By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Some Governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives, among other politicians, have expressed shock over the withdrawal of Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate, on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, to return to the senate in  the next political dispensation.

According to a close source, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, upon learning of the withdrawal, lamented the decision by ACN, saying Mamora was the voice and face of ACN in the senate.

The same was also said by other governors from the Eastern and South-South regions.

Meanwhile, Mamora has said that his best in serving Nigerians was yet to come, even as he declared his interest to continue to participate in politics.

Mamora, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, who had on Monday at a press briefing held at his constituency office in Ogudu announced his withdrawal from the senatorial race, said he had to bow to party supremacy.

On whether he was denied the ticket by the party leadership, the senator retorted; “I took the decision after extensive consultations with the leadership of the party at the enatorial, state and national levels.

According to him, his decision to withdraw from the race was predicated on political operational strategy, desire for sense of belonging and participation by other components of senatorial district, respect for party supremacy, avoidance of undue confrontation and to ensure peace and stability within the party.

While appealing to his supporters to be calm and accept the decision in good faith, Mamora who said his faith in God remains unshaken, disclosed that he was stepping down for the party’s choice, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa and promised to lead the campaign for Ashafa who is not known to many in the party.

He described Ashafa as a capable hand who will excel at any level he may find himself, saying that leadership is about offering qualitative service to the people.

He noted that it is only God that put leaders into positions. He gives power to whom He pleases.

The senator said he was consoled by a Biblical injunction in Ecclesiastics 9: 11, which says: “Again, I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong or bread to the wise or riches to the discerning or favour to the skilful, rather time and chance happen to them all.”

He expressed gratitude his party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), his supporters, the people of Lagos East district which gave him the opportunity to serve. He also thanked Lagos State which he said “provided him the space to blossom and flourish.”

Earlier on Sunday, Mamora suspended a world media briefing on the order of party leadership.

Following this, some of the party supporters at the event protested what they termed imposition of candidates by the party leaders on the party in the forthcoming 2011 general polls.

Senator Olurunimbe Mamora, was to address a world press conference on his future political ambition and other sundry issues when party leaders ordered him to suspend the conference forthwith.

The conference which was also meant to address some emerging issues caught hundreds of Mamora’s supporters who had gathered at his campaign office at Ogudu, Ojota area of the state.

Apparently irked by the suspension order, the supporters comprising of ACN faithful went on to sing various solidarity songs with warning to party leaders not to do abything contrary concerning the return of Mamora to the Senate.

Some of the supporters who spoke to Vanguard described Mamora as a very valuable asset to ACN in the Senate as well as Nigeria politics, wondering why ACN decided to prevent his re_election to the National Assembly.

Mamora, while addressing his supporters urged them to maintain peace and be calm, saying that party is supreme to anyone when it comes to decision making.

He said:“ On the issue of whether i will be going back to  the Senate or not, i want to assure you that only God puts someone in any position and if God does not build, the builders build in vain.

“No matter the situation, firstly, I want you to remain calm and be patient and have it at the back of your mind that power belongs to God.

“Secondly, no matter the situation we must respect party supremacy. I know it is my duty to tell you as party members how things are going with me and the party.

“I repeat whatever the situation is let’s stand together and work in unity and at appropriate time I will address the press.”

However, it was learnt that Mamora who had wished to seek re_election for the third time to the National Assembly was asked by party leadership to step down for Mr Gbenga Ashafa, the Permanent secretary Lands Bureau but this decision did not augur well with party supporters of the senatorial district.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.