18 March 2019

Nigeria: Atiku's Campaign DG Gbenga Daniel Denies Joining APC

Photo: The Guardian.
Gbenga Daniel

The director-general of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign organisation for the 2019 general elections, Gbenga Daniel has denied joining the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Daniel, said although his supporters desire he lead them to the APC after he quit "active and partisan" politics on Friday, he said "I did not agree to lead them to APC."

"I listened carefully to them and I permitted them to join any political party of their choice since I have become non partisan," Daniel said on Sunday evening.

His supporters complained that Daniel was treated "with disdain" in the People's Democratic Party before his retirement from politics.

His resignation had since attracted "insults" from critics.

"Even to voluntarily step back which ordinarily should be applauded, it's more insult," Daniel said on Monday.

"I think something is fundamentally wrong with us as a people. When [a] politician fails to leave its complaint galore from the younger generation."

In his resignation letter to the national chairman of the PDP Uche Secondus, Daniel said he left politics for personal reasons.

"My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me."

His move away from politics, Daniel said, will allow him to devote more time to charity and resuscitate his non-partisan political leadership academy, which he established a few years ago.

Few days before the governorship poll Daniel threw his weight behind the candidate of the APC, Dapo Abiodun, which his party sought to dislodge at the centre.

Daniel, a two-term governor of the state from 2003-2011, said he endorsed the APC candidate because of the failure of Ladi Adebutu to secure the ticket of the PDP.

"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 recognised and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party."

That situation made him respond 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."

Abiodun eventually won the election, defeating APM's Adekunle Akinlade, who enjoyed the support of the current state governor Ibikunle Amosun, who is a member of APC.

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