Dr. Oby Ezekwesili declared her withdrawal from the presidential race early Thursday morning, Nigerian Cable News online reported.
The two-tenure Nigerian minister and flagbearer of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN made this decision after she had vigorously participated in the last weekend’s presidential debate with Kingsley Moghalu ans Fela Durotoye.
Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, the candidates of the two major political parties in Nigeria, All Progressive’s Congress and Peoples Democratic Party respectively refused to step on same podium the trio for same purpose.
On her last minute move, she admitted her decision was resisted by the ACPN, her party, but remained determined to align with others in a bid to fight against the dominance of the ruling party – that assume central power for the first time in 2015 – and PPD that was the only party t have ruled from 1999 when Nigeria switched from military to democracy till 2015.
Her full statement detailing her intention reads below:
Following the reactions of Nigerian citizens at home and abroad to the 2019 Presidential Debate held on Saturday 19 January 2019, and after extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days. I have decided to step down from the presidential race and focus on helping to build a Coalition for a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the 2019 general elections.
This coalition for a viable alternative has now more than ever before become an urgent mission for and on behalf of the citizenry.
Over the past three months, I have been in private extended talks with other candidates to make a coalition possible that would allow Nigerians to exercise choice without feeling helplessly saddled with the #APCPDP.
In doing so, I have not hesitated to offer my willingness to step down my candidacy in order to facilitate the emergence of a strong and viable alternative behind which Nigerians can line up in our collective search for a new beginning.
My commitment in this regard has been consistent and in consonance with my agreement, at the request of then aspirants under PACT in 2018, to supervise their internal selection process as an outside observer passionate about building this alternative force.
Despite disagreements within the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria on these and other issues, I have decided that it is now necessary to show by action and example my determination on this issue by stepping down my candidacy and focusing on building the coalition once and for all.
We have no right to allow citizens give in to despair. We will #Fight4Naija together, and prove to all that the mess that has now become the political class will not be allowed to destroy our spirits and the nation.
We are also determined to ensure that the message keeps resonating that our beloved country deserves better, and that if we are to get the best that we deserve, we must fight for it.
From last year, I have made it clear to the nation that Nigeria has always had a 20 year cycle of change – 1959, 1979, and 1999.
2019 begins another 20 year cycle, and together with all Nigerians of good will, I stand ready to play my part to ensure that we do not miss this opportunity to sing a new song. We have no more time to waste. Let’s get to work!
Although Ezekwesili is yet to open up on which group she will be forming formidable alliance with but it can be recalled that in August, 2018, she was the supervising observer for the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together, PACT’s election, a process to have a consensus candidate between more than 10 aspirants of Moghalu, Fela Durotoye, Omoyele Sowore among others.
Although, Durotoye emerged winner but many candidates raised eyebrows against the process and witherew continue with her their presidential bids separately.