How Ogun PDP crisis forced Daniel out of politics – The Punch

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Olusola Fabiyi and Tunji Bosun

Facts emerged on Saturday that the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State was one the reasons that made the former Governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, to resign from the party.

Daniel, in his letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, dated March 14, 2019, also said he was quitting partisan politics.

In the letter, a copy of which also sent to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Daniel said the decision to quit politics was personal to him.

Daniel was the Director General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation before the former Vice President emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the election conducted a few weeks ago.

Atiku lost the election to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.

“This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.

“My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges,” Daniel said in his letter.

However, investigations by one of our correspondents indicated that Daniel was not happy the inability of the national leadership of the PDP to resolve the lingering crises rocking the party in his state.

Though he was said to be a staunch supporter of the Ladi Adebutu faction of the party in the state, at a point, he was said to have asked that the two factions be brought to a roundtable discussion on how to resolve the crisis.

He was said to have advocated the sharing of political offices between the two factions.

A source, close to the happenings in the party, who spoke on condition said, “Daniel wanted the crisis to be resolved. He was a supporter of Adebutu. But when Buruji would not let go, he wanted the national leadership of the party to come in and settle it. But unfortunately, it did not work.”

The source added that the former governor was also not happy that the South-West was denied the chance to produce the national chairman of the party.

Daniel was a candidate for the position, which he lost to the incumbent, Secondus.

The source added, “He felt bad that the South-West was not allowed to produce the national chairman. He was also not happy that after he delivered Atiku as the party’s presidential candidate, the position of the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation was taken away from the South-West and handed over to the North-Central.”

Recall that the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was also a presidential aspirant, was named the DG of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation shortly after Atiku emerged.

In the letter, Daniel gave a brief history of his political journey, recalling that it started when he joined the PDP on Sunday, September 9, 2001 at an event which he described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in “our recent political history in the South-West.”

He also admitted in the letter that the PDP ran into trouble waters towards the end of his administration as governor, which led to the party’s loss in the 2011 elections.

He added that 10 years after, the party had yet to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.

Daniel said, “The PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party recognised one candidate for the 2019 elections, by court pronouncements, another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission recognised was on the INEC list.

“The candidates recognised by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party. Our situation was then compounded because the candidates which the court and INEC recognised and accepted as valid have also been expelled by the party. This was the dilemma we found ourselves as we approached the March 9, 2019 governorship and state House of Assembly elections.”

Daniel explained why he did not support the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Senator Buruji Kashamu, but pitched his tent with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dapo Abiodun, in last Saturday’s election.

He said he responded to the yearnings of his people and joined others in emplacing an administration that “we believe will better serve the interests of our people than what currently exists. The rest they say is now history.”

He said he did not have any regrets over his action, which he described as a patriotic choice, saying leaders and stakeholders in the state and outside had commended the action.

“Many stakeholders within and outside Ogun State feel fulfilled, excited and grateful about our decision to join others in putting a stop to a regime that was believed to be against the collective and general welfare of our people,” he added.

Daniel said his decision to quit partisan politics notwithstanding, he had decided to rejuvenate his charity-based organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation, which he said would dispense succour to the needy, address and assist in areas of health challenges.

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