- Category: Politics
- Published on Sunday, 24 July 2011 11:57
- Written by Admin
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AS the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party meets in Abuja on Tuesday, there are strong indications about on-going plots and pressure to ease out former President Olusegun Obasanjo as the Chairman of the Board.
It was learnt that a political group which met in Owo a month ago, had also reached out to political caucuses outside the South West zone, citing the former leader as a major cause of the party’s loss and disunity in the zone.
Findings revealed that many within the party were surprised that the former President instead of pushing for reconciliation and reorganisation of the party in the zone, was said to have remained combative, with no sign of making concessions to aggrieved members of the party.
A serving governor who was said to be interested in re-joining the PDP was also reportedly being blocked by the former leader.
Reports indicated that the former leader even recently challenged a prominent leader of the party at a social function in Lagos in an encounter that almost got out of hand but for the low profile response of the accused politician.
The discontent at home, Sunday Tribune learnt, is now combined with discomfiture among influential forces surrounding President Goodluck Jonathan, who were unhappy with recent attacks on the administration by the former leader.
Chief Obasanjo had recently charged that the present federal administration lacked the will and focus to prosecute the anti-corruption war, a damning verdict delivered at an international event in Geneva.
The Otta farmer was also said to have disagreed with President Jonathan on the zoning of the party offices, consistently pushing for South West to get the party national chairmanship even when the Presidency is said to be in support of a particular chieftain from the North East for the position.
Many around the President were said to be pushing the him to clip the wings of the former leader, as he had done for the trio of Chief Edwin Clark, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Theophilus Danjuma. (Tribune)
Even while Mr. President is reportedly not fully listening to the whisperings of his aides, the development has filtered to other political forces that are said to be capitalising on this strained but managed relationship to push for the exit of the former leader.
A dependable source within the BoT told the Sunday Tribune that consultation is going on across the geo-political zones, all with the aim of effecting a change of leadership of the party`s BoT.
“We are consulting on this very important issue. We are not sacking General Obasanjo, we are just expecting that after this meeting, he will step aside and stop participating in partisan politics,” the PDP chief from the North Central zone noted.
The BoT meeting on Tuesday is to be followed by a National Executive Council meeting of the party on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has indicated interest in quitting the chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees before the next National Convention of the party.
Speaking against the backdrop of media reports on plots to ease the incumbent chairman out of office before the party’s National Convention, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Bode Mustapha described the rumour as baseless noting that “shortly after the last general election, Baba publicly told us that he was no longer interested in partisan politics and the occupation of the BoT chairmanship postion. He told us that he was tired and would want to resort to the reverred position of an elderstatesman.”
According to the former lawmaker, “it is most likely that Baba would throw in the towel at the next meeting of the BoT. The former Nigerian leader has a lot of international assignments to attend to and he is not getting younger and that is why he declared shortly after the last election that he was quitting the stage for younger elements to contribute their own quota to the party and the country as a whole.”
He disclosed that, “since the party’s constitution states that only former presidents were eligible to occupy the office of the BoT chairman, I think the party may likely amend its constitution at the next NEC meeting to open up the office to other ranking members of the party.
Speaking with Sunday Tribune, a former governor, who also confirmed the planned disengagement of Chief Obasanjo from partisan politics said, “yes it is true, Baba has contributed his quota to the development of the PDP and the nation. Those who are plotting to remove him have all missed it because in the past they tried without any headway. It is an exercise in futility because Baba has indicated interest to voluntarily vacate the office due to old age and other international assignments.”
The source stated further: “One thing I know is that the next BoT meeting would be tough because Baba will say what is in his mind as a former president and BoT chairman. He has vowed to speak his mind and will not bat an eyelid about pointing out what he feels about the current administration and the running of the party. Let us just wait and see what will happen at the BoT, caucus and NEC meetings of the party.” (Sunday Tribune)