The president followed the convention on his TV.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was down with cold weekend and missed the controversial national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abuja due to the condition, an aide has said.
One of Mr. Obasanjo’s aides and loyalists,Tunji Akinosi, told PREMIUM TIMES in Abeokuta on Sunday via telephone chat, that it would have been “odd and embarrassing” for the former president to be at the convention with the condition.
Mr. Akinosi, a former commissioner in the state under the Gbenga Daniel, added that Mr. Obasanjo had really wanted to attend the event. According to Mr. Akinosi, the former president had lamented that it was the first time he was missing the convention since the party was formed.
“You know it would be odd for him to be there and be uncomfortable as a result of the cough and cold. If he does that, it is people who will still blame him for not staying back. So, his reason for not attending was on medical grounds,” Mr. Akinosi said.
He added that many members of the party in the state took time to visit the former president at his hilltop home in Abeokuta. He advised party members to remain loyal in spite of the ongoing crisis, expressing optimism that all will be well within the troubled fold.
Mr. Akinosi also said the decision of some governors and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, to create a separate faction of the party, at the convention on Saturday, caught Mr. Obasanjo unawares.
He said the former president followed the convention on television.
Mr. Akinosi said that Mr. Obasanjo described PDP as a sleeping lion, saying that whenever a sleeping lion wakes up its roar will always be effective.
“Even a dead lion is scary to approach,” Mr. Akinosi noted. He added that Mr. Obasanjo assured the party members who visited him that he would be a light after the tunnel.
“He told us not to leave the party,and we should not go anywhere. He said PDP is like a sleeping lion, that is scary to move closer to,and by the time it wakes up,its roars always vibrate.”
On speculations that it was President Goodluck Jonathan who asked former Ogun Sate governor, Mr. Daniel to move to the Labour Party, Mr. Akinosi said when the visitors asked Mr. Obasanjo for clarification, the former president said that Mr. Jonathan had denied encouraging Mr. Daniel to do so.
The former commissioner added that the former president was optimistic that PDP was still a formidable party in spite of all odds and called for harmony at all levels.
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