- Eunice Atuejide, the presidential candidate of NIP, has withdrawn from Saturday, February 23 elections
- Atuejide said she would support the PDP's presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to win at the polls
- The candidate, however, said that she would use legal actions to stop President Buhari from being sworn in if he wins the election
The presidential candidate of the National Interest Party (NIP), Eunice Atuejide, has withdrawn from the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections.
Premium Times reports that Atuejide said in a statement she released on Wednesday morning, February 20, that she stepped down from the election because her race for the presidency was programmed to end on February 16.
Legit.ng gathered that she said the presidential election proposed to hold on Saturday, February 23, due to the last-minute postponement by INEC did not involve her.
“Therefore, the presidential election proposed to hold on 23rd February 2019 due to the last-minute postponement by INEC does not involve me,” she said.
Atuejide, who is the founder and chairperson of the NIP said the race is now between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
She said she is now committed to supporting Abubakar of the PDP whom she considers a better candidate.
“I choose to fight for the benefit of every Nigerian on the side of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I cannot defend PDP for giving us bad leadership from 1999 to 2015, yet I cannot help but blame the APC for doing a much worse job from 2015 to 2019.
“Plus, whether we call them PDP, APC, PPA, ANN, YPP, or NIP, we are all the same people moving from one political platform to the other in search of a place to speak out and be heard.
“To my mind, the political party platform is not the real issue nonetheless, it’s either Alhaji Atiku Abubakar under the PDP or President Buhari under the APC this time. I make bold to state unequivocally that I stand with Atiku under the PDP this time."
Atuejide who has never concealed her criticism of President Buhari and his government, explained why she would use legal actions to “stop” Buhari from being sworn in if he wins the election.
She said one of the reasons she was supporting Atiku was his choice of vice president.
“Mr Abubakar picked an amazing VP. In fact, even though I have never met or spoken to Peter Obi, it is thanks to him that I am today the founder and national chairman of a youth-led, digitally organised political party (NIP).
"His exemplary leadership as Governor of Anambra state led me and several of my team members to politics," Atuejide said.
Atuejide’s withdrawal further reduces the number of women in the presidential race.
With 91 political parties now, many believed women had a better chance compared to their five previous outings at the presidential polls.
Some of the women who have withdrawn but will still be on the ballot include a former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili, and Rabia Cengiz of the National Action Council (NAC) and now Atuejide.
No woman has emerged president, vice president or elected governor in the 19 years of Nigeria’s recent democracy.
Since 1999, women have not reached 10 per cent representation in government, a fact sheet by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) shows.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) drummed support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid ahead of Saturday, February 23, presidential election.
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