Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, on Saturday said he withdrew from the Delta South Senatorial race because of his determination to finish strong on his peace and security agenda.
With the withdrawal, less than two days to the primary, incumbent Senator James Manager would likely be returned unopposed at the primary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Before Mr. Uduaghan’s withdrawal, the election was projected to be a two horse race between Mr. Manager and Mr. Uduaghan.
But speaking with reporters in Asaba, Mr. Uduaghan said he had to step down so peace could reign in the state.
He said he had a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, where the political situation in Delta State was critically analysed and that after the meeting, he decided to make a sacrifice by stepping down.
He said, “I have to offer myself as a sacrifice to ensure that the political and security tension that had built up in recent times is reduced. In doing that I am aware that a lot of my followers will be very unhappy but I want to appeal to them that I have to do this for the sake of this state.”
While denying that he was forced to step down, Mr. Uduaghan said quitting the race would enable him to concentrate on national issues and be able to properly manage the remaining primaries of the PDP and the election proper next year.
Alluding to the alleged threats by the Ijaw to resume hostilities in the state should Mr. Manager, their kinsman be shortchanged in place of Mr. Uduaghan, an Itsekiri, the governor said maintaining the peace in the state was more important than electoral victories.