Ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of the National Assembly, a contender for the position of Deputy Senate President, Ajayi Boroffice, has withdrawn from the race.
Mr Boroffice said his decision was in deference to President Muhammadu Buhari.
His withdrawal is coming some hours after the working committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) announced the party’s choice candidate for the position.
The party had favoured Ovie Omo-Agege ahead of Mr Borrofice and another major contender, Francis Alimikhena.
Shortly before the party’s announcement, Mr Alimikhena had vowed to forge on, not stepping down for anyone.
In a statement by Kayode Fakuyi, his Press Secretary, Mr Borrofice hinged his decision to step down on respect for party and the president.
The statement reads, “Some weeks ago, Distinguished Senator (Prof.) Robert Ajayi Boroffice, OON declared intention, through letters addressed to Senators-elect, to seek the office of Deputy Senate President. The intention to contest was anchored on the deep conviction that with his excellent public service record, rich legislative experience and personality, he has the best credentials for the position.
“Consequently, he embarked on extensive consultations with party leaders, senators-elect and political groups. Indeed, everybody that was consulted agreed that he is eminently qualified to seek the office of Deputy Senate President.
“Instructively, majority Senators-elect have assured the senator of their support and the prospect of victory is high.
“However, in deference to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice has decided to withdraw from the race.”
The lawmaker thanked his constituents and others for supporting his ambition.
The election for presiding officers of the ninth National Assembly will be held on Tuesday.