The head of the religious group in America known as
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, on Thursday, while reacting to the withdrawal of Oby Ezekwesili from the presidential race, pledged commitment to coalition talks for next month’s presidential election.
Oby Ezekwesili also pledged to work towards a coalition candidate to defeat Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, and the main opposition party, PDP.
However, in a statement late on Thursday, Mr Sowore commended the decision of Mrs Ezekwesili to step down from the presidential race.
Sowore said: “Earlier today, Dr Oby Ezekwesili stepped down from the presidential race. I want to thank Dr Ezekwesili for her service to the Nigerian nation. Her participation in the presidential race enriched the level of discourse and demonstrated that a new breed of committed and patriotic individuals, who are not part of the establishment parties, have emerged to offer Nigeria a new direction.
“Dr Ezekwesili’s departure from the presidential race and the renewal of her commitment to a progressive platform that will reclaim Nigeria from 20 years of corruption and inept leadership under the APC and PDP, has renewed calls from a broad section of Nigerians for coalition talks.
“I have always believed that it will take a true partnership of progressives and committed patriots to move this nation forward. It is not just politically pragmatic to do so, it is the way that I have always worked. Every political battle that I have waged on the behalf of the Nigerian people has been done through coalitions and partnerships. For instance, it took a coalition that involved the student’s movement, pro-democracy organizations, progressive politicians, human rights groups and labour unions to fight against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections. A similar coalition was necessary to force the military of our power and restore democracy in 1999. That is why the TakeItBack Movement and the African Action Congress have remained supportive of various efforts towards building a unified platform. We have never ceased talking, engaging and working with other organizations, parties and individuals, towards building a unifying platform.
“I also want to thank my brother Fela Durotoye for the public reaffirmation of his commitment to that process. It is important that Nigerians know that for the last 4 months my team and I have been in discussions at various times, under various auspices, with the Durotoye, Moghalu, Ezekwesili and Duke teams. I reaffirm my commitment to that effort.
“We will continue to push forward with our goal of reclaiming Nigeria, conscious of the fact that this is a vision that is shared by tens of millions of our fellow countrymen and women.’’