Ezekwesili Apologises To Nigerians For Withdrawing From Presidential Race

Ezekwesili Apologises To Nigerians For Presidential Race Withdrawal
Dr Oby Ezekwesili addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 4, 2019.

 

Former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has apologised for what she described as an error of judgement in joining the party in her bid to become president.

Dr Ezekwesili tendered an apology while addressing a world press conference in Abuja on Monday.

“It has been an interesting one week since I made the tough but necessary decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency,” she was quoted as saying on Twitter. “I have been truly overwhelmed by the reactions to my announcement from Nigerians.”

She added, “I ask for the forgiveness and understanding of all who are hurt by my withdrawal from the race even as I take comfort in the fact that they would agree with my choosing to stand with my values rather than compromise.”

“Thank you to the young people who accepted and owned our campaign, to the women – my sisters and comrades – who worked and walked with me, to every believer and supporter from different tribes, states, religions and walks of life.”

READ ALSO: Tonye Cole Lauds Appeal Court Ruling On Rivers APC Primaries

 

The former minister said the accusation of fraud levelled against her by the party were laughable and alien to her character.

According to her, members of the ACPN were frustrated with her because they assumed being a former minister, she would have money stashed away or would use her global network to raise money for the party.

“One of the more laughable moments of the past week was hearing allegations that my presidential candidacy was a scheme to negotiate for a ministerial role. This is the height of political comedy, I must say,” she stated.

Ezekwesili disclosed further that her party card and other ACPN belongings in her possession have been returned to the party.

She said she was concerned about the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that she cannot withdraw from the presidential race less than 45 days to the elections.

She thanked her campaign team, noting that they would be getting some much-needed rest after the struggle.

The former presidential candidate said, “Here are the facts that speak for themselves. Since I resigned as a cabinet minister in 2007, it is known that I have declined offers by different governments to serve as a minister again.”

“Why would I then go through the pains of launching a presidential campaign to negotiate for a role I last occupied twelve years ago and have thrice rejected since after?” she questioned.

Ezekwesili added, “Such mud-raking tactics is the reason why our best minds abstain from offering themselves up for political office thus leaving the worst of us to lead the rest.

“More hilarious was the accusation that I raised and looted campaign donations. It is only morally bankrupt politics that can make anyone even imagine such accusation against me.

“My absolute dedication to public accountability is widely known and no matter how much we had hoped to raise as campaign support from the public we designed an accounting system to go beyond the basic minimum of accountability required by the Electoral Act.”

Presidential Election: Major Reason For My Withdrawal – Ezekwesili

 

Former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has given more insight into why she withdrew from the race.

In a statement signed by her on Friday, she explained that one of the key reasons that triggered her withdrawal from the presidential race as well as her exit from the ACPN, was the divergence of values and visions within the party.

According to her, the ACPN’s vision was contrary to her’s which was focused on mobilising citizens to disrupt the old order of politics of the APC/PDP.

She, therefore, stated that upon realising this, she decided to discontinue her membership of the party.

“The values and vision divergence with the party was a key factor that triggered my withdrawal from the presidential race on their ticket prompting me to dissociate immediately in order to help build a coalition for Good Governance.

“It is why I was instant in sacrificing my candidacy to uphold my values by withdrawing,” she said.


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I Am Ready For A Coalition With Sowore, Moghalu – Durotoye


 

In reaction, the ACPN criticized Ezekwesili, saying that her presidential aspiration was not real in the first instance.

According to the party, she only wanted to use the platform to negotiate to become Finance Minister.

“The reason for calling this press conference is to let the world know about the presidential aspiration of Dr Oby Ezekwesili which in actual fact, is not the truth.

“She only wanted to use the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) to negotiate to be Nigeria’s finance minister,” National Chairman, Mr Gani Galadima said.

Consequently, he said the party had withdrawn its support for her and thereafter, endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, who they believe would take the nation to the next level.

Ezekwesili, who is currently outside the country, denied all the allegations, saying there was no iota of truth in them.

She added that when she returns, she would hold a World Press Conference to give details of the actions she would take going forward.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is too late for her to withdraw as the presidential candidate of the ACPN.

