The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria ACPN has reacted to the withdrawal of its Presidential Candidate, Dr Oby Ezekwesili from the February 16 Presidential Elections.
Ezekwesili in a statement on Thursday morning said she stepped aside from the presidential race to help build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 16, 2019 election.
According to her, her decision to withdraw from the race followed extensive discussions with Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora and an examination of the country’s electoral environment sequel to the 2019 presidential debate.
But reacting the party in a press conference on Thursday while accusing Dr Ezekwesili of using it’s platform to negotiate a ministerial position in the next political dispensation said Ezekwesili did not consult them before withdrawing from the race.
Addressing the press, party’s National Chairman and running mate to Dr Ezekwesili, Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, National Secretary, Chief Paul Isamede, Deputy National Chairman, South, Otunba Bosun Omosule and his counterpart for the North, Alhaji Ibrahim Goronyo said they received with consternation but not surprising Ezekwesili’s withdrawal which was to preempt the decision that the party would have reached after its meeting on Thursday.
The party added that they intended to withdraw her candidacy and give to somebody else.
“She only preempted the decision we would have reached today which was to withdraw her candidacy and give to somebody else.
“Our presidential nomination ticket is ₦10 million and expression of interest is ₦500, 000 but when she came she said she did not have money, that she only had ₦100, 000 and because we wanted to encourage women, we gave her our platform”, said Mr Galadima.
” The ACPN has declared it’s support for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress APC.
“The reason for calling this press conference is to let the world know about the presidential aspiration of Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, which in actual fact, is not the truth. We have been put into confidence by several of her aides one of which is named lyinoluwa Aboyeji also known as Maureen, that she only wanted to use the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria ACPN to negotiate to be Nigeria’s Finance minister.
”This she did not deem fit to inform the party whose mandate she is holding. If you will observe, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, is the only presidential candidate who was so militant in her campaign without any tangible thing on the ground to indicate any seriousness in the prosecution of her campaign. No campaign secretariat, billboard or great commitment on the ground to indicate any seriousness.
“It is on this ground that the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria ACPN is withdrawing support for her presidential aspiration and endorsing the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari to take Nigeria to the next level.
“We also seek this medium to I form our former presidential candidate Dr Ezekwesili to return to the party all the property in her possession especially the various donations that she has been receiving from all over the world. Whatever she had received belongs to the party and we must render account to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC. So, it is mandatory. We are aware of all the accounts she and her aides had opened for this election to which donations were made”, the party added.