“I have fully persuaded myself to lead a people’s movement…” || Oby Ezekwesili announces presidential candidacy on ACPN platform, to run a #CitizensFirst campaign
Citizens advocate and former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, Obiageli ‘Oby’ Katryn Ezekwesili has formally declared her intention to run for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019.
In a statement released today, Ezekwesili who until recently led the #BringBackOurGirls pressure group as Co-convener, made her intentions known at a world press conference held in Abuja stating the compelling issues that informed her decision to contest for the highest political office in the nation.
Ezekwesili reiterated her oft-stated intention to build an army of patriots willing to pull down the stronghold that is the two failed dominant political parties in Nigeria – the #PDPAPC.
“Our people have hit a level of despondency that I have never seen before, and I am willing to put my career and reputation on the line. I will run for this the way I have done everything in my life – with values which are non-negotiable,” Ezekwesili said. “The pain of seeing us become a country where the worth of life is trending down to zero, sadness that we are now known as the world poverty capital with 87 million extremely poor Nigerians, anguish at the increase in the number of out-of-school children, trust in public officials completely waned, angst knowing that only 10 per cent out of 3-4 million young people entering the employment market every year will likely find jobs, and concern about the future of Nigeria as a strong indivisible nation – constitute a driving force for seeking the Office of the President.”
Ezekwesili affirmed that her Presidency will be anchored on a return to strong values, human capital development, sound policies, and institutional reforms.
“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 that our future generation will be proud to call their own,” she said.
Ezekwesili who recently made the shortlist of names for the Nobel Peace Prize by PRIO of Norway, owing to her “efforts in making the world more transparent and less corrupt”, plans to run an all-inclusive campaign that will change the direction and dynamics of politics in Nigeria permanently. She has been a staunch advocate of active citizenship highlighting the supremacy of the ‘Office of the Citizen’ in national development – a phrase she coined during the Generational Voices (GenVoices) youth mobilization project in 2014.
“I have fully persuaded myself to lead a people’s movement that will permanently terminate bad leadership, ethnic and religious divisions, mediocrity and failures,” she added while giving her rationale for taking the bold step. “We shall run together and win. That our political class continues with self-absorbed attitude of seeing power as an end in itself thereby producing no material improvement in the lives of citizens had compelled a change of direction for me. It is time to make citizens’ wellbeing the core focus of political leadership. It is time to reclaim our values that have become distorted and reduced Nigeria and Nigerians to ridicule by the rest of the world. It is time for leaders to offer exemplary and sacrificial service that will mobilize our people to build a cohesive, stable and prosperous society in which every Nigerian has a stake.”
An advocate for active citizenship, the former Federal Minister for Education and Solid Minerals calls all citizens to take part in the electioneering process with a view to choosing the right candidates at all levels.
“I want to see as many young people and women of character, competence, and capacity, join me in this race to birth the New Nigeria of our dreams by signing on to this movement so that we can together restore hope and assure progress and prosperity,” Ezekwesili stated.
“This candidacy is the citizens’ response to the decadence of the Siamese twins of bad governance that are best called #APCPDP. We have given them several opportunities since 1999 to set themselves right, but instead governance keeps worsening. So we the citizens have decided to get into the political arena to make things right. Enough is finally now enough.”
She is one of the co-founders of Transparency International, architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, pioneer head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit aka Due Process, pioneer Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) – leading the work on the legislation that created the initiative and first ever national implementation of the global EITI standards, key member of the Economic Team of the President between 2003 and 2007, and member of the Power Sector Reform Team which engineered the Power Sector Act of 2007.
Ezekwesili is running on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), a party registered in 2015 with fully established political structures across the country. ACPN which is committed to providing purposeful and united leadership for Nigeria, is part of a new order, maintaining its independence, integrity, and raw passion for building the New Nigeria of our dreams.
Tagged #Hope2019, Ezekwesili’s campaign train will take her to Nigerians of all ages, social class, ethnicity, and religious persuasions in hamlets, villages, communities, and cities across the country to deliver the message of hope, progress, and prosperity.