Mr Ben-Murray Bruce, the senator representing Bayelsa East Constituency in Bayelsa State, on Monday, announced his withdrawal from the 2019 senatorial race.
Bruce made the announcement in a letter published on his Facebook handle.
The full statement is published here unedited:
Letter of Withdrawal from the Bayelsa East Senatorial Race
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 a 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 re-election to the Senate to continue my service.
I have also intensified consultations in the last couple of week in the course of which I have come to realise 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 that 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 Honourable 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 especially 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, 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.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce.