Oby Ezekwesili decided to withdraw to help build a coalition. One of the main candidates for next month’s Nigerian presidential election has stepped down because she says she wants to form a larger coalition to defeat the two main parties.

Oby Ezekwesili is well known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help release the 276 abducted girls in Chibok, northern Nigeria, in 2014.

She co-founded Transparency International and served as Minister of Education and Vice President of the World Bank. But in a surprise statement on Thursday morning, it pledged to build a coalition that would offer Nigerians a viable alternative to Nigeria’s two main parties: The All Progressive Congress (APC) in power and the popular opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“I decided to withdraw from the presidential race and focus on building a Coalition for a viable alternative to the APC and the PDP in the 2019 general election,” Oby Ezekwesili tweeted.

His decision appears to follow the reactions of Nigerian citizens to the 2019 presidential debate held on Saturday, January 19, 2019. She added that she had reached her decision following consultations with Nigerians in the country and in the diaspora.

In a series of tweets that followed the announcement, she admitted that her party, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, disagreed with her choice. “Despite disagreements within the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria on these and other issues, I have decided that it is now necessary to show by action and example my determination on this issue by giving up my candidacy and focusing once and for all on the construction of the coalition”.

Election campaigns in Nigeria are excessively expensive and candidates often struggle to raise the necessary funds, Mayeni Jones explains.

Ms. Ezekwesili had created an online crowdfunding page at the beginning of her campaign, inviting the public to donate to support her campaign. Thursday morning, the page had raised just over $6,000, less than half of its intended goal.

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