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Nigeria: Presidential candidate withdraws from race

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has announced her withdrawal from the presidential race.The spokesman of her “Hope 19 Campaign Organisation”, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, who announced the withdrawal in a statement on Thursday, explained that she stepped down from the Feb. 16, presidential election after due consultations with well-meaning Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora.

Ezekwesili added that she decided to withdraw in order to help to build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.

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, Jan. 19.

“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.

“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,” the statement said.

She said that while the deliberations continued, she never hesitated for a moment in her willingness and determination to sacrifice her candidacy in order to facilitate the emergence of the envisaged strong and viable alternative.

“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,” she said.

She said that they were also determined to ensure that the message keeps resonating that Nigeria deserved better,

“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 goodwill, 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,” she added.

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