BREAKING: INEC Rejects Ezekwesili's Withdrawal From Presidential Race
The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has turned down the withdrawal request of the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili.
The commission said it is impossible for any candidate at this stage to withdraw from the presidential election.
INEC stated that it was acting on the Electoral Act which stipulates that a candidate would only withdraw from the race no less that 45 days to the date of elections.
The spokesperson of INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated this in reaction to the statement earlier on Thursday by Ezekwesili, that she was withdrawing from the poll.
Ezekwesili said she was withdrawing so as to help form a coalition against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the general elections.
The ACPN leadership, including Ezekwesili’s running mate and party’s Chairman , Gani Galadima, disowned her and announced they would be joining the campaign for the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
In line with the commission’s timetable for the election, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties for the presidential and National Assembly elections was November 30, 2018.
“It is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the race now,” Oyekanmi said.
“Therefore, the deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed,” he said.
INEC said Ezekwesili’s withdrawal changes nothing as her party and name will still appear on the ballot.
“Her party will appear, her passport will appear and her name will appear. So it doesn’t change anything as far as we are concerned,” Oyekanmi said