Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Saturday denied attending the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, event at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja , saying it was an attempt to drag him back to the party he had left.
By Daud Olatunji,
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said he had left the party when it was alive and bubbling, and, therefore, he could not have rejoined now when the party was divided, factionalized and gasping for breath.
Obasanjo, while reacting to a photo news which went viral on social media, where he was alleged to have attended a PDP event held in Abuja. It was published by some media organisations.
But, Obasanjo, while reacting to the issue in a statement titled “ Photonews story of Obasanjo “spotted “at PDP event, declared: “Believe it and believe that your mother is not a woman “, maintained that he was invited by the Commodities Association Stakeholders.
The statement, signed by his media aide , Kehinde Akinyemi, and made available to newsmen, said his first reaction to the news was that those behind it targeted to get him annoyed and embarrass him. The statement read in part: “His conclusion was that he has told the world that he has quit partisan politics and that is final. Anybody hoping to drag him back will fail like any man feeding mice to a dead cat. “Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced my quitting partisan politics and those who will believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells him that his or her mother is not a woman.
“If I quit a party when it was alive and seemingly united, how could I go back to a now divided, factionalized party gasping for breath?
“To clear the minds of doubting Thomases and those behind the orchestrated news in circulation and particularly those who had been calling to ascertain what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua centre is explained below.
“On the invitation of t he Commodities Association Stakeholders, His Excellency was invited to the “Zero Hunger Nigeria” event at the Centre. He arrived at about 10.00am and immediately moved to the meeting.
“The meeting commenced but few minutes into the session, his attention was drawn to the presence of some people walking up to where he was seated. At closer glance, he recognised them to be politicians and they exchanged pleasantries, saying they came to greet him and they walked out again from the meeting. “The former President cracked jokes with them calling them “invaders and gate crashers”,
“The programme ended and immediately he and his entourage headed back to Lagos. He was barely hours in Lagos when he started receiving calls from both far and near, wanting to find out about his presence at a political party programme in Abuja.
“The photo news in circulation, which claimed that he was spotted at a political party event is therefore mischievous, as a responsible journalist ought to have gone further to ascertain his actual destination in and of the number of venues at the centre and not taking photograph of his alighting from his vehicle to read another meaning.
“ Shocking, also, is to note that the picture was actually taken while on his way out of the Centre after the programme he had attended had finished.
“This is the height of irresponsible journalism, which the former President is calling for its investigation and sanction on anybody involved in order to serve as deterrent to others who may want to be used, either by omission or commission, to misinform the public on such sensitive issue”, the statement concluded.