Another presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, has withdrawn from the race, few hours to the commencement of the party’s national convention.
Mr Hayatu-Deen is the second aspirant to withdraw from the race after former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, withdrew on Wednesday and resigned from the party.
Mr Hayatu-Deen announced his withdrawal through a letter entitled: “Why I am stepping down as a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party.’’
The letter dated May 27, 2022, was addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Mr Hayatu-Deen attributed his withdrawal to alleged corruption of the political system.
“My exposure locally and internationally and contributions to the nation’s economic and political well-being positioned me to take up the challenges facing our dear nation.
“I had the courage to participate in this gruelling exercise, which most of our elites have shied away from. Regrettably, the political system has proved to be acrimonious, corrupt and self-serving.
“For the past three months, I had the privilege of intensively interacting with Nigerians from all walks of life in my resolve that Nigeria must be saved, otherwise our future is doomed,” he wrote.
The former aspirant said he joined the contest as a democrat, with an open mind to keenly contest and accept the result of a fair, credible and transparent process.
“We have endeavoured to forge a consensus which would have facilitated a seamless emergence of a candidate, which unfortunately could not be achieved.
“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but in order to serve our country.
“It is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided, after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetised,” Mr Hayatu-Deen wrote.
He added that he had been a keen observer of Nigerian politics for so many decades.
“I have not been opportune to actively participate in party politics because of my engagements in managing critical public and private institutions, among others,” he added.
Mr Hayatu-Deen noted that he had observed with great concern and sorrow the rapid deterioration in all aspects of Nigeria’s national life.
“It has been characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, as well as monumental oil theft.
“There are also corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strife and near collapse of public services and public institutions.
“During my recent nationwide trips, I came face-to-face with angry and hungry youths, children, boys and girls abandoned by their states which ought to provide them with education and vocational training.
“These had become the recruiting grounds for criminals, religious and political extremists.
“I planned to ensure that the great potential that had become the hallmark of Nigeria’s development paradigm be actualised during our presidency.
“We planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse, which would guarantee high quality of life to the vast majority of our citizens,” Mr Hayatu-Deen wrote.
He added that he planned to provide peace by ending insurgency of all types and to put a final stop to incessant closure of universities and other public institutions because of strikes.
“It is because of the foregoing that I found it morally compelling to introduce myself into the political space to provide plausible solutions to these problems.
“I was driven by passion and commitment to the cause of salvaging our country which is on the verge of collapse,” he added.
Mr Hayatu-Deen thanked all his supporters, campaign organisation, the party leadership and members, for their tremendous support.
This, according to him, enabled him to contribute within the short period towards changing the character and direction of the Nigerian political landscape.
“As a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, I will continue to avail myself and my teeming supporters at all times, to ensure victory of our great party,” he promised.
With the withdrawal of Messrs Obi and Hayatu-Deen, 13 PDP members are now expected to participate as presidential aspirants at the national convention holding in Abuja on Saturday and Sunday.