Former Nigerian President Obasanjo Quits PDP in Leadership Spat

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo quit the ruling People’s Democratic Party over his dissatisfaction with its leadership before a rescheduled presidential election next month.

“He has left the party,” Shehu Oladunjoye, Obasanjo’s cousin, said by phone Tuesday from the southwestern city of Abeokuta. Obasanjo made the announcement to members of the local PDP unit at his Abeokuta home on Monday, Oladunjoye said.

“He is not happy about the way the party is run,” Oladunjoye said. “He doesn’t want to belong to any party,” he said.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP will face an united opposition led by former military leader Muhammadu Buhari on March 28, the stiffest challenge to the party since it came to power at the end of the army rule in 1999.

Obasanjo, who lead Nigeria as an army leader and elected president, is a founding member of the PDP. He has repeatedly criticized Jonathan for not stamping out an escalating Islamist insurgency in the north of the country that has killed thousands since 2009.

Obsanjo didn’t answer a call and text message sent to his mobile phone seeking comment.

The party criticized Obasanjo’s decision to “abandon this party at this critical point in time,” Olisa Metuh, a national PDP spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

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