The Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili has withdrawn from the 2019 presidential race.
Announcing her withdrawal, Ezekwesili on Thursday said in a statement that the decision to withdraw was a result of the reactions of Nigerians to last Saturday’s presidential debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) to enable her build a coalition against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both of which she has always described as not different from each other.
The former Minister was the convener of the Red Card Movement,a movement she founded to serve as alternative to both the APC and PDP. Ezekwesili, however, shocked many observers when she joined the presidential race few months ago despite her role in the botched Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) elections.
Read full statement here;
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 candidates under Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (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 we will get the best that we deserve.
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!