“Baba is more than a party man. He is an icon, a national symbol and a leader and an inventor, a creator of all the institutions today in Nigeria from the presidency to the governors, who are his own sons, are all his creations. And so, when a father is angry with his own children, we will only say we are sorry to him. But then we cannot be renounced for whatever it is.”
These are the words of the Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, who spoke to news men yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after conferring with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Sule Lamido, who described former President, Olusegun Obasanjo as an icon and a political father to most office holders in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said that some of the Obasanjo’s political godsons, including President Jonathan, must have made some mistakes which angered the ex-President for him to have resolved to dump the party.
Lamido noted that dumping the party was not the best move by Obasanjo, adding however: “No matter what we are, we may not be able to live up to his expectations. We might have made some mistakes, but abandoning us is not the solution because the country is first before anything else. So, he is our Baba even up to the President. Baba is our baba no matter what. He is angry with us, but then, what do we do? He gave us the life at a time when Nigerians were fighting us, he stood for us.
“Since 2011, in 2007, he stood firm for us. He is our father. And so, if we made some mistakes, we are only human because we are heading human institutions. And I think by the time he reflects, how could he abandon his own children like that. Wherever we are, we are right in his heart. He feels for us, he cares for us.”
On a possible reconciliation move by the party to convince the former President to return to the party, Governor Lamido said: “when there is some kind of misunderstanding between a father and a child, you don’t go to NTA or any other media to say you are going to do this. I mean the bond between us is so strong. I know he is equally pained. I know what he is going through because he is our father. But I will not tell you the strategy because when he was producing us, you were not there; when he was making us, were you there?”
On claims by some PDP leaders that they won’t miss him, he said “But then, the first child is the President, did he say so?”
It would be recalled that the secretary of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jibrin, had on described Obasanjo as irresponsible because he tore his membership card publicly just as the BoT’s Chairman, Tony Anenih, also said that the party’s leadership would not miss the ex-President.
Asked whether he was worried by Obasanjo’s consistent criticisms of Jonathan’s administration, Governor Lamido said: “What I am saying is that all of us are parents. When we were born, they pampered us; gave us their love; gave us everything. By the time they get old, naturally, there is what they call role reversal. We became the parents and they became the children. So, what is wrong if our parents begin to manifest those signs of old age?”
Commenting on the activities of the opposition All Progressives Congress in the country, the Jigawa state governor said: “What is this opposition in Nigeria? You must know Nigerian history. Nigeria cannot be governed by an aggregate of pain, anger and frustration. And I have been saying to those so-called opposition who are now abusing us, whatever might have been our crime, it was that crime that made them. We created that for them to become either governors, in the legislature, we created room for them to emerge. So whatever they think is our evil, they are the manifestations of the evil. Believe me, you don’t know Nigeria.”
On the chances of the PDP retaining power at the rescheduled March/April general elections, he said: “I don’t doubt it because what is APC? An amalgamation of pain, anger and desperation. And this country is too big for them.” [myad]