Aspirant for the 2019 presidential election, Dr Elishama Ideh, has reassured her supporters that shes still firmly in the race despite her commitment to the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) coalition.
Ideh was one of the 18 presidential aspirants who formed PACT and resolved to get behind one consensus candidate to contest against President Muhammadu Buhari in next year's election.
Last week, leadership expert and business coach, Fela Durotoye, was elected the consensus candidate even though it led to the exit of a few members of the group, most notably Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who expressed reservations about the electoral process.
At the end of last week's election, only nine aspirants, including Ideh, were left in PACT with many unsure of its future.
While the coalition sorts outs its issues, Ideh has assured her followers that the motivations that fueled her to seek interest in the president's seat is still keeping her in the race.
This was disclosed in a press statement issued by the spokesperson of the Elishama Ideh Presidential Campaign Organisation, Tomide Olukuade, at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.
Olukuade said Ideh's ambition has always been spurred by her desire to help the most helpless portion of the populace.
"Having seen the very face of poverty and mastered its workings within this space, an overwhelming burden developed within her to curtail its corrosive effect on a nation that is potentially rich but practically poor; impoverished by a leadership lacking in vision, courage and empathy," the statement read.
Olukuade further argued that her noble intentions persuaded her to partner up with other aspirants "whose ideals reflect this true pursuit".
He further noted that despite the reservations of other aspirants against the election that led to the victory of the "admirable and noble-intentioned" Durotoye, Ideh followed through "in submission to the value of integrity that has run her life over the years" in her desire to see a great Nigeria.
The statement read, "In spite of the public outcry and concerns raised over the process gone through, Dr. Ideh sees the underlying principles of patriotism and selflessness at work; ideals to which she is irrevocably committed. In her words, 'Our intentions were noble and we thought to push the agenda to its logical conclusion.'"
Even though Olukuade assured that Ideh remains committed to the founding principles and ideals of PACT, she's still in the race while the coalition resolves issues surrounding last week's election.
"She wants everybody to be rest assured that she is still in the race," the statement read.
While speaking on Tuesday, the Director-General of the Elishama Ideh Presidential Campaign Organisation, Princess Juliet Binitie, said the aspirant's compassion and patriotism makes her the best candidate to lead the country.
Ideh maintains relationship with ANN
Weeks after she disowned her political party, the Alliance for a New Nigeria (ANN), Ideh has also revealed that she's still keeping close ties with the party in a civil manner.
She said her earlier trouble with the party was fueled by certain activities that convinced her that it was not the values-bound platform she wanted to associate with. She said the party has however turned the corner and is retracing its steps.
The statement read, "Finding a political home in ANN was natural for Dr. Ideh considering that the values espoused by the party aligned with her vision for a new Nigeria. The party's claim of total divorce from the jaded and conscienceless politics of the past was soon to be challenged by a series of improprieties that took several chinks off her moral armour, chief of which was the well-planned hijack of the party by an outside element whose values cannot be reconciled with those of the party, in connivance with some party chieftains.
"She complained about this unbecoming development and some equally fundamental issues. When it became obvious that sanity had gone to sleep and the playing field would no longer be level and free, she pulled out of the party’s convention. Her fellow aspirants, Mr. Fela Durotoye and Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese followed suit.
"Their action was vindicated when the party thereafter admitted to these flaws and made an attempt at self redemption by orchestrating a change of guard in some strategic positions.
"Whilst it is to be seen whether the party is truly purged of her bile, her relationship with the party continues to be civil and guided."
When asked if Ideh is likely to stay with the ANN or seek membership of another party ahead of the 2019 elections, Olukuade replied, "Time will tell."
In a press conference on August 10, 2018, Ideh had accused certain characters of hijacking the party structure of the ANN and subsequently pulled out of the party's convention, noting that she was not desperate to be in a party that compromises her values.