Doyin Okupe, former presidential spokesman, who earlier declared interest to contest the 2023 presidential race, has withdrawn.
Mr Okupe announced his withdrawal on Wednesday during a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, after the intervention of Afenifere, a socio-cultural organization in the South-West region.
He said the need for equity and justice necessitated his withdrawal and thereafter, declared his support for the candidacy of Peter Obi, former Anambra governor, for the exalted position.
He also called on other presidential aspirants to shelve their political ambitions and support the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 general election.
“I turned 70 years a few days ago, and I have made a covenant with my maker that for the rest of my life, I shall uphold this spirit and principles of our forebears as manifestly displayed and represented in our collective socio-political heritage – The Afenifere,” Mr Okupe said.
“Two weeks ago, Pa Ayo Adebanjo called me for the first time into his bedroom and admonished me that no matter what circumstances we Yorubas find ourselves in the ever gyrating political circus of Nigeria, I must uphold the truth and follow the path of equity and justice.
“In aligning myself with the wish of our elders and in the interest of equity and justice, I publicly admit that the 2023 political race must be conceded to the South-East; that is, the Igbos.
“I, therefore, here and now proclaim that I am, as I have said publicly several times, withdrawing from the presidential race and I am declaring my support for the best aspirant not only in Igboland, but in Nigeria as a whole.
“I and my supporters within and outside the PDP are teaming up with His Excellency, Peter Obi.
“At the same time, I want to enjoin all other aspirants from the South, Chief Dele Momodu, Senator Anyim, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike to come with me and let us team up with Peter Obi. So we can give the South the best possible chance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I am not fanning the embers of division, rather I am by this action, lightening the torch of unity by establishing political stability on the pillars of truth and justice upon which the Bible tells us that even the throne of the Almighty God is founded,” he clarified.