According to Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the last day for withdrawal or replacement of candidates, was November 17, 2018.

Read Ezekwesili’s Full Statement Below.

 

NO AMOUNT OF LIES CAN STOP THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW POLITICAL MINDSET AND ORDER

Some hours ago, I arrived far flung Cabo in Mexico where our Albert Einstein’s Genius100 Visionaries meeting is holding. I was delighted to read reactions of real patriots to my announcement that I have decided to withdraw from the 2019 presidential race and end my membership of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). I have also seen the reaction of ACPN leadership to my decision.

Fortunately, they have divinely helped me by making the Nigerian public now fully understand why I had to swiftly depart from their midst. How could I upon realising the divergence of values and vision with the leadership of the party continue to stand on such a political platform? My abiding vision has been to mobilise citizens to disrupt the old order politics of APCPDP.

Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a New Order of ethical, competent and capable leadership. I had earlier assumed the ACPN was aligned with me to offer that, until it proved otherwise. The values and vision divergence with the party was a key factor that triggered my withdrawal from the presidential race on their ticket prompting me to dissociate immediately in order to help build a coalition for Good Governance. It is why I was instant in sacrificing my candidacy to uphold my values by withdrawing.

The party’s decision to immediately today endorse the candidate of APC, which was announced by my erstwhile VP candidate who is also the Chairman of ACPN was their classic political entrepreneurship in full display for Nigerians to see. It is instructive.

The party leadership’s transactional approach to politics began to manifest in their attitude following after the convention that adopted me as their presidential candidate. All who know me can attest that I detest transactional mindset. I would have none of such and therefore extremely delighted to part ways after a tumultuous three months of hoping that the ACPN leadership would elevate to the new values of disruptive politics that one had desired for and preached within the party.

As for the defamatory statements made against my person by the ACPN leadership in their malicious statement, I want Nigerians to know that there is NO IOTA of truth in any of them. Everything ACPN wrote or said of the campaign donations is fabrication and outright lies. Our campaign was conducted with the highest level of transparency and accountability with impeccable evidence. I know and can guarantee that at all times because, these standards firmly underpin my commitment to lasting values and professionalism.

Only those who desperately wish to believe falsehoods would lend any credence to such puerile accusations by the leadership of ACPN. Only those who pretend ignorance of my legendary and uncompromising passion for accountability would give heed to such baseless statement.

I have declined any interviews until my return to Nigeria upon which I shall hold a World Press Conference to engage Nigerians on the actions I shall take even as we present full report of our three-month old campaign for the 2019 presidential election to the public.

I want to again thank all who supported us in the last three months with their talent, time and treasure to run a formidable campaign. Without your support we would never have attained the height #Hope2019 achieved. You gave our Disruptive Campaign real VALUE.

We shall at the World Press Conference also provide insights into the citizens movement that we are energised and committed to build. There is no end to our zeal to end the reign of Bad Politics in our country.

Finally, take it from me that WE shall definitely build the Coalition force that will terminate the poverty escalating governance of the two dominant parties in the 2019 election.

We are citizens of Nigeria.

And we are resolved.

Obiageli K. Ezekwesili.

January 25, 2019.

Ezekwesili: It’s Too Late For Presidential Candidates To Withdraw — INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is too late for Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili to withdraw as the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

According to Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, taking such a step at this time is against the constitution as amended.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr Oyekanmi said “The deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed”.

Oyekanmi said candidates are free to withdraw their candidature but in Ezekwesili’s case the timing is the problem.

He said according to section 35 of the electoral act, “you can indicate that willingness not later than 45 days to the General Elections”.

The INEC Chairman’s spokesperson noted that in the 2019 schedule of activities, 17th of November 2018 was the last day for withdrawal or replacement of candidates.

Mr Oyekanmi further stressed that though Ezekwesili cannot be forced to participate in the election, still she cannot withdraw because that contravenes the law.

He said if she had indicated earlier, the opportunity would have been given to the party for a replacement, adding that now it is too late.

