Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, presidential aspirant on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Fela Durotoye has emerged as the consensus presidential candidate brokered under an arrangement brokered by fifteen aspirants.
The consensus deal struck under the banner of “Presidential Candidates Coming Together” (PACT) saw Durotoye beating others to the contest and emerging as consensus candidate ahead of others, including the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Muoghalu of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) who came second.
The Presidential aspirants said they had met in July and August to discuss on a viable strategy and consensus-building to win the 2019 Presidential elections.
According to the statement read out at the event yesterday said the highlight of the meetings was a unanimously agreement that PACT will present a single, sole consensus candidate to fly its flag in the 2019 Presidential elections.
“It is in this regards that the 30th of August 2018 was chosen to elect the consensus candidate through a democratic process and due process.
Among the presidential aspirants that signed on to the Pact were, Mrs. Godstime Sydney Iroabuchi , Alistair Soyode Awwal Abdullahi Aliyu, Clement Jumbo, Thomas-Wilson Ikubese ,Comrade Eragbe Anslem and Fela Durotoye.
Others include, Abubakar Alkali, Jaye Gaskia, Ahmed Buhari, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Elishama Ideh Sina Fagbenro-Byron, Matthews B Trado , Victor Ani-Laju ,Emmanuel Etim and Ayodele Favour.
Speaking at meeting of the forum, which was attended by the former Minister of Education of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, in Abuja yesterday, the aspirants, said they had decided to subjugate their individual ambitions to the collective interest of the country.
In his speech, before the aspirants went into a closed door decide who among them would be the group’s consensus candidate, Moghalu said the consensus arrangement was geared towards increasing the chances of members of the group in the forth-coming presidential poll.
According to him, “ 2019 is a choice between real nation building in this country and being a mere country fragmented by ethnic groups, prepondering to co-exist but adding like crabs in a basket, with each pulling the other down.
“It is time for a very different kind of leadership. And that what we hope will emerge from here. It is time for Nigerians to understand that we cannot all know what is good, what is fine. What is the country thing and keep doing things wrong.
“So, I will like to commend every colleague for their courage. For their humility. In fact, this selection is not a competition. It is just a closing of ranks. Each person here has many capabilities and many qualities. We have come to understand that it is better if we go in with a narrow base of choice so that we can actually win,” he USAID.
Earlier, Ezekwesili said the PACT had invited her to come and be a witness to the process that would lead to the emergence of one of them as the consensus presidential candidate of the group.