A national chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Gbenga Daniel, said on Monday in Lagos that he had no plan of stepping down for any of the other contenders.
Reacting to speculations that he might be stepping down for Chief Olabode George, another aspirant for the position, Daniel said he had no intention of stepping down for anybody.
Daniel is a former Governor of Ogun, while George served as a former national deputy chairman of the now opposition PDP.
With the zoning of the PDP’s chairmanship position to the South West, five major contenders are currently jostling for the position.
The other contenders are Mr Jimi Agbaje, the 2015 governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, a former Minister of Education and Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, a former Minister of Sports.
Daniel told reporters that although George was a respected leader of the PDP, he would not back down for the Lagos chief but would see the race to its logical conclusion.
“All the aspirants for this position are my friends and competent people but I am the bridge builder and the best man for the job.
“I will not step down for anyone because I did my consultations during our convention in Port Harcourt and I know so many leaders in Yorubaland who support me.
“People contest for various reasons. Some people contest to enrich their curriculum vitae, some contest to get donations while some run to win.
“It is not a do-or-die affair. It is an in-house contest and I’m running to win so as to bring my experiences to bear on the party and work on re-positioning the party,’’ Daniel said.
According to him, with 2019 around the corner, the PDP cannot afford to make mistakes in choosing its leaders because it is germane to the rebuilding of the party.
“PDP is spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The fragmentation in the party cuts across all political parties in Nigeria.
“However, most of our members who defected to other parties left, due to the internal challenges within it.
“The moment those who leave see a new leadership committed to fairness and justice, they will return’’ the former governor said.
On the PDP’s zoning of the presidential slot to the North, Daniel described the decision as sacrosanct, noting that it was commonsense for the party to look for a candidate from the northern part of the country to square up with the APC.
Speaking further, he debunked an alleged strife between him and Sen. Buruji Kashamu from Ogun, stating that they had no personal issues and that they had no quarrels.
Daniel, however, expressed his support for the clamour for Nigeria to be restructured, arguing that the nation’s potential would be maximised when restructured.
“We must begin to examine the system to give equal opportunities to all parts of the country,’’ he added.