The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has stepped down from the race for re-election.
He formally announced his withdrawal from the party’s chairmanship race coming up later this month at a press conference at his Abuja residence, Friday.
Odigie-Oyegun told a group of journalists that he had decided not to seek re-election during the party national congress.
“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 All Progressives Congress, APC,” he said.
“However, I will continue to perform my functions as the national chairman of the party till my tenure officially ends on Monday the 25th June when a new set of party executives will be inaugurated.”
“Even though I had the desire to re-contest as National Chairman of the Party, I have decided that it is ultimately in the best interest of the Party for me to withdraw from the race.”
He said that the national executive committee (NEC) of the party initially extended the tenure of the party executives so that the APC could go into the 2019 elections united.
“With the 2019 general election looming in the horizon, some of us considered it to be in the best interest of the party to go into the elections as a united fighting force, rather than one that was potentially weakened by internal conflicts arising from competitive congresses and convention,” the National Chairman said.
“It was for this reason that we canvassed and obtained the NEC decision of February 27, asking all executives of the party to continue in acting capacities for another period of 12 months.
“If this decision was sustained, we probably would have achieved our objective. But we would only have succeeded also in postponing the evil days as it were. In retrospect, I am inclined to agree with the viewpoint that even a young political party as ours need to be subjected to the crucible of these contestations, which in any case, is the hallmark of progressive politics.
“In the end, even as difficult as the situation may appear at the beginning, the experience we would draw from managing the contending interests, can only hope to make our party stronger and more resilient.”