By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said he would not be seeking re-election.
SpeakingÂ at an interactive session with journalists Friday night at his residence in Abuja, Oyegun said his decision not to recontest for the office was not out of fear or any intimidation.
He also spoke about theÂ crisis arising from the just concluded nationwide congresses saying that the party would have avoided the situation if the option of extending the tenure of party executives was adopted.
The party’s national convention where a new national chairman would be elected is slated for later this month and a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has recieved the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari.
When asked if his decision to throw in the towel was precipitated by President Buhari’s preference for Oshiomhole and the governors sudden shift of their support, Oyegun said: No, I wasn’t intimidated.Â I rather felt proud that I enjoyed theÂ support of majority of party stakeholders before the situation changed. I think it is normal in politics.”
He said instead he felt proud that he had support of majority of APC stakeholders before President Buhari expressed his preference for an elective convention and to back Oshiomhole as his successor.
Oyegun said he had accepted the situation in good faith, adding he would spend out his remaining days tillÂ June 25Â when the new new executives will be sworn in.
“I have taken this decision without prejudice to my commitment to the party in helping to solve some of the subsisting and emerging difficult issues and my ability to continue to provide necessary leadership. However, I believe that the party faces difficult days ahead, and all critical stakeholders in its leadership would be required to bind together for a common purpose.
“Therefore, the less contentious our national convention is, the better for the party. I have always sought to be part of solving the problem of the APC; I do not intend to be part of the problem for APC to solve. It is for this reason that I hereby declare that I will not be seeking reelection as the national chairman of the APC,” he said.