Mr. Umahi said the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, invited him and pleaded with him to drop his ambition.
The governor said he agreed with the pleas of the president-elect and decided to endorse the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, as the next senate president.
The governor made the disclosure on Friday night while addressing journalists shortly after he had a meeting with Mr. Akpabio.
“My brother came on consultation with me. By yesterday, I saw the president-elect on his invitation and he told me that he is already committed and he said please don’t run and I accepted and I stepped down for my brother, Senator Akpabio,” he said.
He also said that he is not considering the position of deputy senate president, noting that he has stepped down from the two positions.
“He is my consensus candidate. I also stepped down for him as the deputy senate president, so I stepped down for two of them.”
The senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) also said Mr. Akpabio is the preferred choice of the “president”.
“As you can see, I am leading the campaign for Akpabio because he is the president’s preferred candidate and we have to push for the country and the party above any other interest.”
Responding, Mr. Akpabio said the will of God will be done in the country.
“I have always said In Sha Allah, the will of God will be done in Nigeria.”
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State had earlier announced that the inner caucus of the ruling All Progressives Congress resolved to zone the senate president to the South-south in favor of Mr. Akpabio.
With the pulling out of Mr Umahi from the race, the remaining contenders, apart from Mr Akpabio include Jibrin Barau (Kano), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia), Osita Izunaso (Imo) and Sani Musa (Niger).
The leadership of the party is yet to announce their decision on the zoning of the 10th National Assembly leadership.