Giving a reason for her action, Ezekwesili said her decision to step down was in a bid to help build a coalition viable of defeating the All Progressive Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party in the election.
“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,” a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Obiageli Ezekwesili Presidential Campaign Organization, Ozioma Ubabukoh and obtained by Naija News read.
“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.”
“This coalition for a viable alternative has now more than ever before become an urgent mission for and on behalf of the citizenry,” the statement read in part.
Moments after the news of her withdrawal broke, Nigerians took to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to air their opinions on the matter with some applauding her decision to help build a coalition while others questioned the timing of her withdrawal, saying she only came into the race to gain political relevance and also gain financially.
Following in the same line, Lauretta Onochie, the Personal Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Social Media, said Ezekwesili chickened out after watching the mammoth crowd that continues to receive President Buhari across the nation.
Her words: “Oby Ezekwesili, the Presidential Candidate of ACPN, has chickened out after watching the mammoth crowd that continues to receive Mr Integrity across the nation, she has pulled out of the Presidential Race, letting her followers down. Buhari will never let us down.”
Oby Ezekwesili, the Presidential Candidate of ACPN, has chickened out.
After watching The mammoth crowd that continues to receive Mr. Integrity across the nation, she has pulled out of the Presidential Race, letting her followers down.@MBuhari will never let us down. pic.twitter.com/EXzphsYxFy
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) January 24, 2019