…As Secondus visits ex-president
By James Ogunnaike
FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, urged politicians to pay more attention to the unity, peace and progress of the country, rather than focusing on the 2023 general elections.
Obasanjo said this when the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uche Secondus, visited him in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Secondus arrived at the Penthouse of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Abeokuta, in company of other leaders of the party.
Addressing newsmen after the closed-door meeting, the former president said though, 2023 “is important, it’s not as important as the peace and unity of Nigeria.”
Obasanjo said the visit was non-partisan, saying that the challenges facing Nigeria require all hands on deck to salvage the nation.
He said: “We do not have the luxury of time, some people are talking about 2023. 2023 is important, but it is not as important as being able to package Nigeria as a wholesome peace, the unity, up to and beyond 2023 with security and understanding, with development and progress.
“And I couldn’t agree with you more, every right-thinking Nigerian and every lover of Nigeria will agree that Nigeria is not what it should be today unless there is something else wrong with them.
“The situation is bad, but the situation is not irredeemable. That is where the hope lies. The situation is very bad, but it is not hopelessly irredeemable. Therefore we need all hands on deck. Let’s put partisan politics apart and think of what we can do to get Nigeria to where it is supposed to be and move Nigeria forward.”
In his remarks, Secondus said he came to Obasanjo as an elder statesman to advise the present government.
“I am here with members of my team and as well as the PDP executive in Ogun State to tap from the wealth of Baba’s knowledge as a statesman. It’s been very difficult lately because Baba is a global personality. He has been resolving issues across the world. In fact, the last place I learnt Baba visited was Afghanistan, despite the situation in that country, he went there and came back alive.
“We have discussed Nigeria. Nigeria first before any other thing. Yes, we belong to a political party, but if we don’t have a country, where do we practice democracy? We need to have a peaceful country where democracy can strive and at this point, we need Chief Obasanjo to come in with solutions.
“We are aware of the insecurity, the poor economy, banditry, kidnapping all over the country; and we can’t continue to watch without reaching out to the elders so that they can advise the present government. That is the duty of a statesman.”