The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the declaration by Obiageli Ezekwesili, the Presidential Candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, that she is withdrawing from the February 16 Presidential election.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Thursday in Abuja said in reaction to Ezekwesili’s declaration that it was late for any candidate to withdraw from the race.
“It is impossible for any Presidential Candidate to withdraw from the race now.
“According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections, the last day for withdrawal by Candidates or replacement of withdrawn Candidates by political parties was November 17, 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
“Therefore, the deadline for Ezekwesili or any Candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed,” Oyekanmi said.
Ezekwesili on Thursday morning announced her withdrawal from the race.
In a statement issued by the Spokesman of her Hope “19 Campaign Organisation, Ozioma Ubabukoh, Ezekwesili explained that she stepped down after due consultations with well-meaning Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
Ezekwesili added that she decided to withdraw in order to help to build a coalition to defeat the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.
According to her, the action is also prompted by an examination of the country’s electoral environment sequel to the 2019 Presidential debate of Saturday, January 19.
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