strong, we need strong party in government and strong party in the opposition, it has to be that way, otherwise, the party in government will get away with impunity and that is not good for democracy.”
The factional State Chairman of the party, Bayo Dayo while reacting to the refusal of the party National Chairman to see the party members in the secretariat, said the party in the state may not recognize him again.
A duo who spoke with newsmen at the party secretariat shortly after he addressed the party members who had waited for the Chairman, expressed shock over the development .
He said “Only yesterday night, we heard that our national Caretaker Chairman Senator Markarfi is coming to the state today (Tuesday) and we quickly sent messages across the 20 local governments telling them to join us in welcoming the great leader to the state.
“And we also learnt that in his itinerary, he will be visiting BABA’s house which is a stone’s throw to our office here, and as a result, we assembled party members for us to welcome the national leader and to as well tell him our grievances, but unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to see him as well as the party members do not have the opportunity of welcoming him to the state.
“But today, so many of those going around as politicians do not have the interest of the party at heart, but their own selfish interest and it is not supposed to be so.
“We have been talking to the people about unity because we know that no election can won without unity, but the modalities for that unification is what we should be thinking about, because there are so many greedy politicians in PDP”.
When asked whether he made any attempt to see the national caretaker Chairman, Dayo said
“I will never make any attempt to see Markarfi because he did not recognize us and I will not recognize him as well.
“Politics is a game of number when you see hundreds of members of your party standing somewhere and you neglected them, then why should I be looking for such a person? I will never look for such a person, if he wants to see me even when we do not belong to the same camp, as long as we are still in the same party”, he said.