The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the contest at this stage in the race.
This was the position of Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman.
Oby Ezekwesili, presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), had announced her decision to withdraw from the race earlier on Thursday.
Her party had, however, taken a contrary position on what led to the decision, and berated her for carrying out activities without the knowledge of the party. ACPN has also declared its support for President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Meanwhile, INEC has stressed that Ezekwesili's withdrawal from participating as a contestant in the presidential elections is not possible.
“It is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the race now," Oyekanmi said.
"According to the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2019 general election, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties was 17th November, 2018 for presidential and National Assembly elections. Therefore, the deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed."