Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation leader and significant opposition leader, has weighed in on the controversial withdrawal of Oby Ezekwesili from the 2019 presidential race.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent on Friday, January 26, 2019, Chief Fani-Kayode said that the former World Bank vice president was a stooge for the ruling All Progressives Congress and was only in the race to spoil the chances of Atiku Abubakar.
“Oby Ezekwesili has finally opted out of a presidential race in which she had little chance of winning even one per cent of the votes,” he wrote.
“It would have been easier for a pregnant Somalian chimpanzee or a four-eyed Zambian frog to be invited to Buckingham Palace for lunch with the Queen than for this so-called ‘presidential aspirant’ to win one polling booth, let alone one ward or one Local Government Area, in the race.”
Fani-Kayode also highlighted the fact that Dr. Ezekwesili’s running mate, Mr. Ganiu Galadimi, hurridly endorsed the incumbent president, General Muhammadu Buhari soon after her announcement that she had quit the race and said it “speaks volumes”.
“The fact that Oby’s running mate, one Galadima, and her political party endorsed Buhari three hours after she opted out of the race speaks volumes,” he wrote further.
“She, Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore were clearly spoiler candidates who were on a malevolent errand of mischief, who were never to be taken seriously and whose hearts secretly lay with the tyrant all along.
“I have no doubt that those who claim that Oby and the other “not too young to run” presidential aspirants, with the possible exception of Kingsley Moghalu, were just a front for Buhari and a futile attempt to take votes away from Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.”
He also lauded former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for his decision to boycott the presidential debate and not engage the three candidates who showed up for the race, Ezekwesili, a former Central Bank deputy governor, Kingsely Moghalu, and Femi Durotoye, a motivational speaker.
“The wisdom of Atiku refusing to participate in a debate with these unconciable jokers and desperate pretenders cannot be faulted or questioned,” Chief Fani-Kayode said.
“They did not deserve the attention that they so desperately sought and their motives for participating in the presidential race are, to say the least, questionable.
“The only one amongst them that had anything meaningful to say or to offer and that spoke from the heart and with full sincerity of purpose was George Moghalu. This is a deeply courageous man that I have come to respect.
“Nevertheless, I urge him to opt out of the race and throw his weight behind Atiku. This is not Kingsley’s time, but something tells me that sometime in the distant future he has a date with destiny.”
‘Ezekwesili’s Presidential Bid Was A Hidden Negotiation For Finance Minister’ – ACPN
Leadership of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, has criticised its former presidential candidate, Obiageli Ezekwesili, for withdrawing from the election which holds next month.
In a statement obtained by The Trent on Thursday, January 24, 2019 signed by Gani Galadima, the national chairman of the party and other party leaders, it alleged that the presidential aspiration of the former minister “was not real”.
“The reason for calling this press conference is to let the world know about the presidential aspiration of Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, which is in actual fact, is not the truth,” the statement read.
The party also exposed a possible traitor in the Ezekwesili camp who may have exposed her true intentions for running for president to the party chairman.
“I have been put into confidence by one of her aide name Iyinoluwa Aboyeji that she only wanted to use the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, to negotiate to be Nigeria finance minister,” the statement read further.
“This she does not deem fit to inform the party whose mandate she is holding.”
The party accused Ezekwesili of taking the decision to withdraw from the presidential race without informing the ACPN leadership whose mandate she was holding.
It also alleged that the former minister was not serious with her presidential ambition as she only showed very little commitment to it.
“If you will observe, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili is the only presidential candidate who is so militant in her campaign without any tangible thing on the ground to indicate any seriousness in the prosecution of her campaign. No campaign secretariat, billboard, or great commitment on the ground to indicate seriousness.
“It is on this ground that the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, is withdrawing support for her presidential aspiration and endorsing the second term bid of President Muhammad Buhari to take Nigerians to the next level,” the statement read.
The party explained further that it was for these reasons that it decided to withdraw its support for the presidential campaign of the former minister.
It added that it has endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari who it noted would “take the nation to the next level”.
Other ACPN leaders who signed the statement are Paul Isamade, national secretary, Bosun Omosule, deputy national chairman (South), and Ibrahim Goronyo, deputy national chairman (North).
The party issued the statement hours after Dr. Ezekwesili announced her withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled to hold on February 16.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent by the spokesperson of her campaign organisation, Ozioma Ubabukoh, she said the decision followed extensive consultations with leaders from various walks of life across the country over the past few days.
The former minister explained that she stepped down from the race to help build a coalition to prevent the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning the election.