An aspirant to the office of national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Emokpaire Ibrahim, has withdrawn from the race.
The party has zoned the position to the South-south where the incumbent, John Odigie-Oyegun, comes from. Mr Odigie-Oyegun, however, is not seeking reelection.
Mr Emokpaire announced his withdrawal from the race on Tuesday at his campaign office in Abuja.
He told journalists he had submitted a letter to the chairman of the convention committee, Badaru Abubakar, on his decision to pull out of the race.
The election will hold on June 23 when the party holds its National Convention.
Mr Emokpaire had joined two former governors, Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Clement Ebri (Cross River), in the race when he declared his intention on May 28 and picked the nomination form on June 5.
He said his decision was borne out of consultation, saying even though he understood it will be disappointing for his supporters, he believed it is for the good and unity of the party.
“I regret, therefore, to inform my teeming supporters that following my recent rounds of consultation with governors, members of the National Assembly and their counsel, I have decided to discontinue with the aspiration to stand election for the National Chairman of the APC.
“I am aware of how much of a disappointment this would be to many, but I assure you this decision has been taken in deference to the wise counsel received in the course of consultation.
“I have decided as a loyal party member and a leader of our great party to withdraw my nomination in order to unite our party and join forces with our amiable leader, Adams Oshiomhole, to move the party forward.”
He clarified that his decision was personal and not out of timidity or threat, but rather to enhance the party discipline and loyalty at all times.
He promised to continue to serve the party in whatever capacity “to cement the existing cordial relationship between party leaders and myself as well as unite the party at this time”.