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Ex-Nigerian President Obasanjo unexpectedly resigns as BOT Chairman of Ruling Party, PDP

Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure as chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ended abruptly yesterday.
He tendered his letter of resignation from the position which he has occupied since he stepped down from office as President on May 29, 2007.
He would have ended his five-year tenure in July. In a statement he personally signed and made exclusively available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday, Obasanjo said he had sent the letter to PDP chair Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
“I have formally sent in my letter of resignation as the Chairman of BoT of PDP to the National Chairman of the party as prescribed in the party’s constitution,” he said.
The former President added: “I have formally requested the President to allow my bowing out and to issue a short statement to that effect.
“By relieving myself of the responsibility for chairmanship of BoT of PDP, I will have a bit more time to devote to the international demand on me.”
He added that the step would give him time “to give some attention to mentoring across the board nationally and internationally in those areas that I have acquired some experience, expertise and in which I have something to share”.
Obasanjo said his exit would afford him more time to develop “my Presidential Library and to mobilising and encouraging investment in Nigeria and Africa”.
He said before the 2011 general elections, he believed that if PDP produced the President, it would be time for him to reduce his partisan political activities.
Obasanjo recalled that he was actively involved in bringing forth “my successor president from PDP in 2007”.
“In 2011, I was in the vanguard of working for PDP to produce a president for Nigeria. God answered our prayer.”
According to a source in the party, although most PDP stalwarts persuaded Obasanjo to continue, he said he should be allowed to quit.
He said he would prefer a background role than being in charge of BoT.
The source said: “The ex-President had wanted to resign as the BoT chairman about three months ago, but he was prevailed upon by the immediate past leadership of the PDP not to do so.
“I think he has made up his mind to slow down at the BoT level for other tasks which he has not disclosed. He has stepped down as BoT Chairman.
“You can see that in the last few weeks, he has been trying to reunify the PDP in some states, like Kebbi and Oyo.
Another source added: “The ex-President appears to be sidelined on many issues by the Presidency, in spite of the fact that the Office of the National Secretary was conceded to him at the last minute.
“At least, he is no longer calling the shots as it used to be in the past.”
But there were indications that Obasanjo also quit to devote more time to what a source described as Operation Recapture Southwest from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
The source said: “If Obasanjo has any ambition at all, he wants to reclaim Southwest for the PDP. This is a tall dream, but he is already plotting towards that.
“In the last two weeks, a series of meetings has been held in Osogbo and Ibadan on ‘Operation Recapture Southwest’.
“On Monday night, some PDP top leaders in the Southwest like the National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Chief Bode George and a few others met at the VIP Lounge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
“A major peg of the plot against ACN borders on how to make Oyo State ungovernable for Governor Abiola Ajimobi by trying to ensure that the PDP controls the House of Assembly.”
The BoT is an advisory organ of the PDP. Most of the members are appointed.
According to article 12.77 (A&B) of the PDP Constitution 2009 (as amended), the chairman and secretary of the BoT, who are appointed by the members from among them, shall be people of proven integrity. They shall also serve a single term of five years.
Culled from The Nation

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