Former vice president of the World Bank and presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has stepped down from the 2019 presidential race.
“Following the reactions of Nigerian citizens at home and abroad to the 2019 Presidential Debate held on Saturday 19 January 2019, and after extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days, I have decided to step down from the presidential race and focus on helping to build a Coalition for a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the 2019 general elections,” Ezekwesili said in a statement she personally signed.
Back story: Ezekwesili was one of the last entrants into the presidential race, but as election day approaches, her candidacy – just like those of most third party candidates – has failed to get enough traction to upset the two leading candidates. Ezekwesili who was at the presidential debate last Saturday alongside Kingsley Moghalu of the YPP and Fela Durotoye of the ANN may now be looking at endorsing one of her former opponents.
She said in her statement that she has been in private extended talks with other candidates over the past three months “to make a coalition possible that would allow Nigerians to exercise choice without feeling helplessly saddled with the #APCPDP. In doing so, I have not hesitated to offer my willingness to step down my candidacy in order to facilitate the emergence of a strong and viable alternative behind which Nigerians can line up in our collective search for a new beginning.”
Her party not 100% on board: She said in her statement that there has been “disagreements” within her party on the issue of forming a coalition, but she has “decided that it is now necessary to show by action and example my determination on this issue by stepping down my candidacy and focusing on building the coalition once and for all.”
Bottom line: The election still showcases a very crowded field of candidates, the largest in the country’s history.