By Fred Itua Abuja
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential hopeful and leader of agitations for the Middlebelt presidency in 2023, Moses Ayom, has abandoned his presidential ambition. He linked the reason for his withdrawal from the race to the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the presidency to the Middlebelt.
Ayom, who announced his withdrawal as he broke his fast with members of the Interfaith Clerics Council of Nigeria at the center of the event he donated to APC and named “APC First arena” in Abuja, said his withdrawal from the race was in deference and full submission to the APC National Working Committee headed by Abdullahi Adamu.
He said: “Based on all of this, I wish to state unequivocally that I summarily renounce my aspiration to the presidency of our country. I want to state very boldly that we will be back at the right time.
Adamu last Friday told reporters at the Presidential Villa that the party had made no decision on the zoning of the presidency.
When asked where the ruling party zones its presidential ticket, Adamu said such a decision was beyond the National Working Committee and was the prerogative of the entire party, which he acknowledged, is taller than the President.
In his message to Sallah, Ayom also urged all presidential aspirants from all parties to lower their political flags in honor of the victims of the Abuja Kaduna train attack who are still in captivity, as he l demonstrated in his “APC First Arena” and also praying for the release of the victims.
He recounted the circumstances surrounding his entry into the race pointing out that “it all started with the visit of Christian Bishops from the Middle Belt, followed closely by the visit of Imams from the Middle Belt, all under the auspices of the Interfaith Council of I also had the visit of the leaders of the South East and South South who came to bestow on me the title of Eze Igbo Ndu 1 (The savior of the Igbo race) and called on me to challenge Since then I have been inundated with calls from women, less privileged, young and less privileged all singing a song they found me with the right qualities to put Nigeria back on the map of the most important development based on my background.
“I accepted this call with the hope that if elected President, relief and succor would come to our people who for decades would know fairness, equity and justice. A people who have suffered untold marginalization and mistreatment in the form of economic and social deprivation resulting from political slavery The wanton destruction of lives and property through terrorism, banditry and kidnappings that took place in the region in is a classic example.
“In response to the call, we traveled across Nigeria to and fro beginning with the traditional Tiv council under the Tor Tiv, HRM (Prof.) James Ayatse, and all the supreme rulers of the TIV kingdom blessed me in saying “Go forth and CONQUER for the MASSES using the TRUTH as a WEAPON.
On the party’s failure to zone the presidency in the Middlebelt, Ayom said, “However, as I speak, the country’s presidency has not been zoned and we have barely a month until the presidential primaries.”
He also expressed his dismay at the failure of the party to reduce the nomination fee of 100 million naira for the presidential nomination saying that
“Furthermore, a few days ago I launched another impassioned appeal to the leadership of our party, to align myself with the appeal of Mr. President in order to avoid the pitfall of conceding the elections in the hands of the highest bidder. I called for a review of the high prices of nomination forms, the highest in the history of the country. The Interfaith Council of Clerics also wrote a letter and visited the National President asking for a review of the award, to no avail. They specifically presented their anointed candidate, Reverend Ayom, as their choice among others,” he said.
The aspirant said he believed the APC was founded on progressive ideals which is why Nigerians voted for him, adding that “we cannot at this stage be seen as not following our rhetoric.”
Thanking everyone who believed and supported him, Ayom said: “While I remain a loyal party man, I wish to continue to appeal to the conscience of our party leadership to consider reactivating the ideals progressives who distinguished us and convinced Nigerians to entrust us with their mandate when it is not yet late.
“I thank Mr. President who gave me this chance to offer my services to his administration in laying the foundation for our nation’s economic development when I traveled with him to China.”
The aspirant advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to abandon his government’s policy of economic diversification.
“As I retire from the race, I would like to remind President Muhammadu Buhari of the right decision he made to diversify the economy as soon as he took over the leadership of this country. The specific case of a partnership with China to sign a memorandum of understanding in 2016 is a problem here,” he said.
Ayom recalled that “the president made history by taking me and Aliko Dangote to China for these deals aimed at diversifying the economy.
“During this presidential business trip, the federal government signed a $6 billion currency swap to facilitate trade between China and Nigeria and reduce pressure on foreign exchange reserves.
“The second deal was the $2.6 billion signed by Aliko Dangote in the mining sector which started to bear fruit.
“The third is the contract signed by Reverend Moses Ayom on behalf of Granite and Marble, with the world’s largest manufacturer of mining equipment, China’s SBM.
“It is heartening that great milestones have been recorded, including the recent commissioning of the fertilizer company by President Muhammadu Buhari in Lagos, which is the second largest in the world.
“But this deal with SBM, which is supposed to be located in Abuja and backed by the Central Bank with RSSF, has yet to take off due to a corporate crisis and a struggle over ownership.
“The Governor of CBN who witnessed the two deals in China had given different grants to the respective companies, Dangote and Granite and marble.
“He called for the intervention of Buhari and other heads of government to resolve the crisis in the best interest of solving unemployment, creating wealth and ending insecurity.
“I hereby seek the intervention of the President to activate the agreement and move it forward.
“Specifically, the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Chairman of the APC are urged to support President Buhari in finding a political solution to the crisis to make the deal work by unbundling the $1.2 billion investment.
“The benefits of the above and many other forms of support that I got from the APC administration would have been distributed evenly to other regions to solve unemployment, security, economy, etc. if the presidency had been given.
“Notably, the revalidation of KETTI District by the Federal Executive Council which was chaired by the President under the LAND Exchange Initiative Program, a development which resulted in the merger with FHA to become Federal Housing, KETTI INVESTMENT Development company to develop in Africa’s first Green Smart City.
“As a token of everlasting appreciation to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari under the great banner of APC, I have donated a facility to APC in a prime location at No. 2, Celine Ayom Crescent, Off Ahmadu Bello way, Jabi Lake View, which will be branded “APC First”
“The installation aims to make the APC logo equal to that of the ANC in South Africa, the Labor Party in the UK, the Communist Party in China and the Republicans and Democrats in the United States.”