Okupe Withdraws From Presidential Race, Drums Support For Peter Obi - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Okupe Withdraws From Presidential Race, Drums Support For Peter Obi

Dr. Okupe

ABEOKUTA - A former Presidential spokesperson, Dr. Doyin Okupe has announced his withdrawal from contesting the 2023 presidential elections.

Okupe who was eyeing the PDP presidential ticket said his decision was hinged on the inability of the party's leadership to timely announce where it will zone the presidential ticket to.

The former spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference held at the NUJ Press Centre, Iwe-Irohin House, Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.

The Iperu-Remo born politician  described the failure of the 37 members committee on the party's zoning arrangement to submit its report after weeks of its composition, as a ploy to hoodwink many of the aspirants from the South to commit themselves in obtaining the requisite forms before coming up with their original position.

He maintained that, failure of the NEC to announce the zoning arrangement timely is politically fraudulent, unjust and inequitable.

"I observed that the leadership of the PDP seems to be driving us all towards a fait accompli. The most central consideration concerning the presidential primaries is the issue of zoning.

"The matter has been referred to a committee of 37 members with a member each from every state of the federation and the FCT Abuja. One would have expected that the mandate of this committee would be such that it would discharge its duties and report to the NEC of the party within a maximum of 5-7 days. Sadly, this has not been so.

"It is clear to me that those at the helm of affairs of the party are trying to hoodwink those of us aspirants from the South to commit ourselves to obtain the requisite forms before coming up with the original position that ‘every zone can contest the presidency’.

"This position is politically fraudulent, unjust and inequitable. But as a politician, I have come to accept the ill-defined zoning arrangement, and still forge ahead with my unrepentant call for a rotation of power to the South.

"We Yorubas, right from the time of the late Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, have always stood for honour, integrity, truth and justice no matter the situation. The Action Group which was largely a Yoruba political platform was used by the leadership to fight for justice and oppose injustice everywhere in the country."

Dr. Okupe, therefore, declared his support for the 2019 Vice Presidential candidate and former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Peter Obi.

He said his decision was in tandem with the Afenifere's position for fairness, 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."

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