Former Minister of Education in Nigeria Oby Ezekwesili is the latest Nigerian to join the presidential race ahead of the West African country’s 2019 elections.
Ezekwesili announced her intention to run on Sunday in a statement.
“I want to run for, and win, the 2019 presidential election to serve and put the citizens first by mobilizing and taking decisive actions on a number of big ideas that will help all of us build an exceptional nation.
“Governance keeps worsening. So we the citizens have decided to get into the political arena to make things right,” she said, without saying on which party’s platform she planned to run.
However, reports later said she had emerged the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria.
According to the party’s chairman, Ganiu Galadima, who spoke during the 2018 national convention of the party in Abuja, Ezekwesili is the best among the current presidential candidates.
“We appreciate Mrs Ezekwesili for pitching her tent with the party and we have resolved to work with her,” he said.
Ezekwesili is a former vice president for Africa at the World Bank and co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls, a group created to raise awareness about some 200 girls kidnapped by extremist group Boko Haram in 2014. She also co-founded Transparency International, one of the world’s top think tanks whose purpose is to take action to combat global corruption.
The former minister has been a critic of the present administration, noting earlier in the year that her political agenda for 2019 is to stop the ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning elections.
“Enough is enough,” she wrote on Twitter in January.
“My political agenda is simple. I shall actively campaign against APC and PDP in the 2019 elections except in rare cases where they field new minds with a strong record of public interest.
“I shall actively campaign for the best candidates of all other parties in the elections.
“My individual effort to campaign against APC and PDP in the 2019 elections may not amount to much, but it is at least a definite expression of my personal conviction,” she wrote.
Both parties confirmed their candidates on Sunday, with the APC sticking with President Muhammadu Buhari to run for re-election and the PDP choosing former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to represent the party.
“My conviction is that it is time to end the tyranny of rulership of a wicked minority political elite class,” she added.
With the new development, Ezekwesili will not only be campaigning against Nigeria’s two largest parties and political bigwigs, but she will be running against them.
Nigeria’s general elections hold on 16 February 2019.