The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it is impossible for any candidate to withdraw at this stage with the elections due to hold on February 16.
Spokesperson of INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated this in reaction to the statement earlier on Thursday by the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili, that she was withdrawing from the poll.
“It is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the race now.
“Therefore, the deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed,” Mr Oyekanmi said.
In line with the commission’s timetable for the election, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties for the presidential and National Assembly elections was November 17, 2018.
Mrs Ezekwesili said she was withdrawing so as to help form a coalition against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the general elections.
She said her decision was taken despite resistance from her party, which has now declared support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
But INEC said Ezekwesili’s withdrawal changes nothing as her party and name will still appear on the ballot.
“Her party will appear, her passport will appear and her name will appear. So it doesn’t change anything as far as we are concerned,” Oyekanmi said.