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Consequently, he said the party had withdrawn its support for her and thereafter, endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, who they believe would take the nation to the next level.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