The former Minister of Education believes there is no lesser evil between the president and former vice president.
Presidential candidate, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, has described her opponents in the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, as agents of failure and disappointment who have nothing new to offer Nigerians.
The candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) attacked both Buhari of the All Progressives' Congress (APC) and Atiku, a former vice president, of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) while delivering a speech in Lagos on Monday, October 29, 2018.
During the speech, titled "To those who say we cannot win: Unveiling the Oby Ezekwesili Roadmap to 2019", the former Minister of Education said there is no lesser evil between Buhari and Atiku.
She further warned Nigerians that deciding to choose between the two is like choosing between death by poison or death by gunshot. She urged Nigerians to reject their stranglehold on the nation and look towards the future with a better-qualified candidate like her.
She said, "Buhari and Atiku are conjoined from head to toe as #BuTiku. There is no lesser evil in #BuTiku. #BuTiku are members of the same party.
"Attempting to choose between these two is like asking one to choose between death by poison or death by gunshot. God forbid. We cannot reject one oppressor and hand over to another oppressor. We do not love bondage. We do not enjoy suffering. God in heaven forbid.
"I just laugh when I hear some people say our citizens movement will split opposition votes.
"But the PDP is not in opposition to the APC. The candidate of the PDP has over the past 14 years gone from PDP to AC, AC to PDP, PDP to APC and now back to PDP.
"These people are brothers and sisters of iniquity and impoverishment, merchants of failure and disappointment. Don' t believe that 419! They are both part of a political ruling class that has held us bound, manipulated and diminished us for decades.
"Now they are auditioning to extend their streak of failure for another four years? God really forbid! The real opponent that the Nigerian people have in 2019 is this old political order that takes and takes and takes, and never replenishes anything."
Don't pretend you have no choice other than Atiku, Buhari – Ezekwesili warns Nigerians
With the 2019 presidential election widely-believed to be a straight contest between Buhari and Atiku, Ezekwesili warned Nigerians to not feel trapped by the narrative that only one of the two candidates can realistically win.
She said she was inspired to join the race because she realised Nigeria is in dire need of qualified candidates, a responsibility she felt compelled to accept.
She said her wealth of experience littered with credible achievements in public service, as well as untainted integrity sets her apart from the two candidates who are considered the frontrunners.
She said, "I decided to join this race because I wanted you, and me, to have no excuse. We have in this race a candidate who has excelled in Corporate Nigeria, excelled in national government, excelled in private enterprise, excelled in international development, and then dedicated her life to fighting for every Nigerian from Chibok to Jos, from Abia to Ikot Ekpene.
"A candidate who is one of the very small tribe of Nigerians who have served in government but who have no allegation of corruption against them. I don't mean court case o. I mean allegation. Zero. None. Not one.
"I want to be sure you know that the choice is between on one hand #BuTiku, a ticket which includes a man who insults your intelligence by asking you to go get his WAEC certificate from the armed forces of which he is the commander in chief and another man who cannot tell you where he got the start up capital for his alleged multi-million dollar businesses; and on the other hand a woman whose track record is filled with concrete achievenments in education, solid minerals, public procurement and international development; a woman who has been fighting for this country every day of her life for the past 30 years – from being attacked on the streets of Lagos fighting for the June 12, 1993 mandate to taking up the challenge of this government and, at great risk to myself, visiting Sambisa Forest personally to fight for our still missing #ChibokGirls.
"That is why, with a heavy but resolute heart, with a deep sense of responsibility but a clear understanding that I am entering into uncharted waters, I decided that I had no choice, that we have waited too long, and it is time for us to get in and fix this country ourselves.
"So don't pretend you have no choice. You do. And it is not one between the devil and the deep blue sea."
The presidential candidate urged Nigerians to wake up to their responsibilities and elect credible leaders into important positions so as to salvage the nation's future. She also called on everyone to donate towards her campaign and volunteer to work for its success.