Ben Bruce withdraws from primary election
A former spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Kwara State.
This is coming as the Senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district of Bayesla State, Ben Murray Bruce, has withdrawn his ambition to return to the Senate for a second term in 2019.
Abdullahi, a former minister, was among the eight PDP aspirants who withdrew from the exercise. The other seven aspirants include: Ali Ahmad, Saka Isau, Ladi Hassan, Ibrahim Kaia, Abubakar Anani, Zakari Mohammed and Ahman Pategi.
Their withdrawal facilitated the emergence of a member of House of Representatives from Kwara Central, Hon. Razak Atunwa, who defeated the Senator representing Kwara North, Sha’aba Lafiagi.
All the aspirants except Abdullahi announced their withdrawal at the venue of the primary.
Abdullahi was said to have been pressured to step down.
The state Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed said the eight aspirants withdrew from the race in the party’s interest.
“I thank the state’s political leader, Dr Bukola Saraki for his wise counselling and purposeful leadership which have so far kept members of the PDP united in Kwara State,” he said.
In a related development, the Senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district of Bayesla State, Ben Murray Bruce, has withdrawn his ambition to return to the Senate for a second term in 2019.
The Senator withdrew following widespread rejection of his candidacy by the stakeholders of the district.
In a letter written on the eve of the senatorial primaries of the PDP, Bruce thanked his district for giving him the opportunity to serve.
“I thank God and the good people of Brass, Bayelsa East Senatorial District who offered me the golden opportunity four years ago to represent them and the state in the Senate, Nigeria’s highest lawmaking chamber.
“It is without doubt that I have tried to discharge my duties as a legislator and representative of my people creditably to the best of my ability so far.
“My voice has been very loud on the issues that matter to our people and our country at all time.
“My support to our party, my people and state government is unquestionable. I am humbled that the national leadership of my party supported by the State chapter in appreciation of my efforts offered to support my reelection to the senate to continue my service, he said.
“I have also intensified consultations in the last couple of week in the course of which I have come to realize an existing local rotational arrangement of over 20 years beginning with the late Great Chief Melford Okilo, by which arrangement the Senatorial seat rotates per local government area among the three councils for four years in the Senatorial District.
“Even with the support of my party at the National and state levels with the full backing of my state government and leadership, as a man of honour interested in the well-being of my people, I hereby announce my withdrawal from the Senatorial race.
“I do not want whatever reason to appear to have used my privileged position and influence to do anything other than the well-being and the stability and the good of the people.
“I am in all of these for the people, not for myself.
“Once again, I thank the former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan, the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, my colleagues in the Senate and Governor of Bayelsa State, the Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson for their support and encouragement.
“I also thank the leadership of my Senatorial District and state, for being there for me.
“I thank specially the people of my constituency for their trust and confidence in me to serve and represent them in the Senate.
“By trusting me with this mandate, I have come to know them and our people even better, an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life.
“I am indeed grateful to my darling wife, my children, and other members of my family for their support and prayers. I appreciate the efforts of my hardworking campaign staff for their support and dedication.
“Again, I thank the leadership of the party for their continuing support. I also assured the party of my availability and readiness to serve at any capacity when the opportunity comes”.