Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), on Thursday morning announced her withdrawal from the presidential race.
Ezekwesili who served as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led administration said that she decided to drop her ambition to help build a coalition that would defeat her former party, PDP, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former minister in a statement issued by the spokesperson of her campaign organization, Ozioma Ubabukoh, said that her; “decision followed extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days. I deem it necessary for me to focus on helping to build a veritable coalition to ensure a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the forthcoming elections,” the statement read.
“It is my ardent belief that this broad coalition for a viable alternative has now become more than ever before, an urgent mission for and on behalf of Nigerian citizens. I have therefore chosen to lead the way in demonstrating the much needed patriotic sacrifice for our national revival and redirection,” she added.
“I wish to state that over the past three months, I have been in private, but extended talks with other candidates to birth a coalition that would allow Nigerians to exercise their choice without feeling helplessly encumbered by the evil twins of #APCPDP.
“While the deliberations continued, I never hesitated for a moment in my willingness and determination to sacrifice my candidacy in order to facilitate the emergence of the envisaged strong and viable alternative that Nigerians could identify with in our collective search for a new beginning.
“My commitment to this promising political recalibration has been consistent and in consonance with my agreement, at the request of candidates under the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) arrangement in 2018, when I consented to supervise the internal selection process as an outside observer passionate about building an alternative force.”
“However, despite resistance from 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 so as to focus squarely on building the coalition to a logical conclusion.
“We have no right to allow citizens give in to despair. We will #Fight4Naija together and prove to all that the mess, which the political class has now become, should not be allowed to destroy our spirits and nation. We are also determined to ensure that the message keeps resonating that our beloved country deserves better, and that we will get the best that we deserve.”
“From last year, when I joined the presidential race, I made it clear to Nigerians that the country has always had a 20-year cycle of change – 1958, 1979, and 1999. As such, 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 golden opportunity to sing a new song.
“There is no more time to waste. Let’s get to work!”
ACPN dumps Ezekwesili, declares support for President Buhari
Meanwhile, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has dumped Mrs. Ezekwesili and declared its support for President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the ruling APC.
“The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) is withdrawing support for her presidential aspiration and endorsing the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari to take Nigeria to the next level,” the party revealed in a statement on Thursday morning shortly after Ezekwesili stepped down.
According to ACPN, Ezekwesili made her decision to step down with consulting the party.
“This she does not seeing fit to inform the party whose mandate she is holding,” the party noted.
The party further accused her of using it as a platform to negotiate her intention to become Nigeria’s Minister of Finance.
“I have been put into confidence by one of her aide named lyinoluwa Aboyeji that she only wanted to use the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) to negotiate to be Nigeria’s finance minister,” Gani Galadima, the party’s national chairman, alleged.
The party also accused her of using its name to receive several donations for her campaign.
Paul Isamade, the party’s secretary, alleged that Mrs. Ezekwesili received $5,000 and N35million as donations, adding that she (Ezekwesili) admitted to have spent N29million so far.