Chibok girls champion enters race for Nigerian presidency


Former Nigerian minister Obiageli Ezekwesili, co-founder of a group to raise awareness about more than 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, announced on Sunday that she will stand as a candidate in next year’s presidential elections.

55 year old Ezekwesili,  a former vice president for Africa at the World Bank, said she would run as the candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). Nigeria’s presidential election is scheduled to take place in February 2019.

Between 2000 and 2007,  she served in the government of Nigeria, first as minerals minister and later education minister.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015, has been selected by the ruling party as its candidate while the main opposition People’s Democratic Party selected former vice president Atiku Abubakar at its convention on Sunday.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country and is also the world’s top oil producer. However, from early last year it experienced a recession. The growth levels in the country since then, remain slow and inflation has remained high, above the central bank’s single-digit target range. Governance in the country keeps worsening.

Obiageli Ezekwesili is one of the founders of civil society organisation Transparency International,  she was considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her anti-corruption work.

She is  also known more recently for her work as co-founder of Bring Back Our Girls, a campaign which seeks to raise awareness about some 270 girls who were kidnapped from their school in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok in April 2014 by Islamist group Boko Haram.

The campaign brought international attention to the girls’ plight.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *