Former Minister of Education Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili has explained why she withdrew from the presidential race on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria ( ACPN).
The party, she alleged, refused to embrace the new political values and mindset aimed at dislodging the dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She said she sacrificed her presidential ambition to protect the values of transformational leadership she holds dear.
Ezekwesili, in a statement on Friday from Cabo, Mexico where she is attending Albert Einstein’s Genius100 Visionaries meeting, also accused the party of engaging in “transactional politics.”
Titled “No amount of lies can stop the emergence of a new political mindset and order”, the former World Bank Vice President, in the statement, said “Some hours ago, I arrived far flung Cabo in Mexico where our Albert Einstein’s Genius100 Visionaries meeting is holding. I was delighted to read reactions of real patriots to my announcement that I have decided to withdraw from the 2019 presidential race and end my membership of the 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 realising 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 mobilise citizens to disrupt the old order politics of APC/PDP.
“Nigeria and Nigerians deserve a new order of ethical, competent and capable leadership. I had earlier assumed the ACPN was aligned with me to offer that, until it proved otherwise.”
She went on: “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.”
She faulted ACPN’s decision to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari following her withdrawal from the race, saying it reflects the “political entrepreneurship” mindset of the party.
According to her: “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.
“All who know me can attest that I detest transactional mindset. 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.”
On allegations she cornered funds raised for the campaign, the former Minister said: “I want Nigerians to know that there is no iota of truth in any of them.
“Everything ACPN wrote or said of the campaign donations is fabrication and 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.”
She promised to address a world press conference upon arrival in Nigeria to offer further insights into the intrigues that trailed her presidential bid.