The former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party (ACP) of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili has begged every Nigerian she hurt or disappointed with her withdrawal from the race.
The former minister of Education, who issued a formal statement on her decision to withdraw from the 2019 presidential race in a world press conference on Monday said she couldn’t compromise her integrity for politics.
According to her, she isn’t a professional politician, and as such will go back to her career now that she’s no longer running for office – unlike the average politician, whose only job is politics.
In a statement via Twitter on Monday, Ezekwesili thanked all her supporters, and addressed allegations that she used her candidacy to negotiate for a ministerial position.
The press statement reads:
“It has been an interesting one week since I made the tough but necessary decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency. I have been truly overwhelmed by the reactions to my announcement from Nigerians.
Even in airports outside the country as I travelled last week, Nigerians walked up to me with questions, concerns, encouragement, and motivation.
I also saw disappointment by some who had poured their hearts and hopes into actualising our mission to #Fight4Naija, bring back hope to our land and lift 80 million fellow citizens out of extreme poverty.
I ask for the forgiveness and understanding of all who are hurt by my withdrawal from the race even as I take comfort in the fact that they would agree with my choosing to stand with my values rather than compromise.
Thank you to the young people who accepted and owned our campaign, to the women – my sisters and comrades – who worked and walked with me, to every believer and supporter from different tribes, states, religions and walks of life.
Millions of our citizens who followed our campaign on multiple platforms across the country can attest that we ran a promising campaign uniquely designed to be disruptive.
We adopted a decentralized messaging strategy for maximum reach and impact. Our campaign was also appreciated by citizens for being empowering of the voters in contrast to the traditional campaigns that rob the largely poor electorate of their dignity.
I have never been one to go into a new venture without first measuring the odds, counting the cost or taking stock. My candidacy was no different.
Even though I was the latest to throw my hat in the ring, the campaign was not slack because we believed in the power of Nigerians to take their destiny in their own hands.
It was a testament to our hard work in such a short time that whenever top candidates in the race were mentioned, my candidacy was always highlighted after those of the two-in-one dominant parties which make up the old political class in the country.
We took our hopeful message to at least 15 states and created a unique retail driven campaign that resonated with Nigerians.
One of the more laughable moments of the past week was hearing allegations that my presidential candidacy was a scheme to negotiate for a ministerial role. This is the height of political comedy, I must say.
In their mischief and desperation, they sought to blemish one of the finest and dearest of young people who gave his talent, time and treasure for my candidacy – the prodigiously talented Iyin Aboyeji.”