By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja – Former Lagos State Governorship aspirant, Mr Jimi Agbaje, has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairmanship race.
Agbaje made this known in a letter dated Dec. 8 and referred to the Chairman of the PDP National Convention Planning Committee.
He said his intention to withdraw from the race was premised on the fact that seven out of the nine aspirants were from the South-Western part of the country.
According to him, having such number of aspirants from one geopolitical zone might rob it of the chance to win the position.
“Our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has, from inception, adopted certain principles, which have evenly balanced offices amongst the country’s geo-political zones.
“In line with such and other parameters, I have, at different fora, expressed my strong belief that the next National Chairman should come from the South-West.
“I am however convinced that with seven out of nine aspirants coming from the South-West, this multiplicity of contenders will work to the detriment of our zone when it comes to voting.
“Delegates’ votes split seven ways will not produce a chairman from the South-West. It therefore becomes necessary to prune our number down to no more than two,’’ he said.
He called on other aspirants to do same to streamline the number in order to give the zone a better chance of winning.
He stressed that “with less than 24 hours to the convention, I have painfully decided to withdraw from the race.
“This is hoping that others will join me in bringing down the number such that the South-West can have a fighting chance of clinching the National Chairmanship of the PDP.
“The support from serving and past governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives, women, youth and opinion leaders has been tremendous.
“While sincerely thanking them for their unflinching loyalty, I empathise with the great disappointment they must feel at this decision. I plead that we all put the overall interest of PDP first.’’
Agbaje, however, pledged his support for whoever emerged as the National Chairman as determined at the National Convention.
The party’s national convention, which is expected to produce the National Chairman, is scheduled for Dec. 9. (NAN)