One of the main candidates in next month’s Nigerian presidential election and The woman who led the global campaign to free Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists is dropping out of the race for Nigeria’s presidency.
Oby Ezekwesili is well known for leading the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to help free the 276 girls kidnapped from Chibok, northern Nigeria, in 2014.
She co-founded Transparency International and has served as the education minister and vice-president of the World Bank.
But in a surprise statement on Thursday morning, she said she was committed to building a coalition that would offer Nigerians a viable alternative to the two major parties – the governing All Progressive’s Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
She added that she had come to her decision following consultations with Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.
She said in a series of tweets Thursday that she plans to focus on building a “strong and viable” opposition coalition to challenge Nigeria’s two main political parties before the Feb. 16 vote.
Election campaigns in Nigeria are notoriously expensive to run and female candidates often struggle to raise the required funds.
Ms Ezekwesili had set up an online funding page at the beginning of her campaign, urging members of the public to donate to her efforts.
As of Thursday morning the page had raise slightly more $6,000 (£4,559), less than half of her stated goal.