The media went agog when news of a consensus candidate who will fly the standard of the PACT (Presidential Aspirants Coming Together) alliance was released.
It all started on 18th April when former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili launched a Red Card Movement which sought a final ending the 19 years of APC and PDP’s failure of governance. This 3rd Force will be saddled with the responsibility of producing a single candidate capable of fetching popular votes from the youths.
This was not a welcome development for some who felt that a 3rd Force would further split the opposition votes which could have hitherto helped scuttle President Buhari’s hopes of a 2nd term. The 3rd Force, comprising an unprecedented number of younger candidates who have never been seen in the history of Nigerian Politics, went ahead in doggedness to individually court their respective constituencies and target voters. With the myriad candidates who showed up albeit suddenly in the political space, the Red Card Movement surmised that it was necessary to present a unity candidate to stand a chance of achieving their collective aim of booting out the current government. But of these presidential candidates in consideration, only a handful of them had been able to gather enough momentum so far.
Yele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, was able to use his experience in the media to court valuable political quarters in his favour. His mini-manifesto is over-ambitious enough to swing some desperate voters in his favour.
Fela Durotoye, a Management Consultant, and from experience a fantastic communicator who has gained more ground with far younger people and within some corporate circles, has been quite conservative with his plans for moving the country forward.
Whereas, Kingsley Moghalu, a former Deputy CBN Governor, was gaining vast popularity among younger voters as well as a momentum more equitable with that found in giant parties such as the APC and PDP. Kingsley Moghalu started his campaign with the release of his book, BIG (Build Innovate Grow) Vision for Our Country centering on which direction Nigeria needs to go to progress. In his strategic tours and events, he has eloquently argued his positions convincingly to the understanding of Nigerians who have taken time to peruse his candidacy.
Fela Durotoye’s emergence at the PACT has however twisted the prospects of Elelctions 2019 in a different direction. Pundits who have expressed their opinion on the matter opine that Kingsley Moghalu stands a better chance at the polls with his fast climbing political capital and popularity. While other candidates pulled out of the PACT before the elections held, it was widely believed Moghalu did not pull out.
His involvement up to that stage has rendered his commitment as binding enough not to quit in his quest for presidency and support Durotoye’s ambition. Moghalu, however, has denied that the outcome of the election is binding on his ambition. While this is more of damage control, it is capable enough to cast his credibility into smithereens. The PACT alliance could be more or less termed as haphazard as it had more of the candidates opting out of the agreement before the elections even held.
Thee 3rd Force, largely in control of the Red Card Movement, has to manage the fallout carefully. If they do not, power could return to the hands of either the APC or PDP.