Oby Ezekwesili Withdraws From Presidential Race, Insist On Coalition

. Obiageli Ezekwesili on Thursday stepped aside from the presidential  race to help build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress  and the People’s Democratic Party in the February 16, 2019 election.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Obiageli Ezekwesili  Presidential Campaign Organisation, Ozioma Ubabukoh, Ezekwesili was  quoted as saying that her decision to withdraw from the race followed  extensive discussions with Nigerians at home and the Diaspora. According to her, the action is also prompted by an examination of the  country’s electoral environment sequel to the 2019 presidential debate  of Saturday, January 19, 2019.

“This 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. She said, “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.

“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.” Ezekwesili also said,

“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.”

She added, “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!” Meanwhile, Ubabukoh thanked Nigerians, including campaign donors and  volunteers, who supported Ezekwesili, saying that “every money donated  to the campaign would be accounted for in the coming days”

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