INEC rejects Ezekwesili’s withdrawal from presidential race

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The Independent National Electoral Commission says it is too late for any candidate to withdraw from elections.

“It is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the race now. According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties was 17th November 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections”, said Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman in a statement.

Similarly, the Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said since it had released its final list of candidates last week, it had become too late for anybody to withdraw, adding that the logo of the parties would still appear on the ballot paper come February 16.

Osaze-Uzzi said, “According to the Electoral Act, there is a time for withdrawal and that time has passed.  We have published a list of candidates and on election day, these are the parties that you will see. It is too late.”

Ezekwesili, who is a former Minister of Education, had on Thursday announced her withdrawal from the Presidential election, insisting that she would rather form a coalition with like minds in order to win the election.

The Presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Mr. Fela Durotoye, had also said that he would be willing to step down like Ezekwesili in order to form a coalition that could defeat the incumbent.

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