The exit of former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has elicited a celebratory response from Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
On Monday, Mr Fayose bought front page advertisements in some national newspapers celebrating the exit of Mr. Obasanjo, whom he described as “the troubler and tormentor” of the party.
In the advert, Mr Fayose, who had previously called for Mr Obasanjo’s dismissal from the party, arguing that his relentless criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan and his mingling with opposition leaders amounted to anti-party conducts, also congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan, saying with the exit of Mr. Obasanjo from the party, “the coast is now clear” for the president’s victory in the forthcoming election.
“Congratulation on Obasanjo’s exit! Obasanjo, the troubler and tormentor of our party is gone,” the advert announced.
“I congratulate our President, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the entire member of the Peoples Democratic Party on the exit of the mole in our party, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd). Good riddance to bad rubbish,” the advertorial continued.
“Our President, the coast is now clear for your victory!”
Last week, pre-empting a move to sack him from the party, Mr Obasanjo dumped the PDP and supervised the shredding of his party membership cared by his ward chairman. He subsequently announced that he was quitting party politics and transforming to a non partisan statesman.
Mr Fayose and Mr. Obasanjo have been at dagger drawn since 2006 after the governor was impeached for corruption during his first term as governor of the state.
It was believed that Mr Obasanjo, who was president at the time, facilitated his impeachment by instructing the members of the state assembly to act on an Economic and Financial Crime Commission’s investigative report indicting Mr. Fayose of corruption.
Mr. Obasanjo’s exit from the party has elicited conflicting reaction from the party hierarchy. While the Chairman, and Secretary of the party’s Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih and Walid Jibrin, declared that Mr Obasanjo acted irresponsibly by tearing his membership card and would not be missed by the fold, a statement signed by the party’s publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, expressed sadness over the former President’s exit from the party, saying he turned down pleas not to leave.
Monday’s advert is a continuation of Mr. Fayose’s style of placing usually controversial adverts in newspapers since the commencement of campaigns for the presidential election.
Last month, Mr Fayose drew intense criticism to himself after he placed front-page adverts in the Punch and the Sun newspapers suggesting that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, will die in office if elected president.