Why I support PDP’s decision on zoning, by Diri
• Party Must Put Its Best Forward – Atiku
• Olawepo-Hashim Withdraws From Race
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has said the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to throw open its presidential ticket is sacrosanct and done in the interest of the party.
Diri, though a strong proponent of rotation and zoning of the presidency to the South, said he accepted the decision in good fate as a loyal party member.
The Bayelsa helmsman spoke, yesterday, when PDP presidential aspirant, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, visited him at the Government House, Yenagoa.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa Governor, Daniel Alabrah, quoted his principal as saying that no individual political ambition should be allowed to disorganise and disorientate the party.
He said: “I am one of the strong proponents of power rotation and zoning, and I still believe that power should rotate to the southern part of Nigeria.
“However, our party has taken a decision and there is nobody that is greater than the party. As a party member, I cannot stand above our party. I am carefully choosing my words as an umpire because I am holding a very sensitive position as deputy chairman of one of the electoral committees.”
Atiku had stressed that the PDP must put its best candidate forward to wrest power back from the All Progressives Congress (APC). The former vice president called on the party to be united for the sake of Nigeria, emphasising that the PDP cannot afford to be in opposition again from 2023.
He described himself as one of the proponents of restructuring, a struggle he said he stood for while in office, noting that devolution of more powers and resources must go to the states for economic survival.
Meanwhile, after series of consultations and reflections on current political developments, APC presidential aspirant, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has bowed out of the contest, with the belief that his own day would come.
In a statement from his Abuja media office, yesterday, Olawepo-Hashim explained that though his decision to contest was to offer a national platform for progressive forces together for national prosperity, “certain developments have necessitated my withdrawal from the 2023 presidential race, as a result of which I did not pick the nomination form.”
He said he was retreating not out of “the lack of will to fight for our resolve and collective aspiration for a new Nigeria, a struggle that has attracted enormous support. Sometimes will, resolve, energy and preparation may not be enough to engage in an encounter.”
He added: “I stepped aside believing that another day will come. I hope our party will still be able to find a candidate for the 2023 election that will unite and secure our country; one that will lead an inclusive government, and build a prosperous economy that will not leave anyone behind.”
I leave the race believing that, by the grace of God, my own day will come!
“It is a tough decision for me. But in the present circumstance, it is the best thing, in my judgment, to do.”