A member of the chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, has withdrawn from the race.
George announced his decision to step down at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday night.
The politician criticised the leadership of the party for not micro-zoning the office of the national chairman.
He said “money moguls” were the ones dictating the pace in the party, which according to him has lost its soul.
“That shattering and very divisive crises of the last two years have made our party very vulnerable, weak and basically tottering on the edges of the cliff,” he said.
“Less than one year before the next general election, our party must now elect new managers to direct our affairs. The foremost of these new managers is the position of the national chairman.
“In this highly challenging scenario, the party naturally needs an experienced, trusted, proven, reliable and astute administrator who can guide our party to the land of redemption and the land of triumphant rebound.
“It is in this vein that I have offered my humble service to lead our party. But more importantly, I have entered the contest on the fundamental predication of the micro-zoning principle as laid down by our 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 organisation together.
“It appears the PDP is now bent on self destruction. 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, 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 Yoruba land, I do not expect any well meaning, well disciplined, forthright, sincere Omoluabi of Yoruba land to continue with this deceit and shameful theater.
“The Peoples Democratic Party 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.
“I, hereby, withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetized, mercantilist convention.”
George also accused Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, of abusing Yoruba people by saying the south-west has not made any meaningful contribution to the success of the PDP.
Wike is routing for Uche Secondus, one of the eight aspirants left in the race.
“The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike must as a matter of priority and ethical importance tender unreserved apology to the people of Yoruba land for his unguarded utterances on national television this morning. It was a show of shame,” he said.
Apart from Secondus, others seeking to lead the party are Tunde Adeniran, Taoheed Adedoja, Raymond Dokpesi, Rashidi Ladoja, Gbenga Daniel, Jimi Agbaje and Aderemi Olusegun.