A former presidential aide and presidential hopeful on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Doyin Okupe has withdrawn from the 2023 race to support the ambition of former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi.
He made this known on Wednesday at a press conference held at the Iwe Iroyin Press Centre in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, saying that the leader of the socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, appealed to him to withdraw from the race. Okupe also enjoined all other PDP aspirants from the South including Dele Momodu, Pius Anyim, and Nyesom Wike to team up with Obi, who is from the South-East geopolitical zone.
Okupe also accused the PDP leadership of driving presidential aspirants to “fait accompli”, saying “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 required forms before coming up with the original position that ‘every zone can contest the presidency.
This position is politically fraudulent, unjust and inequitable.” The ex-presidential aide to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan said. He also stated that he had consulted far and wide with political stakeholders in the South and decided that power be zoned to the South-East in the spirit of fairness.
Okupe, who turned 70 recently, said, “Two weeks ago, Pa Ayo Adebanjo called me for the first time into his bedroom and admonished me that no matter what circumstances we Yorubas find ourselves in the ever gyrating political circus of Nigeria, I must uphold the truth and follow the path of equity and justice.