Chief Ibrahim Emokpaire, a national chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the race, saying his decision was to enhance loyalty and party discipline.
He made this known at a news conference in Abuja, explaining that he took the decision to advance the party’s course.
The National Convention of the party will come up on June 23 in Abuja.
Emokpaire said he took the decision to withdraw from the race after due consultations with members of his family, political associates, leaders of the party and his admirers.
“As a loyal party member, I decided to withdraw my nomination in order to unite our party and join forces with our amiable leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle, former Edo Governor, to move the party forward.
“I have invited you to inform you of my resolution to put behind me my aspiration to contest for the position of the National Chairmanship of our great party, the APC.
“I regret therefore, to inform my teeming supporters that following my recent round of consultations with governors, members of the National Assembly and their counselling, I have decided to discontinue the aspiration.
“I am aware of how much of a disappointment this would be to many people, but I assure you that this decision has been taken in deference to the wise counsel received in the course of consultations,’’ he said.
He added that he consulted with respectable stakeholders in and outside the party whose input could not be ignored before taking the decision.
Emokpaire said he had presented his notice of withdrawal of his candidature to the chairman of the party’s National Convention Committee.
He, however, said that he was not forced to withdraw out of timidity or threat, but that his decision was to enhance party discipline and loyalty.
While appreciating his supporters in the country and in the Diaspora, Emokpaire urged them to continue to believe in APC’s capacity to turn things around for better in the country.
Emokpaire’s withdrawal, the chairmanship contest will be among Oshiomhole, Mr Clement Ebiri, a former Governor of Cross River and Prof. Osarheime Osunbor, also a former Governor of Edo.