Following the official endorsement of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Hon. Ahmed Wase by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the positions of Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, a leading contender for the position of Deputy Senate President and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has dropped his ambition.
Kalu, who had endorsed the duo of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively has endorsed Senator Omo-Agege for the position of Deputy Senate President.
Throwing his weight behind the party’s candidates across board, Kalu stressed that he will always abide by the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari and the NWC of the APC.
While thanking his associates, followers, well-wishers and colleagues, the former governor called on members of the 9th National Assembly to place the collective interest of Nigerians above selfish ambitions.
In a statement issued by his media office on Monday evening, the Senator-elect for Abia North Senatorial District, stressed that the decision of the party is supreme and must be respected by loyal party members.
He said: “I decided to throw my hat into the ring to contest for the position of Deputy Senate President after wide consultations with stakeholders especially my political associates, friends and colleagues (returning senators and senators-elect).
“However, I use this medium to announce my withdrawal from the race in the interest of the APC and Nigeria at large.
“I contested and won election as a Senator on the platform of the APC and as such, I cannot go against the decision of my party.
“The party, I am optimistic will consider the South-East for other principal positions in the Senate and House of Representatives for the sake of national unity.
“The South-East should be ably and well represented at the top hierarchy of the 9th National Assembly.
“The 9th National Assembly will work harmoniously regardless of party affiliations to ensure that the executive and judiciary arms of government are complemented in a bid to build a prosperous Nigeria.”
While pledging his unalloyed and unshakable commitment to the APC, Kalu expressed appreciation to the President for his fatherly role in the affairs of the party.
Also, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo North), has withdrawn from the contest to support Omo-Agege.
Boroffice stated that his withdrawal from the race was in deference to President Buhari and leadership of the APC.
However, Senators Francis Alimikehena (APC, Edo North) and Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), have vowed not to step down from contesting for the office of Deputy President of the Senate.
Their statements were in reaction to the endorsement of Senator Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) for the position of Deputy President of the Senate by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Onilu, had yesterday issued a statement that the National Working Committee (NWC) has formally adopted Senator Omo-Agege as the party’s candidate for the position of Deputy Senate President.
Senator Gaya, while fielding questions from journalists yesterday in Abuja, said that he was still very much in the race and that he would contest with the anointed party candidate.
Senator Alimikehena had, on Sunday, issued a statement, insisting that he was still in the race and would not step down for any reason.
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