Aminu Tambuwal, the Speaker of House of Representatives on Tuesday withdrew from the contest for the opposition All Progressives Congress 2015 presidential ticket, citing the need to maintain unity among party members ahead of the general elections.
Some friends and colleagues of the Speaker had on Friday the 14 November 2014 bought and presented the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for him to participate in the presidential primaries of APC for the 2015 Presidential Election.
Tambuwal had requested for a little more time to conclude a series of nationwide consultations before he will accept the challenge of contesting for the presidential ticket.
But the Speaker who said the decision to draft him into the presidential race was a culmination of two years call on him to put himself forward for the race by his colleagues and associates, said he is withdrawing from the contest for the APC presidential ticket because of concerns among stakeholders that his entry into the presidential race at this point may necessitate having to rework some equations on the political chessboard of the party.
According to a statement he personally signed on Tuesday evening: "Having consulted widely, taking into consideration the concerns of some elders of the party, I have decided to suspend my participation in the presidential contest for now. I have done so as a sacrifice for the cohesion and unity of the APC," said Tambuwal.
"I am suspending my participation in the presidential race for now because I do not have any inordinate ambition to occupy any office. Nigeria is a country too great to sacrifice on the altar of partisan politics and personal ambition.
The Speaker also pledged his loyalty to APC and cooperation with those who are already in the race for the party's presidential ticket like General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor Rochas Okorocha and Mr Sam Ndah-Isaiah.
"There is no doubt that they are all eminently qualified," he said
The Speaker appealed to his friends and associates to show understanding for his decision in the interest of APC, and in the overriding national interest. The decision to withdraw from the contest, Tambuwal said was not an easy one.
"I wish to appeal to all my associates, colleagues, supporters, admirers and friends nationwide to show some understanding. It has not been easy coming to this decision and I very well understand the frustration, disappointment and disbelief of many who have committed so much to the project including sacrificing not only their physical, financial and intellectual resources but indeed their personal ambitions in the 2015 electoral contest"
"To all my associates, colleagues, friends, admirers across Nigeria, who have faith that I am that instrument for the change we all desire, I assure you that your faith is not in vain.
"It is noble and will endure until this great nation of ours is rescued from the clutches of institutionalized corruption, gross incompetence, greed and divisiveness. I charge you to be comforted that your strength lies not in the limited capacity of a single leader, but rather in the collective capacity of the millions of great citizens of this nation.
"One day, and I believe not too long away, this formidable collective capacity will be ignited and the good Lord will lift Nigeria high up where she belongs," said Tambuwal.