Five months after he resigned as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Ogun State chapter of the party has initiated moves to hold a grand civic reception for former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The newly elected State Chairman of the party, Senator Dipo Odujirin yesterday in Abeokuta inaugurated a 17-member Committee to organise a befitting reception for Obasanjo who was the party’s BoT Chairman for five years before he voluntarily resigned in April. The committee is to be headed by Prince Yemi Adefulu.
Odijirin admitted that the honour is belated “but it is still necessary that we celebrate the former President who is an icon of international repute”.
Giving reasons behind the reception, the party Chairman explained: “during his three years as Head of State (1976-1979) General Obasanjo worked hard and sincerely to create a Nigeria of proud and industrious people. He committed Nigeria fully to the anti-apartheid crusade, giving diplomatic, political and military support to the freedom movements in Southern Africa.
He discouraged the culture of ethnic favouritism and promoted high work ethics” “Remarkably, General Obasanjo crowned his achievements in office with single-minded pursuit of the transition back to civilian government.
This transition was difficult and challenging,” he said. To him, one of the greatest achievements of Obasanjo was fulfilling his promise of handing over power to civilian government in 1979. “Before the Obasanjo civilian administration Nigeria’s GDP growth had been painfully slow and only managed three percent in 1999.
However, under Chief Obasanjo the growth rate doubled to six percent until he left office and Nigeria’s foreign reserves rose from $2 billion in 1999 to $43 billion on leaving office in 2007”.
Answering reporter’s question, the party boss called on Nigerians to change their moral values by placing less emphasis on wealth and property acquisition.