One of the nine aspirants to the National Chairmanship position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Olabode George has withdrawn from the race, less than 24 hours to the party’s national convention.
George, announcing his withdrawal during a news conference in his campaign office in Maitama, Abuja, on Friday, said that he was stepping down because of disregard for the micro-zoning principle of the party.
He said he also withdrew from the contest because of what he described as insult on the Yoruba people.
George said that he has gone through many travails in life, and never disengaged from a meaningful challenge.
He said that he did not come into the contest for any personal or pecuniary benefits, but to offer himself to serve.
He added that he entered the contest on the fundamental predication of the micro zoning principle as laid down by the PDP founding fathers.
“The zoning principle which was publicly reinforced last year in Port Harcourt had specifically and rightly affirmed the South-West as the zone to produce the National Chairman.
“This binding proclamation was based on equity, fairness and natural balance that hold any organization together.
“But this old, legitimate and morally sound micro zoning principle has now been trashed.
“It has been dumped in the waste bin, flung into the gutter by very little men who have compromised the pivotal moral anchor of civilised engagement for temporary selfish gains.”
He added that the Yoruba people were now being brazenly insulted.
He decried that the very traditional fiber of PDP founding fathers was also being trampled upon, debased and soiled by “external forces and mercenary traitors within”.
He added that it appeared that the PDP was now bent on self destruction saying it has obviously allowed money moguls to dictate its thematic largeness.
“The party has lost its soul. It has lost its principled beginning and the predications of righteousness.
“It has traded the finer principles of democratic guidance and equity for the squalid.
“Traded dirty and shameful resort to mercenary agenda where nothing matters save the putrid, oafish gains of the moment. I cannot be part of this screaming aberration.
“And as the Atona of Yorubaland, I do not expect any well meaning, well disciplined, forthright, sincere Omoluabi of Yorubaland to continue with this deceit and shameful theater.
“The PDP has now mangled and distorted its soul and spirit. There is no morality here anymore. There is no sanity or any sense of enlightened civility.
“As a result of these observed aberrations wherein the position of the National Chairman has been apparently sold and auctioned to the highest bidder I as an Omoluabi and as an authentic Atona of Yoruba land, I will not partake in this charade.
“I hereby withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetized, mercantilist convention.”
He said that the Yoruba people have been openly maligned, savaged, tormented, treated with contempt, scurried, scoffed at, humiliated and denigrated by little men “whose sun will soon set.”
“As a Yoruba patriot and the pathfinder of Yorubaland, I will stand by our people, I will stay with them thick or thin, I will fight for their good cause without compromising any ethics.”
He, however, demanded an unreserved apology from Gov. Nyesom Wike to the Yoruba people for his “unguarded utterances” on a national television on Friday morning.
He recalled that Wike had said on the television that the Yorubas had nothing to contribute to the development of the party, even when a president of the South-West was in charge of the party.
He described Wike’s statement as “a show of shame.”
Asked whether he was going to leave the party for another, George said he was synonymous with PDP.
“I will never leave the party but time will tell if we make quick amendment and correct the ills.”