Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is dead, sunk and gone, praying that the fortune of Nigeria should also not sink like that of the PDP.
The former chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) reiterated his position on Friday while replying comments by former National Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Ali, about their past relationship in government during an International Symposium titled: “Purpose and Utilitarian Values of Presidential Libraries” at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The event, which also include the grand opening of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, to mark the 80th birthday of the ex-President was organised by the Centre for Human Security (CHS), an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL).
The ex – President recalled that he brought Ali to lead the once powerful and largest party in Africa because of his truthfulness, saying PDP was controlling 30 out of the 36 states of the federation when Ali and him were leading it but lamented that its fortune sank when the duo left the stage.
He noted that while Ahmadu Ali served as the National chairman of the party, he ensured its stability and effectiveness but lamented that the party is now down and out following an intractable internal crisis.
“Ahmadu Ali is truthful and that was why I brought him to head the PDP and all went well when Ahmadu Ali was the National chairman. We were controlling 30 out of the 36 states, when Ahmadu and I left, the fortune of the PDP began to sink.
“Whether you believe it or not, today PDP is sunk and gone. May the fortune of Nigeria never sink like that of the PDP” with the audience responding in a thunderous ‘Amen.”
Responding also to avalanche of eulogy from dignitaries during the symposium, he said the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library was established to correct one of his mistakes of the past, especially not collecting and archiving materials connected to his time during the civil war.
“Somebody among the speakers said God has always given me the opportunity to correct my wrongs. I will say God has done that for me not in all cases but in most cases and this Presidential Library is actually an act of God which he has given to me to correct one of my mistakes of the past and I have said this very often.
“I was in the war front, it was very one significant thing in my life and in the life of Nigeria. I was military head of State, it was one significant thing in my life and in the life of Nigeria but I was not as mindful as I should have been about collecting materials that were connected with those events, the war front and civil war both on the vandals side, we called them rebels side or if you like the Biafrans side, they called us vandals, we called them rebels.
“But we did collect something, when I was also the Military Head of State I didn’t pay much attention to collect materials where I should have paid attention to.
“So, by 1988, it occurred to me that these are mistakes, I looked at some of the materials we got from the war fronts, they were in very bad state of neglect so what I did was to try and micro-film what we could micro-film.
“I also learnt a lesson, when you are in a position to keep materials and preserve them for prosterity, you should do so and I never knew there will be another opportunity, so, God created another opportunity for me to correct the mistakes of the past.
“God is the God of second chance and for some of us He is not God of second chance but God of many chances and I will be eternally grateful to God for the opportunity he has given me but more importantly whatever I might achieved, I take responsibility but whatever I might achieved it would not have been possible without the people who have helped me in life to be able to achieve what I have achieved.
“Take the Presidential Library for example if not for the members of Board of Trustees I will have fallen by the roadside and that will have been another mistake because it got to a stage that things were rough, things were rough and we are just putting heads together, it is God of many chances.”
He urged the youths who attended the programme not to be mindful of their current position – whether poor or weak, assuring that “If he (given his poor background) could make it this far, they can also make it.”
He advised them to share whatever ideas they have with others, for the growth and development of Nigeria.
The ex–president said having passed the kiln of life including marking time in prison without being killed by his jailers, he has nothing anymore to fear save God.
Dignitaries who took turn to speak on the “Purpose of utilitarian Values of Presidential Library, hailed Obasanjo for establishing the OOPL, describing him as an “iconic legend”.