Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who tore his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) membership card to shreds on Monday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as an icon.

He said Obasanjo by his action was only angry with his political children, insisting he remains the creation of institutions from the state to federal level, and his children can only apologise. He said even though the party has made some mistakes, abandoning the party was not the solution because the country is first before anything else.

Lamido was answering questions from State House correspondents shortly after a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. On the exit of Obasanjo from PDP, the governor said: “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 governor’s 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. If you do any political DNA of our blood, you will find his blood in us. 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.”

Lamido noted that since 2007 and 2011, Obasanjo stood firm for PDP. The governor said “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 whether they will go back to the former president for reconciliation, Lamido noted, “when there is some kind of misunderstanding between a father and 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 would not miss Obasanjo, Lamido stressed that “but then, the first child is the President, did he say so?” Asked if he was worried by Obasanjo’s consistent criticisms of Jonathan, the governor said “what I am saying is that all of us are parents. When we were born, they pet us, gave us their love, gave us everything. By the time they get old, naturally, there is what they call role reversal. We become the parents and they become the children. So, what is wrong if our parents begin to manifest those signs of old age?”

Reminded that the opposition is watching PDP’s crisis, Lamido replied: “What is this opposition partiy in Nigeria? You must know Nigerian history. Nigeria cannot be governed by an aggregate of pain, anger and frustration. And I have been saying those 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.”

Asked if PDP can still win the election, he said, “I don’t doubt it because what is APC? An almagamation of pain, anger and desperation. And this country is too big for them.”

On the lintel level theory in Jigawa, the governor said: “People can coin anything they like. If you go through the social media, what they paint is that APC has won in almost 99 per cent. In Nigeria? For what?” [Sunnews]

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