Obiageli Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), says differences in values and vision with her party was behind her decision to step down from the presidential race.
Ezekwesili announced her withdrawal from the race on her twitter handle on Thursday.
She said the actions of the ACPN, following her withdrawal, has made Nigerians aware of the reasons she ended her membership of the party.
Hours after her withdrawal, Abdul-Ganiyu Galladima, the national chairman of ACPN accused Ezekwesili of not showing commitment to the party.
Galladima claimed that the former World Bank was in the race to secure the position of finance minister.
The party also endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for reelection.
Ezekwesili said in a statement on Friday that: “I was delighted to read reactions of real patriots to my announcement that I’ve decided to withdraw from the 2019 Presidential race nd end my membership of 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 realizing 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 mobilize citizens to disrupt the old order politics of APCPDP.
“Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a New Order of ethical, competent and capable leadership which I had mistakenly assumed the ACPN was aligned with me to offer, 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. 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.”
Ezekwesili denied the allegations against her by the leadership of the ACPN, describing them as “fabrications and outright lies”.
“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,” she said.
“Everything ACPN wrote or said of the campaign donations is fabrication&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 3-month old Campaign for the 2019 presidential election to the public.
“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.”