Ezekwesili, a former vice president for Africa at the World Bank, issued a statement announcing her intention to run. Nigeria’s presidential election is scheduled to take place in February 2019.
Ezekwesili, 55, served in Nigeria’s government between 2000 and 2007, first as minerals minister and later education minister.
“I want to run for, and win, the 2019 presidential election to serve and put the citizens first by mobilizing and taking decisive actions on a number of big ideas that will help all of us build an exceptional nation,” Ezekwesili said in a statement.
Africa’s most populous country, which is also the continent’s top oil producer, emerged from recession early last year. But growth remains sluggish and inflation has remained high, above the central bank’s single-digit target range.
Ezekwesili’s emailed statement made no reference to affiliations to a political party and did not provide details of specific policies she would support. She said she planned to tour the country.
“Governance keeps worsening. So we the citizens have decided to get into the political arena to make things right,” she said.
Ezekwesili, one of the founders of civil society organization Transparency International, was considered for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her anti-corruption work.
The campaign brought international attention to the girls’ plight.
Many of the Chibok girls managed to escape in the hours following their abduction or were released in the last few years, including 82 who were released in an exchange deal that included several imprisoned Islamist insurgents. About 100 of the girls are still missing and their condition is unknown.