BY Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
A founding member of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and Director General, Voice of Nigeria VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu, has described last week’s rejection of Peoples Democratic Party’s overtures by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a pointer to another defeat of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election.
Mr Okechukwu wondered whether PDP leaders have refused to understand that Nigerians are suspicious and no longer interested in reinforcing the PDP’s culture of “sharing the money”.
Speaking with journalists Sunday in Abuja, Okechukwu said it smacks of political naivety for a party whose membership card was publicly shredded by Obasanjo to go back asking for the support of the same statesman who had long rejected it.
He maintained that “the rejection of PDP’s request to re-join the party by Chief Obasanjo comes as a failure signal on the eve of the 2023 Presidential election”.
PDP bigwigs led by its national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu had last week visited Chief Obasanjo in his Abeokuta, Ogun State residence, during which the former President remarked thus; “I have been with the party right from inception. Whatever I do in my own life, because I became President on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of the history of my life.
“But, having said that, the day that in my ward I decided to tear my PDP card was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP and that day I vowed that I will not be a member of any political party again, but I will remain a statesman in Nigeria, in West Africa, in Africa and indeed in the world.”
Going further, Okechukwu stated: “I have my sympathy for our sister political party, PDP, over this misadventure. Just imagine the uncommon electoral boost the party would have generated if Chief Obasanjo had accepted their request.
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“The statesman’s re-entry could have boosted the morale of the rank and file of the PDP. In short the rejection is a bad omen, particularly coming at the eve of the crucial 2023 presidential election.”
On Ayu’s attack on President Muhammadu Buhari and APC that both are clueless and plunging Nigeria into eternal debts, Okechukwu said; “I have my tremendous respect for His Excellency Iyorchia Ayu, an intellectual and seasoned academic; however one needs to name some of the huge and uncountable infrastructural deficit PDP bequeathed to Buhari’s regime, which compelled borrowing for development:
“One is the Ibadan-Lagos standard gauge rail line and other rail lines abandoned by PDP; less than transparent privatised Power Sector, which has dangerously stifled economic development; the Lagos-Ibadan, Lagos-Abeokuta, 2nd Niger Bridge, Kano-Maiduguri, Abuja-Makurdi, including other 13,000 federal road network nationwide; and, re-equipment and upgrading of the Armed Forces and other Security Agencies emasculated by the PDP”, he added.