Obiageli Ezekwesili on Thursday stirred reactions from Nigerians online after she announced her withdrawal from the 2019 presidential race.
Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Thursday stepped aside from the presidential race to help build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples 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 in the Diaspora.
According to her, the action was also prompted by an examination of the country’s electoral environment sequel to the 2019 presidential debate on 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, In ever 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
“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, “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 and funds spent will be accounted for in the coming days.”
Ezekwesili in a statement said she stepped aside from the presidential race to help build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 16, 2019 election.
According to her, her decision to withdraw from the race followed extensive discussions with Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora and an examination of the country’s electoral environment sequel to the 2019 presidential debate of Saturday, January 19, 2019.
This development, which is coming 20 days to the presidential election, has since stirred diverse reactions from Nigerians online.
Here are some comments gathered from Twitter:
@MarkEssien “Oby Ezekwesili has stepped down to help build a single coalition against the incumbents. My next preferred candidate is Kingsley Moghalu, and if all other 3rd force presidential candidates consolidate around one person, it can become significant enough to shake the status quo.”
@Aolaosebikan “Good move but somehow too late. Also many wasted opportunities for a good representation at National Assembly. Anyway we have learned enough to be more strategic for 2023.”
@BrodaleeB “The aim is to remove bad government.As you have step down don’t make the mistake of joining APC. You will lose again.”
@Fjfalase “Please collaborate to kill the double headed monster ie APC and PDP !!!! The citizens need you to.”
@Ifystic “After causing distraction and confusion. This is why I always taught you are a Buhari agent judging from your campaign attacks on PDP.”
@Slkie “Hmmm, you want to help build coalition 20 days to election? 20 days not 20 months or even 20 weeks!
@Iamdpassword “Oby Ezekwesili just stepped down from the presidential election. It’s good that she has finally realised that changing the status quo demands forming an alliance. It’s coming a bit late tho but next time we try earlier.”
@SammyAdex1 “Madam you should have known that coalition bond is stronger if you really would love to put or stop APC and PDP in the forthcoming election.”
@Kany_10 “Aunty Oby Ezekwesili, we told you before that she’s sponsored to destabilise the polity, but she’s too small to do the hatchet job, so she finally bows out. Apart from Sowore, others are doing the same paid job, but will soon join aunty Obi on the sideline.”
@Harir_Isah “Too late na, We expected this move months ago.May be you should extend the plan to 2023.”
@Kennydenz “Oby Ezekwesili withdraws from presidential race, when I said she was employed by APC to attack Atiku people came for my head. Finally, it’s happening as I said it.”
@Szhino “You see why I love this woman? That was a very great decision. I wish other’s could do the same and leave PDP and APC to fight it out.In the very near future, we will come out stronger and better.”
@Ilawrencegold “Wow! You just raised the guard of honor that I have for you with this
It’s a matter of time ma’am, Ezekwesili President of Nigeria in a bit.”
@Vincentpromise6 “That was quick ma.. But a good thing to do.. The future is bright. More blessings to you.”