The pain of losing the 2019 presidential election to All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate Muhammadu Buhari has forced Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Gbenga Daniel to resign from partisan politics.
The former Governor of Ogun State helped with strategic planning of the campaign for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but all efforts did not deliver the goods as Atiku Abubakar was defeated by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Incumbent President Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat the former vice-president, who had 11,262,978 votes.
Daniel conveyed his resignation in a letter dated March 14, 2019 to the Chairman of the Party, Mr. Uche Secondus, He said he took the decision based on the desire to immerse himself in some other vocations and to take on some new challenges.
“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,” he said.
The 62-year-old politician was governor of Ogun State from 29 May 2003 to 29 May 2011, making him the longest-serving governor of the state, a record that the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun would match by May 29, 2019.
He founded the Nigerian Compass, a daily newspaper and also Kresta Laurel, a company he started in 1990. Daniels’ last political engagement was his appointment as the Director-General of Atiku Campaign Organisation in preparation for the February 23 presidential election.
Daniel is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
He taught briefly as a lecturer in the School of Engineering of Lagos State Polytechnic.
The letter which was copied to His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar and Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP) is produced hereunder:
14th March, 2019
The National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Wadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Street
Wuse Zone II, Abuja
Attention: Prince Uche Secondus
Resignation from Partisan Politics
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.
My Political Journey so far
I joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State on Sunday, the 9th of September, 2001 at an event which was described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in our recent political history in the South Western part of Nigeria.
We rose from that rally to create a highly robust and effective political campaign machinery which resulted in an electoral victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2003; this movement and vibration affected the politics of the region positively with a victory in five (5) states of the South West.
- I served as Governor of Ogun State for eight (8) years and our administration till today remains a point of reference in terms of physical, social, economic, educational and human capital development since the State was created in 1976.
- Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party ran into trouble waters towards the end of our administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.
- Meanwhile, the PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognized one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognized was on the INEC list. The candidates recognized by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party.
- Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognized and accepted as valid has 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.
- Going forward, we have responded to the yearnings of our 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.
- I must say that looking back, I do not have any regrets over that patriotic choice and decision, especially as several of our citizens, leaders and stakeholders in the state and outside have commended that singular 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.
- Let me also add, that in the last few months, I have had one of the rare privileges of traveling round the entire length and breadth of our great country on at least two occasions; the first being during my campaigns to become the National Chairman of our great party, and later as the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization (APCO).
- I must sincerely admit that in the course of all these travels, I have built a network of contacts, of friends and associates in a mutually rewarding relationships which I cherished most and greatly too. I am therefore persuaded that I have fewer points to make and prove in my Political journeys in partisan politics.