Former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday declared that no amount of persuasion would make him rescind his decision to quit partisan politics.
He spoke while hosting members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who paid him a courtesy visit at his residence in the Ogun State capital.
Obasanjo said he had left party politics for good, but would continue to contribute his quota to the development of Nigeria as an elder statesman.
The former president stated this against the backdrop of attempts by the founding members of the PDP to woo him back to politics.
The team arrived at the Penthouse residence of the former president located within his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta at about 12:25pm and went into a closed-door meeting with Chief Obasanjo.
Those who came with Ayu included the PDP vice presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Dr Peter Obi; former governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River).
The deputy national chairman of the PDP (South) Taofeek Arapaja and other party officials were part of the entourage.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting which lasted over two hours, Obasanjo said he retired 14 years ago, but remained committed to the welfare of the people.
The former president quit partisan politics when some leaders of the PDP led by the chairman of the ward around his former residence in Ita Eko, Surajudeen Oladunjoye, visited him at his Presidential Hilltop mansion.
Obasanjo admitted that the PDP had played an important role in his life, but that he had since ceased to be a member of the party the day he directed his ward chairman to tear his membership card.
“I have been with the party right from inception. Whatever I do in my own life, because I became president on the platform of the PDP, the PDP will continue to be part of my life history, but having said that, the day that my ward decided to tear my PDP card was the day I ceased to be a member of the PDP and that day I vowed that I would not be a member of any political party again, but remain a statesman in Nigeria, in West Africa, in Africa and indeed in the world.
“I retired 14 years ago, I remain retired and I will remain retired by the grace of God. Bear in mind and I want to emphasise that I am no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that will bring me back to partisan politics, but I will always be interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have my advice, I will distinctively give it in the best interest of Nigeria and in the best interest of Africa,’’ the former president who also earlier governed Nigeria as a military Head of State, said.