Elections

Obi, Ekweremadu, Abaribe Withdraw From Presidential, Governorship Race.

Former Anambra State governor and erstwhile Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Peter Obi, yesterday dumped PDP and resigned from the race on the party’s platform.

The former governor’s resignation was contained in a letter he signed and addressed to the national chairman of PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, dated May 24.

It was however gathered that Obi has opened talks with the Labour Party (LP) which was recently adopted by some other political platforms as the much-anticipated Third Force.

Meanwhile his resignation letter from PDP titled “Resignation From Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Withdrawal from the Presidential Contest” came barely 72 hours before the commencement of the party’s presidential primary election.

It read, “I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2. Anaocha LGA, Anambra, effective Friday 20 May, 2022. Consequently, am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for the PDP Presidential Primaries.

“It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.

“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.

“I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of country.”

However a source close to the former governor revealed that Obi would be on the ballot in the 2023 election, adding that he decided to leave the party because “some members of the party establishment were concerned about the mass appeal he was gathering especially after he toured the country but more importantly, that he might not conform to their wishes if he eventually emerges president.”

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Recall that a coalition of his support groups had urged him to dump PDP barely 24 hours before he resigned from the party.

Reacting to the development, Elder statesman and member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Olabode George, described the exit of Obi as painful.

George who was a guest on Channels TV programme , Politics Today, said “I was taken aback by his dumping the party,” adding that the former governor had established himself as a man of respect and integrity in the party.”

He added “For him to have dumped PDP I didn’t know why he did that. It is a pity. You can’t win it all the times.You win some, you loose some.”

The party chieftain stated that Nigeria is yet at the level of the western democracy and added that it would take some time for Nigeria to get to that level.

“I am not very happy that he left. I have a lot of regard for him,” George stated.

In a related development, former deputy Senate president and Enugu State PDP governorship aspirant, Senator Ike Ekweremadu withdrew from the primaries yesterday.

Director general, Ikeoha Campaign Organisation, Hon Charles Ogbo Asogwa, in a statement said, “We wish to inform our supporters and Nigerians that the former Deputy President of the Senate and foremost governorship aspirant in Enugu State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, will not be participating in the PDP governorship primary election scheduled for this Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

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“Meanwhile, we continue to trust God as we appreciate our teeming supporters and the good people of Enugu State for the enormous goodwill they have ceaselessly invested in the actualisation of the “Pathway to a New Enugu State”.

“We urge them to remain peaceful and be assured that we will keep them abreast of our decision on the way forward.”

Similarly, Senate minority leader and PDP governorship candidate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, also pulled out from the contest in Abia State.

In a statement shortly before the commencement of the primaries, he said “I Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe will not be part of this charade.

“I am therefore withdrawing from the exercise, which means that I will not be part of the PDP governorship primary election that holds in Abia State on Wednesday 25th of May, 2022 as doing so would have amounted to endorsement of an illegality that is already being challenged in the courts.”

He lamented that the last couple of weeks had been tortuous as they battled hard to navigate PDP away from a self-destructive path.

“The essence was to create an unfettered democratic space and a level playing field for all aspirants vying for all elective offices in the state, to participate equally in the primary elections.

“That was not the case and of course what we are witnessing is a shambolic process driven by a procured court injunction.

“To make matters worse, the use of only an imaginary 3-man Adhoc delegates to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates in the primary elections to elect our candidates even when INEC the nation’s electoral umpire, has unequivocally stated that no congress held in Abia State for that purpose, has no doubt put the party and her candidates in a quagmire.

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“The implication for our party is grave and as such has put all ongoing primary exercises on quick sand.

“I am known for standing firm in defence of my convictions for the right of all people to a free and fair democratic process. That was why my campaign set sail on a democratic journey that took us to all the nooks and crannies of our dear state. We covered all the local governments and we could see the enthusiasm on the faces of our people who are desirous of change to a progressive government with a human face.

“We committed human and material resources, preaching the “Rise Up Abia” message for the total emancipation of our State from the drudgery of imposition and godfatherism, which has seen the state at the lowest wrung of infrastructural, human and material development index among the states of the federation.

“Our people were and are indeed fired up for a new lease of life that will be brought about by a people’s government.

“There was no doubt that Abians are tired of being subjected to being the butt of jokes and ridicle from their peers, particularly those from the contiguous states that were hitherto far behind Abia State in the development index in the time past.

“That was the narrative we sought to change when the campaign took off.

“Unfortunately, the ugly developments ignited by a rapacious ambition to maintain the wicked governance status quo of imposition and godfatherism have aborted this quest in PDP.”

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