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By: Ade Adeleke
The Senator representing Ondo North, Ajayi Boroffice, Monday said that he has pulled out of the contest for the position of the Deputy Senate President as a mark of respect for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Boroffice had few weeks ago announced his intention to join the race on the conviction that his public service record, legislative experience and personality, qualified him for the position.
However, Boroffice in a statement in Abuja on Monday said he quit the race “in deference to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress”.
Meanwhile, the Senator-elect for Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Uzor Kalu, and the Senator representing Kano South Senatorial District, Kabiru Gaya, on Monday, vowed to contest the DSP position on Monday.
The APC leadership on Sunday announced the zoning of the position to the Senator representing Delta Central, Ovie Omo -Agege.
The development led to speculations that other contestants have dropped their ambitions.
But Kalu in a statement on Monday said he would contest the polls no matter who had been endorsed by the party.
He said he has not stepped down from the race contrary to speculations in some quarters that he was no longer contesting since the National Working Committee of the APC has formally endorsed Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Kalu, who had some days ago met behind closed doors with President Buhari in the Villa insisted that no candidate has been endorsed by the party for the position of DSP.
He said, “The President only adopted the candidacies of the duo of Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila for the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively. Anyone is free to contest for other presiding officers’ positions.
“The speculation of the formal endorsement of Omo-Agege was the handiwork of selfish elements in the party who are self-serving and desperate to cause disharmony among party stakeholders.
“I hold the President in high esteem as well as the National Chairman of our great party, Adams Oshiomhole, and other members of the NWC and as such, I will not disobey any formal pronouncement by them.
“However, I am still in the race to become Deputy Senate President because the President and the NWC have not adopted any candidate and as such the contest is open to all members of the party, who have the capability.
“I have the political dexterity, leadership qualities and goodwill to complement the efforts of the Senate President in actualizing the objectives of the legislature in support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in taking Nigeria to greater heights.”
Also Gaya said that he would contest the election on the floor on Tuesday.
He told journalists in Abuja on Monday that despite the endorsement of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege by the APC leadership, his chances of emerging as DSP was very bright.
He said, “This is not my first time of contesting the election. Tomorrow will make it the fourth time and by the grace of God, it will be peaceful.
“I’m still in the race. I will contest with whoever that would also contest the position of the DSP tomorrow.
“Democracy is actually a game on numbers. Whoever has the highest number would win”.