Why DPP presidential candidate stepped down for Jonathan

*Otunba Owolabi Odebudo
*Otunba Owolabi Odebudo
Alignments and realignments has begun ahead the 2015 general elections as some political parties have been identifying with their favourite candidates.

Presidential candidate of DPP, Owolabi Odebudo (second right), while returning his nomination form to the party’s acting National Secretary, Abdullahi Da’azumi at the DPP secretariat, Abuja recently.
Presidential candidate of DPP, Owolabi Odebudo (second right), while returning his nomination form to the party’s acting National Secretary, Abdullahi Da’azumi at the DPP secretariat, Abuja recently.

Recently, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) ratified the adoption of thevPeoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate for February 14 presidential election.

The latest in such political moves can as the  presidential candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Otunba Owolabi Odebudo announced that he has stepped down for Goodluck Jonathan.

The National Working Committee of the party made this known in Abuja at a press briefing on Sunday.

Odebudo in a press statement yesterday noted: “I entered this race because of my passion to bring further transformation to our great nation.

“Incidentally, there are areas of similarities between the electoral promises of President Goodluck Jonathan and the manifesto I had presented.

“Since I was genuinely offering myself for service, I see no point in persisting when it could have grave consequences for the very nation I am eager to serve.

“It is crucial that the system works in a way that a clear winner is produced and this is why I heeded my party’s appeal”, he said.

Odebudo, who is now to run for governorship in Ogun State noted that, “Fortunately for me, by stepping down, I am gaining the advantage of further strengthening my position ahead of the next presidential election after I would have garnered additional experience as the governor of Ogun state, my home state.

“And it is great that age is on my side.

“I am now channelling my efforts and resources towards prosecuting my governorship ambition in Ogun state, while at the same time offering valuable support to the re-election of President Jonathan”, he stated.

The party, the DPP, maintained that the decision to back President Jonathan for a second term in office was in the national interest.

“We are therefore beginning to foresee a situation whereby there would be no clear winner in the first round of election.

“Edginess has characterised the polity in recent weeks and given the fact that Nigeria has never had to deal with situations whereby there has to be a second round of presidential vote, we are worried that any election that is too close to call would not be in the interest of the nation.

“No one’s or party’s ambition is worth truncating our democracy or plunging the country into crisis for.

“The DPP has therefore persuaded its Presidential Candidate, Otunba Owolabi Odebudo to step down for the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Doctor Goodluck Jonathan, the incumbent president.

“We prevailed on our candidate to step down for President Goodluck Jonathan in the knowledge that he is the only candidate in the election with programmes that are similar to the ones jointly articulated by our party and candidate.

“The implication is that the DPP is now backing the candidacy of President Jonathan and working to see him clinch a landslide victory in the election.

“We are confident this will stave off any need for a second round of vote and save the country unpleasant consequence.

“We do these with all sense of responsibility, confident that we will be in a vantage position to continue President Jonathan’s transformative government following from the 2019 elections”, the party said.

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