Contrary to speculations, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday said he did not attend the meeting held by his former party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.
Setting the record straight in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said: “Those who know me, know that I have publicly announced quitting partisan politics and those who believe the purported story will believe anybody who tells them that his or her mother is not a woman.”
Continuing, Obasanjo said: “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?”
Obasanjo said he was surprised to learn from a photonews story, which claimed that he was “spotted” at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) event at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja. He said the clear intent of the people behind it was to deliberately annoy amd embarrass him, reiterating that he has quit partisan politics for good. Obasanjo made it clear that anybody hoping to drag him back will fail like any man feeding mice to a dead cat.
To clear the minds of doubting Thomases on what actually happened at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Akinyemi explained: “On the invitation of the Commodities Association Stakeholders, His Excellency, attended the ‘Zero Hunger Nigeria’ event at the Centre.
“He arrived 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 recognized 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 at the centre and not taking photograph of his alighting from his vehicle to read another meaning. “It’s shocking also to note that the picture was actually taken while he was on his way out of the centre after the programme he attended had ended.
“This is the height of irresponsible journalism, which the former president wants investigated and sanctioned 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.”