Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof Kingsley Moghalu, has reacted to calls for a coalition to produce a consensus presidential candidate to defeat the two leading candidates in the 2019 race – President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Moghalu’s reaction comes just as the presidential candidate of the ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili announced her withdrawal from the race and called for a coalition. Shortly after Ezekwesili’s announcement, another presidential candidate, Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), announced his readiness to go into coalition talks with fellow candidates, Omoyele Sowore (AAC) and Moghalu (YPP), saying he was ready to support any consensus candidate that emerges from a transparent process.
The development has reawakened the “third force” spirit that made waves last year and led to the formation of groups like the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT), Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) which former President Olusegun Obasanjo described as the third force to the APC and PDP.
The social media is already lit with hope that there would be a coalition even though many believe it is coming too late.
While Sowore is yet to react to Ezekwesili’s proposal, Moghalu’s reaction took a different direction from Durotoye’s.
In a statement released on his Facebook page, Moghalu did not say he was ready to subject himself to any consensus process. He simply said “we are doing something about that and hope there will be a positive outcome soon.”
He also went on to show his rising poll numbers and approval ratings that emerged after last Saturday’s presidental debate.
His move is seen as a strong message to other candidates that he is the strongest in the race and would not subject himself to any process that would throw up a “weaker” candidate.
Newspeakonline recalls that Moghalu, in announcing his withdrawal from the PACT agreement last year, stated that the process that produced Durotoye as the then consensus candidate was flawed and pre-determined before the process began, stressed Clause 13 of the PACT Memorandum of Understanding which asserted the supremacy of the constitutional rights of the aspirants to pursue their political aspirations. He and Sowore did not take part in the process which was monitored by Ezekwesili.
In his statement today, the former CBN deputy governor indicated that his support base ahead of the February 16 election, was growing across the country “from the North to the South, East and West.”
His full statement reads:
Since last Saturday’s Presidential Debate held by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), Channels Television and numerous other partners, we have been overwhelmed by the reactions of many who viewed the debate.
We believe the debate was viewed and heard by an estimated 60million Nigerians in addition to many interested non-Nigerians around the world.
I am privileged to be part of this movement to liberate our country from the shackles of the old and recycled politicians who have nothing to offer our country but poverty and corruption.
Gradually, we can see the new light at the end of the tunnel. We are beginning to see that in the midst of bleakness, there lives hope.
I also noticed the collage of polls focusing on the outcome of the presidential debate and I am glad our message is yielding increased support across many demographics. That means we are getting closer to the big picture and the future is closer than we thought. This gives me hope that Nigerians are becoming more discerning and increasingly know what they want. Now, we have seen the truth, and we are saying it. Thank you Nigerians.
I’m also aware of your clarion call to team up with the other new candidates in other political parties so that we can collectively fight the established order that have put Nigerians in unending poverty. I appreciate that gesture and I promise you that we are doing something about that and hope there will be a positive outcome soon.
Again, I say thank you to my growing supporters across the country; from the North to the South, East and West. Your undying loyalty at this trying period of ours is appreciated. Thank you.
Remember to like my page, tell someone about this movement, donate and vote.
It is time.