A former presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has denied allegation that she stepped down from her presidential quest for a promise of ministerial appointment by an unnamed presidential candidate.
She told newsmen on Monday in Abuja that she denied similar offers from successive administration after Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s, where she served as both Minister of Steel Development and Minister of Education, respectively.
She said the allegation are ‘height of political comedy’ wondering why she would go through the pains of launching a presidential campaign to negotiate for a role she last occupied 12 years ago and have thrice rejected since after.
She also denied allegation that she did not only raise but also looted her campaign donations, saying it was only morally bankrupt politics that can make anyone even imagine such accusation against her and that the allegation by ACPN leaders was their desperate attempt to slander her.
“One of the more laughable moments of the past week was hearing allegations that my presidential candidacy was a scheme to negotiate for a ministerial role.
“This is the height of political comedy, I must say. Here are the facts that speak for themselves. Since I resigned as a cabinet minister in 2007, it is known that I have declined offers by different governments to serve as a minister again.
“Why would I then 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 after?
“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. It won’t and can never stop me,” she said.
She asked for forgiveness and understanding from those she said, believed in her dream for disappointing them by dumping her presidential ambition.
Reacting to the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that her withdrawal was of no effect giving the timing, Ezekwesili admitted that based on the Electoral Act, the time has elapsed for withdrawal so the law still sees her as a presidential candidate.
“My lawyers have officially written to INEC in a symbolic gesture to make them aware of my separation from ACPN,” she said.
She said the ACPN leadership were demanding she used her international connection to raise fund for them adding that they thought she had some monies somewhere being a former minister.