READ ALSO: I Am Ready For A Coalition With Sowore, Moghalu – Durotoye

CPS to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, says the time for withdrawal of candidature is passed.

Dr Ezekwesili had earlier on Thursday announced her withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled to hold on February 16.

The former minister had explained that she took the decision to help build a coalition to prevent the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning the election.

Meanwhile, the ACPN has criticised Ezekwesili for withdrawing from the race and alleged that her presidential aspiration was not real.

It claimed that the former minister withdrew without informing its leadership whose mandate she was holding.

The party also withdrew its support for the presidential campaign of Ezekwesili and endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

ACPN Disowns Ezekwesili, Endorses Buhari’s Re-election Bid

Leadership of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has criticised its presidential candidate, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, for withdrawing from the race.

In a statement on Thursday by its National Chairman, Mr Gani Galadima, the party alleged that the presidential aspiration of the former minister was not real.

“The reason for calling this press conference is to let the world know about the presidential aspiration of Dr Oby Ezekwesili which in actual fact, is not the truth,” it claimed.

“… She only wanted to use the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) to negotiate to be Nigeria’s finance minister.”

READ ALSO: Ezekwesili Withdraws From Presidential Race

The party accused Ezekwesili of taking the decision to withdraw from the presidential race without informing the ACPN leadership whose mandate she was holding.

It also alleged that the former minister was not serious with her presidential ambition as she only showed very little commitment to it.

ACPN Disowns Ezekwesili, Endorses Buhari's Re-election Bid
Former ACPN presidential candidate, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, speaks during an interview on Roadmap 2019.

The ACPN said, “If you observe, Dr Oby Ezekwesili is the only presidential candidate who is so militant in her campaign without any tangible thing on the ground to indicate any seriousness in the persecution of her campaign.”

“No campaign secretariat, billboard or great commitment on the ground to indicate any seriousness.”

The party explained further that it was for these reasons that it decided to withdraw its support for the presidential campaign of the former minister.

It added that it has endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari who it noted would take the nation to the next level.

Other ACPN leaders who signed the statement are Paul Isamade – National Secretary, Bosun Omosule – Deputy National Chairman (South), and Ibrahim Goronyo – Deputy National Chairman (North).

The party issued the statement hours after Dr Ezekwesili announced her withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled to hold on February 16.

In a statement by the spokesperson of her campaign organisation, Mr Ozioma Ubabukoh, she said the decision followed extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days.

The former minister explained that she stepped down from the race to help build a coalition to prevent the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning the election.

Ezekwesili Withdraws From Presidential Race

A file photo of Dr Oby Ezekwesili.

 

Candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has withdrawn from the 2019 presidential race.

The spokesperson of her campaign organisation, Mr Ozioma Ubabukoh, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He explained that the former Minister of Education stepped down from the race to help build a coalition to prevent the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning the election.

According to the statement, the 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,” Dr Ezekwesili was quoted as saying.

“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 within 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 Vows To Fix Power If Elected President

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili has vowed to fix the nation’s power if elected President.

Ezekwesili made the pledge in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Thursday when she took her presidential campaign to Nyanya market, a popular metropolitan hub in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“With an Oby Ezekwesili as the President of this country, the Electricity Power Act will be fully implemented. The next thing you will see is that power sector in Nigeria will reflect the kind of progress we have seen in the telecom sector,” she stated.

READ ALSO: Economy: Buhari Should Admit He Doesn’t Have Answers, Says Ezekwesili

According to her, previous governments failed to implement the 2005 Electricity Power Reform Act.

Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili speaks on her plans to revamp the nation’s power sector if elected President.

This, she said, was responsible for the failure of the power sector that has taken negative effects on business in the country.

She added, “The policies and legislation for the power sector were in 2003. In 2005, we had the same policies and legislation to enable the change of the power sector. The subsequent governments should have continued with the full implementation of those policies and legislation

“They didn’t but decided to reverse it back to where the government is the one and the only thing that wants to decide everything in the power sector. That is why it crippled the performance of that sector.”

