By Kolawole Olayinka in Abeokuta
Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has publicly torn his Peoples Democratic Party membership card while receiving some of his political associates in his country home on Monday morning.
News footage showed the elder statesman tearing the membership card of the political party he helped found in 1998 and on whose platform he was twice elected president.
By tearing his card, Obasanjo appears to have effectively dissociated himself from the party, consequently preempting an impending suspension from the party leadership over his perceived anti-party activities that appeared to have intensified in recent days.
“I am not a politician. I am a statesman both internally and externally,” the former president said as he tore the paper card.
He added that, “Nigeria belongs to all of us and must not be allowed to collapse.”
“Nigeria must not allow anybody to destroy it irrespective of their state,” he said in an apparent reference to President Goodluck Jonathan with whom he’s been a having running battle for more than two years.
Reacting to the development, Engr. Bayo Dayo, chairman of the party in Ogun State, said he found Obasanjo’s behaviour shameful, erratic and had, therefore, suspended him from the party with immediate effect.
“Baba Obasanjo is an extremely shameless and ungrateful man, we have suspended him from our party with immediate effect,” he said.
He further lamented that, “Obasanjo is a man who had benefited immensely from the party, apart from making him a president twice, we also made sure he continued to use the mechanism of the party to play leadership role within the country.”
He told WESTERN POST that the former president had resorted to taking “extreme measures” in order to “get the attention of President Jonathan”, whom he said “does not want to be controlled like a houseboy.”
He admonished him former president to “go and meet Buhari and we’ll see if that one and Tinubu would allow him to be controlling them like he wants to be controlling our president (Jonathan.)”
Obasanjo had said, while tearing his membership card, that he will not join any party.