2023: Fresh Trouble For Atiku As Obasanjo Slams PDP Delegation, Calls Them Betrayers
Fresh information has emerged that there might be a problem brewing in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Naija News gathered that former President Olusegun Obasanjo was reported to have slammed some members of a PDP delegation sent to seek his blessings ahead of the election.
Party sources who confided in The Nation said the new development poses a setback for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the Southwest, where his chances of winning were already slim.
According to the source, the former president at the recent meeting with a PDP delegation at his Abeokuta residence tagged two of Atiku’s allies as betrayers.
Naija News understands that Obasanjo was reported to have accused one of the delegate members of betraying the collective decision of Southern governors that the presidency should rotate to the South in 2023 while the other was accused of betraying his party over sharing of positions way back in 2011.
The source, who was privy to the conversation that transpired between the former president and the PDP delegation who went to seek his blessing ahead of the 2023 general election, told The Nation that the two members being attacked hold top leadership positions in the ‘Atiku for president’ team.
Members of the delegation sent by the party to Obasanio were former governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Sule Lamido as well as Atiku’s running mate, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
The source revealed that “Baba was categorical in disappointment with one of the men over his support for Atiku. While he recognised the person’s right to freedom of choice, he expressed surprise that a prominent southern politician could oppose the clamour for power to shift to the south after eight years of the northern presidency.
“He (Obasanjo) also recalled how the other person similarly betrayed the leadership of the PDP to pitch a tent with the opposition to thwart the emergence of the party’s anointed candidate for the position of the Speaker.
“He kept wondering if such persons could be trusted to keep promises and show patriotism. His displeasure with the duo created tension throughout the parley as the former president refused to endorse Atiku’s presidential ambition.”
However, Naija News also gathered that a PDP chieftain from Ogun State expressed worry over the development but insisted the former president’s position is personal and doesn’t distract the party.
The Ogun party chieftain told Nations that “Our concern in the Southwest has been heightened by what is reported to have transpired when some PDP leaders met with former President Obasanjo in Abeokuta.
“The elder statesman wasted no time in telling our representatives at the meeting that it was wrong for southerners to oppose the power shift to the South in 2023. He has his reasons, but his position, as a prominent political force in the zone, will not help our party’s chances in the Southwest.
“So, it is proper for us to be worried. But I can assure you that we are not deterred by the development.
“There are numerous prominent south westerners who are supporting Atiku’s aspiration. We are working hard to ensure that their voices are heard too. “Obasanjo’s position is personal to him and he is free to make his choice. We do not begrudge him.
“Those who were at the meeting too did not leave the place without explaining what he didn’t understand to him. The PDP wants to win the election and we believe that with Atiku, we stand a good chance. We will not give up on canvassing the good people of the zone to vote for PDP. Don’t forget that Tinubu (APC presidential candidate) is from the Southwest and we have him to contend with in the zone.”