Former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress for Progressive Nigeria, Obiageli Ezekwesili has said her decision to withdraw from the presidential race was to provide a stronger coalition to unseat incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari at the February 16 presidential election.
"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 on Thursday morning.
"This coalition for a viable alternative has now more than ever before become an urgent mission for and on behalf of the citizenry."
Ezekwesili, who was a Nigeria education minister and former World Bank vice president for Africa, said it was time to collectively fight for the country.
According to her, "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 decision to withdraw from the presidential race has caused some disagreement with her party, whom she said were against coalition talks with other presidential candidates as Ezekwesili suggested.
"Despite disagreements within 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 and focusing on building the coalition once and for all," Ezekwesili said.
The party, ACPN, however, disagreed with her claims and alleged that Ezekwesili's presidential ambition was for her personal gains.
ACPN said, "she (Ezekwesili) only wanted to use the platform of the ACPN to negotiate to be Nigeria's finance minister".
The party thereafter endorsed Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.