2019 Elections: Ezekwesili Takes Campaign To Streets Of Anambra

Former education minister and presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, on Thursday, took her campaign to the streets of Onitsha, Anambra State.

There on the streets of Onitsha, Ezekwesili interacted with residents and urged them to vote her for president come 2019.

In videos uploaded to social media by Ezekwesili and her Party, the presidential hopeful could be heard telling the people to vote for good governance.

Ezekwesili told newsmen in Anambra that hers is a campaign with a difference.

She said her campaign is a “disruptive” campaign intended to reach the people at the very point of their need.

“A vote for Oby Ezekwesili is a vote for good governance, I am the candidate to beat in the 2019 election because I am the candidate with the requisite attributes that can transform Nigeria,” She said.

Below are photos and videos shared by Ezekwesili and the ACPN as the street campaign tagged “Walk of Women” held in Anambra state.

READ ALSO: If Nigeria’s System Was Working, Atiku Should Be In Jail – Buhari Campaign Team

#2019Debate: We Have Recorded Very Little Or No Improvement Since 2015, Says ACPN’s Galadima

Galadima

 

The Vice-Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Ganiyu Galadima, has accused the Muhammadu Buhari of failing to achieve significant change in the country.

According to him, not only has the government been unable to keep its promises, it is also guilty of engaging in a practice it once criticized.

“Between the year 2015 and now, we have recorded very little or no improvement in governance and the life of our people is becoming the worse for it, making Nigeria to be tagged the capital of poverty in the world which is very disheartening,” Galadima said at the NEDG/BON Vice-Presidential Debate on Friday.

“So I want to say, we cannot continue to do the same things the same way and be expecting different results.”

For the ACPN’s Vice-Presidential candidate, the “wrong policies” of the government are to blame for the lack of significant change and the rate of unemployment in the country.

He said, “Unemployment is becoming higher and higher and this is because of the wrong policies of the government.

“In 2015, what we were told by the APC was that the subsidy was a fraud. As it is today, the Nigerian government is subsidizing petroleum to the tune of N2 billion daily times 30 days, it is too staggering.

“That is to say, we are subsidizing inefficiency and funds that should go into development, infrastructure and to other sectors of the economy are being fritted away”.

Galadima added that the GDP of the country had become “lower and lower” – a situation which he said had worsened the overall standard of living for Nigerians.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to look carefully at the manifestos of candidates ahead of the 2029 elections before they cast their votes.

“There is the need for Nigerians to look at the candidates and their manifestos before they can cast their votes,” he said.

Ezekwesili Calls For Overhaul Of Nigeria’s Road Infrastructure

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has called for a complete rethink of Nigeria’s road infrastructure.

She believes the roads link people to the markets and consequently, good road networks help to improve productivity and reduce poverty.

Ezekwesili said this when she appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Saturday.

She made the comments in reaction to the gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which she also encountered on Saturday morning.

The ACPN candidate complained about what she described as poor maintenance of the road, despite the ongoing repair works.

She, therefore, called for an increase in budgetary allocation to road networks which she considered as the nation’s economic lifelines.

Read Also: Three Killed In Fresh Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident

“This road is the economic artery of the country and there are many things that are going together.

“The poor state of the infrastructure, the poor traffic management system, the challenges of categorization of road users on this kind of a stretch of road, the policy on the weight of usage that happens on the road and maintenance issues.

“We normally call it road governance challenges. So you look at your road governance strategy and there is an issue there.

“This road particularly has a resonance for me because when I was at the world bank, we had a $400 million loan to enable this road be constructed. We had to move some of it towards supporting the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

“There has to be a complete rethink of the road strategy in our country.

“When you look at the budget of the country, its going to be impossible for us to solve this major problem of roads,” she said.

Her comments come hours after two accidents occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

One of the accidents which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, involved two trucks and three other cars.

Three persons died in the process.

2019: Ezekwesili Picks ACPN National Chairman As Running Mate

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, has announced that the National Chairman of the party, Abdulganiyu Galadima, will be her running mate in the 2019 general election.

She said this on Wednesday while presenting her manifesto in Kwara State.

