SENATOR Musiliu Obanikoro’s imminent exit from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has been linked to the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman of the party and his crave for political reconciliation with his erstwhile political leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Obanikoro and Tinubu
The claims were strengthened penultimate weekend after Obanikoro joined an entourage of Tinubu’s associates when the former Lagos State governor was presented with the staff of Eyo. Tinubu’s spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman who confirmed Obanikoro’s presence also told Vanguard that the reconciliation was no longer an issue as the former senator and ambassador had claimed that he was back to the fold of his political leader.
The presentation was done in the Bourdillon Road residence of the APC leader.
Among those present with Obanikoro at the presentation were former Lagos State deputy governor, Femi Pedro and some other political associates of Tinubu.
Mr. Ademola Rewaju, a very close associate of Obanikoro who spoke on behalf of the former commissioner, senator and ambassador on the development, however, affirmed that Obanikoro had not moved officially to the APC. He put the emergence of Senator Sheriff as a major reason for Obanikoro’s imminent defection.
“Senator Obanikoro has said that he cannot remain in a party where Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is the national chairman of the party. He has even said that even if the Supreme Court decides the case in favour of Sheriff, he will not remain in the PDP,” Rewaju said.
“He has not moved officially to the APC. If someone like Obanikoro moves, it is going to be celebrated. He is a former local government chairman, a former commissioner, a former Senator and a former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; he cannot move to another political party without it being celebrated.
“Though a reconciliation has taken place between him and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and that is why you saw him sitting together with the former governor at his residence. They have actually reconciled their difference.”
Tinubu’s spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman also confirmed the reconciliation, saying Obanikoro was present when the eyo staff was presented to Tinubu and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
“I have stated it elsewhere before I don’t think there is an issue here. Senator Obanikoro himself had said in a post on social media that he has come to be reconciled with his political leader.
“He said the more he distanced himself from Asiwaju Tinubu, the more he got into trouble. When he returned, Asiwaju took him back. You know he has a large heart, so if you see him around Asiwaju as you saw him when the Opa-eyo (eyo staff) was presented to Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Ambode last Sunday as a mark of respect to the duo you must understand that it is within the context that he is now back home.”