Former Governor of Ogun state and one of the contenders in today’s National Chairmanship position of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Otumba Gbenga Daniel has withdrawn from the race. Daniel, in a letter of withdrawal copied the PDP BoT Chairman, said he decided to step down for the interest of the party and to assist in ensuring that the party regains control of more states it controlled before it lost to the All Progressives Congress, APC, party in 2015.
Otunba Daniel also said that although he did very successful consultations and preparations to have won the election, he has however withdrawn from the race and will stand behind whoever emerges the chairman to ensure that PDP takes back total power in 2019.
Below is his full statement of withdrawal.
“As you are aware, in the last three months when I took the decision to contest for the post of the National Chairman of our great party, I have done what has been described in many quarters as most unprecedented. I traversed the length and breadth of our great country, in all the 36 states and the FCT, meeting with various stakeholders, leadership and party members, and setting up structures not just for my personal aspiration, but also to feel the pulse of Nigerians and test the strength and popularity of our party among the citizens.
It was another learning curve for me because I discovered that in spite of our widely publicized pockets of internal challenges, many Nigerians are sincerely and justifiably looking for a credible alternative to the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), and most happily, the Peoples Democratic Party is still being looked upon as that credible and acceptable alternative. It was a great opportunity for me to spread the message of hope, renewing the confidence of not only our party members but also Nigerian citizens about our great party. I believe that I did what is expected of a loyal and committed party member to inject a new life into the party, refresh and re-energise it for optimum acceptance by the electorate.
We are a political party, and a democratic one at that. Contest for offices are expected to be competitive and this is what we have demonstrated sufficiently with the good number of very credible aspirants who have shown interests in all the various offices of our National Executive Committee to steer the ship of our party to victory in 2019. No doubt, we have suffered huge losses, from the control of some 25 States into only 11 states, capped with the loss of the Presidency in 2015.
This, to me is the greatest challenge before our party, and regaining this lost glory is more important to me than any aspiration for offices. In order to sustain the new found peace and renewed confidence of Nigerians in our party and reduce the veiled but potential line of frictions, I consider it in the best interest of the party to voluntarily withdraw from the Chairmanship race so that we can collectively look for and elect good leaders for the purpose of winning elections in 2019. Kindly accept assurances of my esteemed regards. Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel FNSE, FAEng”
In another development, a former governor of Oyo, Senator Rashidi Ladoja has withdrawn from the PDP national chairmanship campaign. This makes it the fourth candidate to withdraw, after Bode George, Jimi Agbaje, and Gbenga Daniel. Ladoja in a statement issued on Saturday urged other contestants from the South West to rally round former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran as the consensus candidate of the zone.
The statement read: “At the close of nominations, seven (7) Aspirants from the Southwest Zone obtained and returned nomination forms for the position of the National Chairman of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“From consultations with stakeholders from various zones, we gathered that from all zones, the stakeholders who preferred to back the South West Zone for the position suggested that we should prune down the number, if possible, to ONE PERSON.
The Northern stakeholders went to the extent of stating clearly in a Communique, after their meeting, their preference for a South West candidate.
“To reciprocate these laudable gestures, meetings of the Seven (7) Aspirants were held with Senator RA. LADOJA as the convener on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, 2017 With the sole aim of agreeing on a consensus candidate. We all agreed that the chances of one person winning are better than those of seven people who are likely to divide the votes coming to the zone.
“Since then, Mr Jimi Agbaje, Chief Olabode George, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Mr. Olusegun Aderemi have withdrawn from the race. “Accordingly I am of the opinion that Professor Tunde Adeniran should become our consensus candidate for the South West zone.
“I am hereby appealing to all lovers of the South West Zone to support the candidature of Professor Tunde Adeniran to clinch the position of the National Chairman of our great party, the PDP. We shall be very grateful for your support. “
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