All may now be set for the emergence of a coalition that will produce a consensus candidate that will challenge the two leading candidates in the 2019 presidential election.
Few moments after Dr Oby Ezekwesili announced her decision to quit the 2019 presidential race, another presidential candidate, Mr Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), announced his readiness to also withdraw from the race.
Ezekwesili, whose withdrawal from the 2019 race on Thursday took many by surprise, hinged her decision on the need to champion a “broad coalition for a viable alternative” that will challenge the leading candidates in the presidential race: President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I have decided that it now necessary to show by action and example my determination on this issue by stepping down my candidacy so as to focus squarely on building the coalition to a logical conclusion,” the former Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division had said in her withdrawal letter.
There are now indications that Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) may emerge as the “viable alternative” Dr Ezekwesili talked about following Mr Durotoye’s announcement that he is willing to step down and join a coalition that will produce a consensus candidate to challenge President Buhari and Alhaji Atiku.
THE WHISTLER has not determined at press time if Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC), would agree to the coalition or be willing to step down for Moghalu to lead the race.
Meanwhile, announcing his willingness to withdraw from the presidential race in a post on Instagram, Durotoye said: “I have always believed that leadership is about service and sacrifice and today, I would like to commend Dr. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili @obyezeks for leading the charge to forming a viable coalition to presenting a Consensus Candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections,” Durotoye said.
“To ensure that an alliance is formed and we present a united front, I AM READY to come into any coalition talks with my brothers Omoyele Sowore @yelesho and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu @moghalukingsley and to submit myself to any transparent process that will help us arrive at a selection of a Consensus Candidate from amongst us.
“To be clear, if the process produces any other candidate apart from myself, I AM READY to support whoever the Consensus Candidate is and to do all I can to support the coalition to win the 2019 Presidential elections for our generation.
“Once again, I implore the frontline candidates in our generation. Let us come together and seize this historic window of opportunity for our generation to select one of us to go ahead of us … so that ALL OF US can come together and speak with one voice at the 2019 General Elections.
“Together, we can do the perceived impossible. Our generation is depending on us. We must not let them down.”
Durotoye made the announcement barely an hour after Dr Ezekwesili quit the race.