With a few days to the 2019 presidential elections, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu, has been endorsed by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, as the official candidate for the group, Citizen Forum.
Backstory: Soyinka made the announcement on Friday through a statement from the group which he personally signed following an interactive session organized by the Citizen’s Forum on Thursday in Lagos state.
Acknowledging that the decision wasn’t made lightly, Soyinka explained that several months of observations and even personal interactions with the candidates, had been undertaken by the group before a unanimous decision on which candidate to throw its weight behind was made.
“Over the past few months, we studied the careers, experiences and track records of most of the presidential aspirants, and most intensely those actually short-listed by the opposition parties themselves. Like millions of Nigerians, we watched the debates. I physically interacted with some of the acknowledged top contenders, in some cases several times.”
“Let me reiterate, there is over-abundant, but stifled leadership material, and there can be no excuse, now that that potential of high quality is being manifested, for constricting the political space in a population that is nudging two hundred million.”
“Such potential compelled us to exercise utmost rigor in what proved to be a most daunting exercise. The final determination however is – the flag-bearer of the Young Progressive Party– Kingsley Moghalu”, the statement read.
Emphasizing that Nigeria had fallen far from its glorious position of the past in the eyes of the international community and now become a “pariah”, Soyinka expressed hope for the future if only Nigeria would reject “retrograde propositions of a political merry-go-round, which urge the electorate to choose this or that candidate in order to ensure ‘our turn’ at the next power incumbency.”
Bottom Line: A solid boost for Moghalu’s fortunes. Unlikely to change the dynamics of the race though which continues to be a face-off between the candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari and the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.