By Jennifer Y Omiloli
A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor of Ogun State and Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Chief Gbenga Daniel has resigned from partisan politics.
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.
He is the owner of 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 Council in preparation for the February 23 presidential election.
They were defeated by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari was declared the winner of the 2019 Presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at 4.37am on February 27 at the end of collation and submission of results from the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.
Incumbent President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat the country’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had 11,262,978 vote
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.
Daniel left PDP and joined the Labour Party, because according to him, to build a platform that will serve as a proper check mate for any irregularities in governance of the State.
Many people in the PDP frowned at this but the masses joined him to follow the Party. Labour Party became the most dominant opposition party in the state taking over from the PDP.
After much deliberations and reconciliation meetings orchestrated by the National Leadership of PDP, Daniel returned to PDP in October, 2014.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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).
8. 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.
9. My decision to quit partisan politics notwithstanding, I have decided to rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges; I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.
10. Without doubt, I will miss the company of my friends and associates and all those relationships I built in the course of the years all over the country..
While I crave for your kind understanding, accept assurances of my highest regards.
Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FNAEng
Governor of Ogun State (2003-2011).
His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON
Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP)