A former Governor of Ogun State and frontline aspirant for the national chairmanship seat of the Peoples Democratic Party, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has withdrawn from the race.
Daniel’s withdrawal from the race was contained in a letter to the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Saturday.
The letter, also copied to the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibril, reads: “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 reenergise it for optimum acceptance by the electorate.
“We are a political party, and a democratic one at that. Contest for 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 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.”