All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant and leader of the agitations for Middlebelt Presidency in 2023, Mr Moses Ayom has withdrawn from the race following the failure of his party to zone the presidency to the Middlebelt.
Ayom, who announced his withdrawal while breaking fast with members of the Interfaith Clerics Council of Nigeria at the event centre he donated to the APC and named “APC First arena” in Abuja, was one of the first to declare his interest to run for the presidency.
He also said his withdrawal from the race is in deference and total submission to the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee of the APC.
“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,” Ayom stated.
Adamu had last Friday told journalists at the Presidential Villa that the party has not taken any decision on zoning of the presidency.
When asked where the governing party would be zoning its presidential ticket to, Adamu said such a decision was beyond the National Working Committee and that it was the prerogative of the entire party, which, he acknowledged, is bigger than the chairman.
In his sallah message, Ayom equally enjoined all presidential aspirants across party lines to lower their political flags in honour of the victims of the Abuja Kaduna train attack who are still in captivity.
He narrated the circumstances surrounding his entry into the race pointing out that, “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 succor will come to our people who for decades would experience equity, fairness and justice. A people that have suffered untold marginalization 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 breadth of Nigeria starting with the Tiv Traditional council under the Tor Tiv, HRM (Prof.) James Ayatse, and all the paramount rulers in the TIV kingdom blessed me saying ‘go forth and CONQUER for the MASSES using TRUTH as his WEAPON.”
On 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 nomination fee for presidential nomination saying that;
“Furthermore, I made another passionate call to the leadership of our party a few days ago, to align with the call of Mr. President to avoid the pitfall of conceding the elections into the hands of the highest bidder.
“I called for the review of the high prices for nomination form, the highest in the history of the country. The Interfaith Clerics Council also wrote a letter and visited the national chairman asking for a review of the prices all to no avail. They specifically presented their anointed candidate Rev, Ayom as their choice among others,” he said.
The aspirant said he believed the APC was built on progressives” ideals which was why Nigerians voted for it, adding that, “We cannot at this point be seen not to walk our talk.”
Thanking all those who believed and stood by him, Ayom said “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.*
The aspirant advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to jettison the economic diversification policy of his government.
“While I withdraw from the race, I want to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the good decision he took to diversify the economy as soon as he took over the mantle of leadership of this country.
“The specific case of going into partnership with China to sign some MOU in 2016 is an issue here,” he said.
Ayom recalled that “The president made history by taking me along with Aliko Dangote to China for those deals aimed at diversifying the economy.”