All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, Moses Ayom, has quit the race.
The eader of the agitations for Middle belt Presidency in 2023 said his decision to quit the race was due to the failure of the party to zone the presidency to the Middle belt.
Ayom, who announced his decision at a breaking of fast ceremony with members of the Interfaith Clerics Council of Nigeria at the event centre he donated to the APC named “APC First arena” in Abuja, was one of the first to declare to run for the presidency.
He said his withdrawal is in deference and total submission to the Abdullahi Adamu-led NationalWorkingCommittee of the APC.
Adamu told journalists at the presidential villa on Friday that the party has not taken any decision on zoning of the presidency.
In a Sallah message, Ayom asked all presidential aspirants across party lines to lower their political flags in honor of the victims of the Abuja Kaduna train attack who are still in captivity as he has demonstrated at his “APC First Arena” while praying for the release of the victims as well.
Recalling how he joined the race: “It all started with the visit of the Middle Belt Christian Bishops, closely followed by the visit of the Middle Belt Imams all under the auspices of the Interfaith Clerics Council of Nigeria.
“I also had visits from the South East and South South Leaders who came to confer on me the title of Eze Igbo ndu 1 (The saviour of the Igbo race) and called on me to also contest.
” Since then I have been inundated with calls from the women, less privileged, youth and the less privileged all singing one song that they have found me with the right qualities to put Nigeria back on the map of foremost development based on my antecedents.
“I accepted this call with the hope that if elected President, relief and succour will come to our people who for decades would experience equity, fairness and justice.
“A people that have suffered untold marginalisation and maltreatment in the form of economic and social deprivation arising from political slavery.
“The wanton destruction of lives and property through terrorism, banditry and kidnappings which had been meted out to the region is a classical example.
“In response to the call, we traversed the length and breath of Nigeria starting with the Tiv Traditional council under the Tor Tiv, HRM (Prof.) James Ayatse, and and all the paramount rulers in the TIV kingdom blessed me saying “ go forth and CONQUER for the MASSES using TRUTH as his WEAPON
Lamenting the failure of the party to zone the presidency to the Middle belt, Ayom said:
“However, as I speak, the presidency of the country has not been zoned and we have barely a month to the presidential primaries.”
He also expressed dismay on the failure of the party to reduce the N100 million fee for presidential nomination form.
Disclosing his withdrawal from the race, Ayom said: “On the basis of all these, I wish to state without any form of equivocation, that I am standing down my aspiration for the presidency of our country summarily. I wish to state very boldly that we shall return at the right time.
“While I will still remain a loyal party man, I wish to continue to appeal to the conscience of our party leadership to consider re-enacting the progressive ideals that stood us out and convinced Nigerians to give us their mandate while it’s still not late.
“I thank Mr. President who gave me that chance to offer my service to his administration by laying a foundation for the economic development of our nation when I travelled with him to china.
“Today we are not exiting the race but stepping it down to return at the right moment.”
Ayom reinstated his support for the Adamu-led APC.
“As a mark of eternal appreciation to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration under the big banner of APC, I have donated a facility to the APC at a prime location on No 2, Celine Ayom Crescent, Off Ahmadu Bello way, Jabi Lake View, which will be branded “APC First.”