Enugu Governor, Sullivan Chime
Victor Efeizomor in Asaba and Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos
Less than twenty-four hours to the senatorial primaries of the Peoples’ Democratic party (PDP), Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Sullivan Chime of Enugu State have thrown in the towel.
Also, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, friday announced her withdrawal from the race for the All Progressives Congress ticket for Lagos West Senatorial District.
Uduaghan who addressed the press in Asaba friday, shortly after returning from Abuja for consultation with President Goodluck Jonathan, said he offered to step down from the senatorial race to ensure that the political tension in Niger-Delta did not escalate.
According to him, having analysed the political and security situation in the region, he had no other option than to make sacrifices in the interest of peace and security.
He further emphasised: “Nobody forced me to step down. If they did, I would not have been here with you. In doing that, I am aware that a lot of my followers would be affected, but I have done this for the sake of the state.
“Now that I am out of the race, it gives me better leverage to manage my transition and get involved in national issues. Mr. President wants some of us to work with him in 2015.”
He pointed out that there was ethnic tension in the region and it had been noticed at the national level of which President Jonathan had expressed concern, hence the need to ensure for peace and security in the state.
Governor Sullivan Chime jettisoned his Senatorial ambition friday and was compensated with privilege to nominate candidates for other key political offices.
Both Chime and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu had been at loggerheads over who takes the ticket of the Enugu West Senatorial.
Chime who had already been screened by the party, confirmed his withdrawal from the race through his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife.
Adefulire’s decision to withdraw from the race was contained in a press statement issued yesterday in Lagos.
In the statement, Orelope-Adefulire cited the overall interest of the party and the need to strengthen its unity as reasons for her withdrawal.
The statement reads: “This is of course a very difficult decision for me to make, but one that I made in the overall interest of my party and for the benefit of our growing internal democracy. I wish to thank the party, our apex leaders and our loyal, dedicated members in the state particularly members of Lagos West Senatorial District on the support shown through their wise counsels, best wishes and words of encouragement during visits on political mission.”
The Deputy Governor, however, pledged her unalloyed support and cooperation to any aspirant that eventually emerges as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming primaries scheduled for Monday 8th December, 2014.
She said further, “In spite of my withdrawal from the Senatorial race, my commitment to Lagosians and the development of Lagos remains sacrosanct. I promise to use the rest of my tenure as your deputy governor to continue to assist the governor in providing good governance and continue to project our party and ensure its success at the forthcoming 2015 elections.”
Enoch Ajiboso and former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Demola Seriki would be left in the race after Adefulire’s withdrawal from the race.
But THISDAY learnt that the Senate Chief Whip and one of the governorship aspirants in the state, Senator Ganiyu Solomon might be considered for a return ticket since he had reached out the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu not to contest the result of the governorship primary, which he lost.