- Former presidential candidate of the ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has replied her former party over corruption allegations
- According to the former minister, the allegation that her presidential race was aimed at getting a ministerial appointment or enriching her pocket was false
- The former minister of education also denied allegations of ‘looting’ her campaign donations
- Ezekwesili who has since stepped down from the presidential race has said she is set to form a coalition to unseat the PDP and the APC
Oby Ezekwesili, a former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), has denied the allegation that her presidential race was aimed at getting a ministerial appointment or enriching her pocket.
Premium Times reports that she made this known while addressing the press on Monday, February 4, in Abuja.
Legit.ng gathered that she was reacting to allegations levelled against her by her former party claiming her earlier ambition to become president was a ruse.
Ezekwesili stepped down from the presidential race about two weeks ago but her party has since declared support for President Muhammadu Buhari. Despite stepping down, she said she is set to form a coalition to unseat the ”two big parties.”
The ACPN alleged that her race was to get a ministerial appointment and that she had party property still in her possession including cash donated for her campaign.
Ekwesili said since her stepping down as a minister in 2007, she has turned down ministerial offers from successive administrations "so she doesn’t need that.”
”Why would I go through the pains of launching a presidential campaign to negotiate for a role I last occupied twelve years ago and have thrice rejected since?”
Ekwesili served as minister of education under former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
She describes the allegations as the ”height of political comedy.” Ezekwesili also denied allegations of ‘looting’ her campaign donations.
“Only morally bankrupt politics can make anyone even imagine such accusation against me,” she said. She said the allegations were desperate attempts by the ACPN leadership to slander her.
“Such mud-raking tactics is the reason why our best minds abstain from offering themselves up for political office thus leaving the worst of us to lead the rest.”
She said this would not stop her from pushing for a better Nigeria. She said this is because her dedication to public accountability is widely known.
Speaking on the campaign finances, she said her campaign deputy director, who identified himself as Ini, gave a breakdown of her campaign finance covering both income and expenditure.
Ini said the full details would be up on her campaign site @Oby2019.com.
“No matter how much we had hoped to raise as campaign support from the public, we designed an accounting system to go beyond the minimum of accountability required by the Electoral Act.
“For example, the accounting function and system were separate from my candidacy. It was independently managed for the campaign,” she said.
Appreciating her supporters who donated to her campaign, the former minister asked them not to believe these “vicious lies”.
She pleaded for forgiveness and understanding from those who believed she disappointed them by her withdrawal, adding that the move was for a greater cause.
Reacting to the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that her withdrawal was too late, she admitted this was so.
She said, “based on the Electoral Act, the time has elapsed for withdrawal, so the law still sees me as a presidential candidate.”
Ezekwesili said having suspended her campaign, she would work in the days ahead to ensure her supporters cast their votes instead for a consensus candidate ”who will emerge from the coalition of willing credible alternatives in the coming days.”
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Speaking of her plans for the future, she said it was time for her team members to get some rest, ”and return to their professional work.”
But as a citizen, she said she had two big priorities going forward. ”The first is FixPoliticsDotOrg, a values-based movement to disrupt our politics and reconstruct this country and the establishment of a multi-partisan school of politics and governance,” she said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Ezekwesili, described the allegation by the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Galadima that she was never really serious about her presidential ambition as baseless.
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