Few hours to the commencement of the state congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, a political ally of Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, has withdrawn from the chairmanship race.
Ogbotobo, who is a founding member of APC in the state having joined the party from Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), one of the legacy parties that formed APC in 2014, said his decision to withdraw from the race is borne out of his commitment to the rebuilding process of the party and peaceful operation of the party in the state.
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In a statement announcing his withdrawal from the race on Saturday in Yenagoa, Ogbotobo endorsed his fellow contestant, Dr Dennis Otiotio, for the chairmanship position.
Both Ogbotobo and Dr Otitio are political associates of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
He said: “This is to inform the APC family in Bayelsa State that I, Comrade Wilfred Frank Ogbotobo, have decided to step down my campaign for the Chairmanship of our dear party, the APC, in Bayelsa State, in support of the candidature of my bosom friend, brother and confidante, Chief (Dr) Dennis Otitio.
“This decision is a sequel to the extensive discussions I was privileged to have, and the assurances given by our great leader, His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva.
“Moreover, I am fully assured of Dr Dennis’s commitment to the rebuilding process of our party, after our sincere, brotherly consultations.
“I frankly believe Dr Dennis will do the right thing, and remain fully loyal to our leader, His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva.
“As we step down our campaign, we are not going to rest on our oars. The ‘in-my-father’s-house-there-are-many-mansions’ task of rebuilding APC in Bayelsa state will require all hands on deck.
“As a founding member, my loyalty to the APC remains sacrosanct. We made sacrifices under the leadership of His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva, to build the APC to this enviable height. Chief Timipre Sylva remains the leader.
“I thank my teeming supporters of founding members including the legacy lineage, especially in Nembe Constituency 1.
“I share your pains and neglect. But I believe Dr Dennis, under the leadership and guidance of His Excellency, Chief Timipre Sylva will do the right thing,” he said.