Alhaji Abubakar Abdul Raman popularly known as Alhaji Short, has withdrawn from the chairmanship race of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He has since sent his withdrawal letter to the party, his campaign chairman, Mr Kwabena Marfo has disclosed.
Alhaji Abubakar is yet to decide who to throw his support for but his campaign manager, Mr Kwabena Marfo has indicated he will make that known in a few days.
Read also: Alhaji Short joins NPP chairmanship race
Mr Evans Nimako, the Director of Research and Elections of the NPP has confirmed the party has received the withdrawal letter.
Three contestants, Mr Freddie Blay, Mr Stephen Ntim and Dr Amoako Baah are now the remaining contestants in the race.
Alhaji Short had been labelled as the favourite of President Akufo-Addo in the race and his withdrawal comes as a surprise.
In a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM Thursday evening, Mr Marfo said: "we have presented his [Alahji Short] letter of withdrawal to the vetting committee of his intention not to contest the national chairmanship again."
On why he has taken the decision at this time with about a month to go for the July 2018 elections Mr Marfo said: "First of all we need to apologise to our supporters, ministers who were solidly behind us."
"I tell you we had solid ministers who were behind us, a lot of Parliamentarians who were also behind us and other District Chief Executives and the constituency executives and those in the diaspora. We had a lot of them supporting Alhaji Abubakar Abdul Raman," he said.
"Then Alhaji said the contest was getting too hot and you know the party is in government, he would not like to be hearing all the debates on radio, supporters fighting here and there to disrupt the president and the NPP party. And for the sake of that, he has withdrawn his bid to contest as national chairman of the party so that there could be calm in the competion, so that was the main reason," Mr Marfo said.
Adding Mr Marfo said "the contest was getting too heated and we didn't want to give the party a bad name...and allow the competition to move on smoothly. His advise to the other contestants is to take a cue from him. He has been a polling station chairman, constituency executive, regional chairman for Upper West and in all these positions he never went unopposed."
On who he will throw his support for, Mr Marfo said: "well just give us some few days, at least a week, we will come out to see who we should throw our support behind, now we have not decided. You know you don't withdraw from a competition and whilst your supporters are highly worried and disappointed you tell them to sway this way, no it's not good as a leader, we need to calm them down first and plead with them."
Below is a copy of a press statement announcing the withdrawal
31st May, 2018
SUBJECT: WITHDRAWAL FROM THE NPP NATIONAL CHAIRMANSHIP RACE(ALHAJI ABUBARKARI ABDUL-RAHMAN- ALHAJI SHORT)*
On Thursday, 31st May 2018, I served notice of my withdrawal from the national chairmanship race of our party, the New Patriotic Party. After long introspection and consideration, I believe the interest of the party will be best served by my withdrawal.
To all my supporters and sympathisers, I want to thank you for your support. To the grassroots of our party who wished me well, thank you for your encouragement. And to all the members of my team, I thank you for your dedication. To all and sundry, I apologise for any inconvenience my decision have caused you.
Long live the NPP!