It happened in DR Congo when Felix Tshisekedi was named the president of the country after the December 30, 2018 elections. No one saw it coming, and it gave credit to the phrase that ‘anything is possible’ - but not in Nigeria!
To win elections in Nigeria, you have to spend a lot of money and have many powerful political figures backing you. After all, winning the hearts of the majority in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic country like Nigeria which boasts of a population of over 180 million people is no mere feat.
Nigeria is going to pools on 16 February, 2019 to choose the next president of the county and it is clear that the major candidates vying for the seat are the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Party (APC) and former vice-president of the country from 1999-2007, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
To win an election in Nigeria, one must have a solid structure and/or come from a party with one. There is also the need to have ward representatives in all the respective wards across the local governments in the 36 states (including the capital city, Abuja makes it 37). The candidate’s party must also have a secretariat in each of the wards and wide followership.
As the February 16 elections come closer, the regular actors take center stage and someone who has been an influential voice in the Nigerian polity for a long time, Professor Wole Soyinka – winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, has endorsed a candidate who has a near zero chance of winning the elections this weekend.
The respected professor had over the weekend advised Nigerian’s to throw their weight behind Mr. Moghalu, describing the YPP candidate as the most qualified among the presidential candidates.
In 2015, Professor Soyinka’s support for the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari was one of the key ingredients that contributed to Buhari’s success against the then incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; a decision he now regrets.
Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu is a Nigerian political economist, lawyer, former United Nations official, and professor in international business and public policy at the Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He served as deputy governor of financial system stability and the director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2009 to 2014.
But do these qualifications make Mr. Moghalu a candidate to beat at the next elections; that is doubtful.
As seen, he has zero experience in the political space and one would have thought that candidates like him will seek offices in the Senate, House of Representatives or even in the State House as governor, before attempting the presidency. This would have helped to build his credibility and give the masses what to look forward to and expect.
Mr. Kingsley Moghalu, who is the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), has described the endorsement of his candidature by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, as "humbling."
"Our party - the Young Progressives Party - and I salute the courage and the good judgment of the Nobel Laureate and icon of democratic struggle in Nigeria," Mr. Moghalu said in the statement.
"As Soyinka and the Citizen Forum have ended their search for a consensus candidate to lead the country in a new direction, I appeal to other Nigerians desirous of a new dawn, ushered by a competent and visionary leadership to also consider ending theirs with my candidacy.
"We all should now approach the ballot with a single purpose of defeating the recycled old politicians.
"Working with Nigerians from all parts of the country, including our women and youth, we will transform our country from division to unity; we will create jobs and foster prosperity, and we will restore respect for Nigeria in the world," Mr. Moghalu said.
Can Professor Soyinka’s endorsed candidate become the next president of Nigeria come February 16? Many Nigerians will pass the question for a joke and I wouldn’t blame them either.
What are your thoughts?
Header Image Credit: Punch