Doyin Okupe, a presidential aspirant, has announced his withdrawal from the race and decision to back Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State for the 2023 presidential election .
Mr Okupe announced his withdrawal at a press conference on Wednesday in Abeokuta.
The former spokesperson to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan had declared his ambition to run for president on the PDP platform in 2021.
Mr Okupe, who is also a former National Publicity Secretary of the National Republican Convention (NRC), said he is dropping his ambition to support Mr Obi because of the decision of Afenifere. He said the apex Yoruba group had thrown their weight behind the former a candidate from the south-east.
According to Mr Okupe, it will only be fair for the PDP to honour the zoning agreement to eliminate the “majority against minority syndrome.”
Mr Okupe charged Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and other aspirants to jettison their ambition and support Mr Obi.
He said he has abandoned his ambition and conceded same to the South East in the spirit of fairnes and equity, even though “I was the first to declare for presidency in Nigeria.”
“I turned 70 years a few days ago, and I have made a covenant with my maker that for the rest of my life, I shall uphold this spirit and principles of our forebears as manifestly displayed and represented in our collective socio-political heritage – The Afenifere.
“Two weeks ago, Pa Ayo Adebanjo called me for the first time into his bedroom and admonished me that no matter what circumstances we Yorubas find ourselves in the ever gyrating political circus of Nigeria, I must uphold the truth and follow the path of equity and justice.
“In aligning myself with the wish of our elders and in the interest of equity and justice, I publicly admit that the 2023 political race must be conceded to the South-East; that is, the Igbos.
“I, therefore, here and now proclaim that I am, as I have said publicly several times, withdrawing from the presidential race and I am declaring my support for the best aspirant not only in Igboland, but in Nigeria as a whole.
“I and my supporters within and outside the PDP are teaming up with His Excellency, Peter Obi.
“At the same time, I want to enjoin all other aspirants from the South, Chief Dele Momodu, Senator Anyim, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike to come with me and let us team up with Peter Obi. So we can give the South the best possible chance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I am not fanning the embers of division, rather I am by this action, lightening the torch of unity by establishing political stability on the pillars of truth and justice upon which the Bible tells us that even the throne of the Almighty God is founded,” Mr Okupe said.
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