Speaking further, Ezekwesili took a swipe at the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying they were both responsible for the increased amount of poverty in the country.

She said rather than proferring solutions to the nation’s problems, both parties are busy trading blames.

Read Also: Buhari Attends COAS Conference, Visits Wounded Soldiers In Borno

“When that news came out that Nigeria has become the world capital of poverty, I expected that the government in office would have been outraged at the condition of the citizens.

“Instead of being outraged, that government, which is the government of President Muhammadu Buhari began to blame others for the situation and then, their twin party known as PDP that makes up the APC, PDP family began to throw its own blame and say we did not create any situation instead of worrying about the poor,” she said.

The ACPN candidate had stated that a major area that her administration will focus on if she is elected as president in 2019 is poverty alleviation.

She says her administration will work towards lifting over 80 million Nigerians out of poverty and providing equal opportunities for all.

2019: Why I Adopted ‘Meet The People On The Street’ Strategy – Ezekwesili

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on Sunday took her campaign to the streets of Abuja, where she spoke one-on-one with residents ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The campaign kicked off at Shoprite in the Apo arear of he FCT, with Ezekwesili stating that Nigeria is progressing at a slow pace due to mismanagement of resources by the people that have been entrusted with leadership.

She went further to explain that she adopted the street campaign strategy because she believes it is a disruptive strategy that would make money unnecessary during the campaigns.

According to her, she adopted the strategy to prove to people, who had been asking her about her structure, that she had it in the streets.

“What we are doing is distribution because a lot of people do say, ‘where is your structure?’

“The issue is that it is the distribution problem that we need to tackle; get the message to the people, who then get the message to other people. That is what we are doing and you can see how successful it has been so far.

“This is a disruptive strategy; it is a strategy that is going to make money unnecessary to the extent that it (money) will no longer matter in elections,” she said.

Furthermore, the BBOG co-convener explained her reasons for going into politics saying, “My entry into politics is to change a lot of things. The idea that you go and embezzle so much money and then you use it to buy an office through politics in order to embezzle yet another round of money must end.

“So, we are a low budget campaign. You see what I’m doing? Some of the people who are used to the old traditional system will not understand it. But wait and see. Just wait and see what is going to happen.

“This strategy is working. It is going to work well because the person with the message is superior to the person with the money. The strategy that we have adopted is a very solid strategy.”

Read Also: Ezekwesili Calls For Re-Assessment Of Nigeria’s Anti-Terrorism Strategy

During the campaign, the former Minister of Education, also distributed booklets containing her policy action while trying to convince the residents that she is the best candidate among those parading themselves for the job.

She asked them to only cast their votes for her in the forthcoming presidential election.

“It is not going to be about me, it’s going to be about the Nigerian people sustaining it. This is the movement of the Nigerian people and I’m the candidate of the Nigerian people. I’m not the candidate of the political class. So, my campaign has a strategy to it and just keep waiting and seeing how it is going to unfold,” Ezekwesili added.

Ezekwesili Sees ‘No Difference’ Between Buhari, Atiku

 

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, says there is no difference between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar.

While delivering a speech on Monday titled, ‘To those who say we cannot win: Unveiling the Oby Ezekwesili Roadmap to 2019‘, in Lagos, she described both men as ‘Siamese twins’.

According to her, she decided to run for president in order to permanently terminate the cycle of bad leadership in Nigeria.

She said President Buhari who is the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku who is running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have similar traits and don’t necessarily have anything new to offer Nigerians.

“For those of you considering the PDP as an alternative, I really want to ask you, what is the thing that you see about them that is any different from the APC?

“These people are the same. They are the Siamese twins of failure.

“Fellow Nigerians, here is the truth of the matter, the APC, PDP is not two parties.

“The APC, PDP is a single party, fielding one single candidate and that candidate’s name is ‘Butiku’,” she said.

Speaking further, Ezekwesili called on Nigerians to support her candidacy saying she “is one of the very small tribe of Nigerians who have served in government but who have no allegation of corruption against them”.

Among her campaign promises is to lift millions of poor Nigerians out of poverty into progress and prosperity.