2015 Polls: ‘I can’t die for PDP, but Nigeria’

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he was willing to sacrifice his life in the interest of the country.
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He said this when the presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Dr. Martins Onovo, paid him a visit at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

Obasanjo, however, said he would not sacrifice his life for any political party.

“My first pre-occupation is what is best for Nigeria. Nigeria first, party second and any other thing, third. I can sacrifice anything in the interest of Nigeria and I can sacrifice my own life for Nigeria.

“I can’t sacrifice my life for any party’s interest but I’ll sacrifice my life in the interest of Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.

He also commended the founder of the NCP, Late Gani Fawehinmi, who he described as a veritable voice of conscience.

Obasanjo said, “Let me hasten to wish you every success in your endeavour and also pay tribute, as I have done in my recent book, to the founder of your party, Gani Fawehinmi. I believe he was a genuine social critic. Though you may not agree with all he said or how he went about it but he was definitely a genuine social critic.

“So if you, as the flag bearer of the party, believed that you should follow on his footsteps of integrity and genuine critical and committed analysis and criticism of the situation in the country, I think nobody will fault you.”

He also urged the NCP to accept the outcome of the February 14 election as long as it is free, fair and credible, adding that people do not necessarily have to be in government before thay can contribute to the development of the country.

“In this part of the world, we have a saying that if people sleep and they put their heads on the same pillow, they are in danger. That means there should be some people that should be critically looking and watching and also able to speak up. They should speak up, no matter what others may say.

“Because people may come up and say Nigeria doesn’t belong to anybody, I believe that is a stupid saying. Nigeria belongs to all of us because anything that doesn’t belong to anybody, anything can happen to it. For me, Nigeria belongs to all of us and we are stakeholders in this country.

“Let me make my own position clear, I am a card carrying member of the PDP, because that is the party on which platform I became the President of this country.

“If what you’re trying to do is in the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians accept and vote for you, who I am I not to accept you as President of Nigeria, I will. But in this your campaign, try to inform, woo and to convince the electorates but whatever may be the outcome of the election after you have done all that, once the election is free and fair and undisturbed, uninterrupted, then you have to accept the verdict of the people,” Obasanjo said.

In his remarks, Onovo said his plan, if elected, is to continue with the developmental initiave embarked on by Obasanjo’s administration.

“Our programme is designed to lead to the abolition of poverty through full employment, improve health care and electricity supply and energy which are very critical to industrial development.

“We are very aware that you did very few critical things in government when you were there and some of those we wish to continue when we get to office, particularly the anti-corruption efforts, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, we intend to continue.

“We intend, when we get elected with your guidance,ý to your effectiveness, to check the loss in national revenue so that we have funds to carry out the developmental programmes we’ve promised our people,” he stated.

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