News Brief

Oby Ezekwesili, Leader of #BringBackOurGirls, Withdraws from Nigerian Presidential Race

The former government minister says she's focusing on building a coalition to challenge the election's main candidates.

The Nigerian elections are just under a month away, and the race is only intensifying.

Today, one of the election's main opposition candidates, Oby Ezekwesili, known for her leadership on the 2014 #BringBackOurGirls campaign, has withdrawn from the race just 23 days before the election on February 16.


According to a report from Reuters, Ezekwesili has removed her name in order to help build a coalition that aims to present a viable candidate to challenge the presidential frontrunners: incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All People's Congress and former vice president and leader of the People's Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who is running an a platform of economic renewal.

She was the only woman running for office in the 2019 election.

"I have decided to step down from the presidential race and focus on helping to build a coalition for a viable alternative to the #APCPDP in the 2019 general," said Ezekwesili in a tweet.

Ezekwesili was one of that three candidates that took part in the tempestuous presidential debate in Abuja last Saturday, which both Buhari and Abubakar failed to show up for. Though she was not considered one of the frontrunners of the race, her withdrawal still comes as a surprise to some.

The politician added that she came to the decision to withdraw her name after observing responses from citizens following the debate, and consulting with fellow leaders.

The accomplished former government minister, is also the cofounder of Transparency International, an anti-corruption organization. She was considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her anti-corruption work.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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