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I resigned to please Obasanjo, says Ogbeh

Posted by By Sun News on 2005/01/13 | Views: 326 |

I resigned to please Obasanjo, says Ogbeh


He explained he had resigned to allow for peace to reign as well as to reduce the heat in the system, adding, "letís have less heat in the polity and Nigeria;

He explained he had resigned to allow for peace to reign as well as to reduce the heat in the system, adding, "letís have less heat in the polity and Nigeria; letís have peace because the country is bigger than any individual; let there be peace, letís get behind this and focus on issues which touch the nation."

"Give support to the President of the Federal Republic, the governors and so on. We have work to do, many major issues confronting the economy. We need to put our house together and pray to God for peace," he continued.

Asked if he was truly part of the heat, Chief Ogbeh submitted: "I donít know, I guess I am part of that. I thought easing out will reduce the heat and then we can face other issues which border on power supply, food security and so on and so forth."

On whether his letter to Mr. President had anything to do with his resignation, he noted: "That began the whole process. There has been a series of arguments, but that is not the issue. As you very well know, he is the president and we must give him support, anything that distracts his attention and makes himÖ puts pressure on him should be removed. I just thought that it is better to ease out quickly."

When further asked what would happen should the Board of Trustees reject his resignation, Chief Ogbeh would not want to "speculate" on the excuse that "it might be a bit uncharitable to think for them," adding, "but I believe that if they call a meeting, I donít know how they will reason; whatever they say, we will look at them and will listen to them."

However, an impending showdown is imminent between the pro-Ogbeh group and forces which pressured Chief Audu Ogbeh to throw in the towel.

Part of the moves is designed to ensure that Ogbeh at least serves out his tenure.

Ogbeh gave a one-month notice, but the partyís NEC will still have to reject or accept the resignation.

Daily Sun authoritatively gathered that there are moves by pro-Ogbeh elements within the party to get NEC to reject his resignation.

Competent sources confirmed to Daily Sun that Ogbeh Tuesday met with top officials of government, including Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, to brief them on the development which led to his forced resignation at a time Vice-President was away in Kenya on official assignment.

Ogbeh also met with FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Ogbehís media aide, Thompson Abu, confirmed his boss was at the FCT, but said he was there for a different purpose, other than politics: "What is wrong if Ogbeh goes to FCT to renew his C of O? Or if a man of his standing goes to FCT and drops by to see the minister?" Abu quipped.

It was gathered that the top government functionariesí meeting with Ogbeh, which lasted two hours, considered the possibility of rallying round the PDP governors who are NEC members to insist his resignation will not be acceptable since he (Ogbeh) is due to complete his tenure in November.

Sources said this move is hinged on the fact that pro-Ogbeh governors have a comfortable number to win any motion on whether NEC should accept or reject the resignation.

El-Rufaiís involvement, it was learnt, is to explore whatever advantage his closeness to President Olusegun Obasanjo will present in resolving the crisis between him (Obasanjo) and Ogbeh before the meeting of NEC to be summoned before the end of this month.

As at the time of this report, some PDP governors were meeting in Abuja to also take a position on the recent development within the party. Sources said the news of Ogbehís resignation took a lot of governors by surprise.

The meeting is expected to come out with a position before NEC meeting holds.

In fact, Senator David Mark confirmed to newsmen in Abuja that there are moves to reconcile President Obasanjo and Ogbeh before the NEC meeting.

"There are moves at various levels to reconcile all the parties. A lot of consultation is going on at all levels," Mark said.


Meanwhile, Ogbeh has confessed that the forces arrayed against him had indeed been formidable, while also admitting that he could not fight President Obasanjo, because to do so would have amounted to fighting an emperor.

A close ally of Ogbeh who visited him shortly after he sent in his resignation letter quoted the former chairman as saying that it would have been unbiblical for him to square up with the president irrespective of how justified his case may have seemed.

Likening his case to that of biblical David when he was being hounded by King Saul, Ogbeh was said to have pointed out that David refrained from harming the king despite the fact that the latter was wrong because he did not want to fight an Ďanointedí king.

"Obasanjo is like a king," he reportedly told his close allies. "I was not in a position to confront the king."
According to him, David had the opportunity to finish up Saul when he caught the king sleeping in a cave but refrained from doing so. Ogbeh, the source who is a member of the National Working Committee of the party said, felt that it was wiser to let the "king" have his way than to fight him.

Contrary to speculations that Ogbeh may have thrown in the towel because his defence collapsed in the face of the overwhelming evidence against him, the former chairman reportedly said he did not give a fight because of the sheer futility of doing so.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.