Former Governor of Abia State and senator-elect, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Monday night, withdrew from the Deputy Senate President race.
Kalu who earlier stood his ground to contest the seat after the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had declared support for Senator Ovie Omo-Agege from Delta State, capitulated Monday night and gave his support to Omo-Agege.
According to report BIGPEN Online sourced from Freedom Online, Kalu had insisted that he would contest against Omo-Agege but on Monday night he step-down his ambition following what one source said “so much pressure was put on Kalu to withdraw”.
Quoting the source, the newspaper reports: “The pressure was much. A popular retired General, who Kalu so much respects, was given the task by the presidency to talk to him to withdraw. Other prominent players in the political field also added to the pressure. Eventually, he agreed to work with the choice of the party”.
His action followed the endorsement of Omo-Agege and Muhammed Wase for the positions of Deputy Senate President and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
Kalu, who had endorsed the duo of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively, has now endorsed Omo-Agege for the position of Deputy Senate President.
Throwing his weight behind the party’s candidates across board, Kalu stressed that he would 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.
The Senator-elect, 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 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 judicial 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.