Obiageli Ezekwesili, presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), has described as baseless, the allegation by Abdul-Ganiyu Galadima, national chairman of the party, that she was never really serious about her presidential ambition.
Speaking through Ozioma Ubabukoh, her media aide, she said Galadima’s claim that she was contesting to negotiate to be minister of finance was a figment of his imagination.
Galadima was Ezekwesili’s running-mate until she announced her withdrawal from the race early on Thursday.
Ezekwesili said she withdrew from the race after due consultations with Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora.
She added that her decision to quit the race was informed by the need to help build a coalition to stop the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from winning.
She said neither APC nor PDP could provide the kind of governance needed to reposition the country .
Few hours after Ezekwesili’s withdrawal from the race, Galadima called a news conference, saying Ezekwesili had not shown the commitment to be president from the beginning.
He alleged that the former minister was just in the race to negotiate to be minister of finance and that she had kept the party in the dark about her real intention.
Galadima added that the candidate had used the platform of the party to get funds from donors, which she had not spent to show commitment to her ambition.
The ACPN chairman said having realised that Ezekwesili did not represent the interest of the party, the party was endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for re-election.
Ubabukoh dismissed Galadima’s claims, saying the candidate’s decision to withdraw from the race was taken to sacrifice her personal interests.
“All these allegations are figment of his imagination. They are baseless. The decision to withdraw from the race is in the interest of the nation. It should be the nation first before anything,” Ubabukoh said.
He said it was curious that Galadima, less than three hours after Ezekwesili’s withdrawal, endorsed Buhari and added that the action showed the ACPN chairman had long had a personal agenda and never believed in the idea to disrupt the status quo in country.
Ubabukoh said Ezekwesili would soon address a news conference where she would provide details about her withdrawal from the presidential race.