From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Barely 10 days to the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), one of the chairmanship aspirants, Chief Ibrahim Emokpaire, has withdrawn from the race and directed his supporters to vote for former governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomohle.
Emokpaire who apparently was among those aspirants Oshiomole described as feather weight, said he took the decision after due consultations with members of his family, political associates, leaders of the party and admirers.
Addressing a press conference Tuesday in Abuja, the Edo-born politician said that as a loyal party member, he decided to withraw his nomination “in order to unite our party and join forces with our amiable leader, Comrade Adams Oshiomohle, to move our party forward.”
Emokpaire said he believed Oshiomole was more competent, adding he has presented his notice of withrawal of his candidature to the chairman of the convention committee on Monday evening.
“I have invited you to this press conference today to unveil my resolution to put behind me my aspiration to contest for the position of the national chairmanship of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
“I regret therefore, to inform my teeming supporters that following my recent round of consultations with governors, members of the National Assembly and their counsel, I have decided to discountinue with the aspiration to stand election for the national chairman of our great party.”
Emokpaire added that he was aware of how much of a disappointment this would be to many, assuring that this decision had been taken in deference to the wise counsel received in the course of consultations from some of the most respected stakeholders in and outside of the party whose input in the matter could not be ignored.
He however said that he was not withdrawing out of timidity or threat, “but rather to enhance party discipline and loyalty at all times.”