UPDATED: Oyegun withdraws from APC national chairmanship race

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The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has stepped down from the race for re-election. Mr Oyegun made the announcement Friday evening at a press conference at his Abuja residence. The decision has now paved the way for immediate past governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, to emerge as the next APC national chairman. Mr Oshiomhole has the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and other top leaders of the party.

The party’s national convention where the election will hold is billed for June 23 in Abuja. “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,” Mr Oyegun said. The APC initially wanted to extend the tenure of the Oyegun-led party executives by a year but later resolved to go ahead with elective congresses and convention after President Muhammadu Buhari sounded a note of warning over the possible consequences of such an action.

President Buhari and some governors subsequently endorsed a former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole for the slot. The move instilled a sense of uncertainty in the party as Mr Oyegun did not indicate openly if he would be re-contesting the slot again.