The presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria party (ANN), Fela Durotoye and his counterpart from the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu, clashed on Friday over their popularities in an appearance on Channels Television.
Back story: They were guests on a Channels TV special elections programme, The Verdict. After discussing their positions on important issues, both candidates engaged in a heated argument about whose party is more popular.
“I really like Professor Moghalu’s optimism but one of the most interesting things is that the facts don’t lie. There was a survey that was done to show the popularity of parties. Maybe Professor Moghalu as a person may be known, but his party is not known,” he said.
According to Durotoye, the report contains the list of political parties participating in the elections in order of their level of popularity. He said the list placed the YPP at the eleventh spot while his own party, ANN made it to the top five. He added that the two main parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) top the chart.
“In reality, the three parties that are left from the top five are APC, PDP, and Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), the party with the logo of a lion,” he said.
Moghalu landed a series of jabs back at Durotoye. “Let me just make it very clear that I am not here to debate with anyone, the facts speak for themselves,” he said. “I am a leading alternative candidate outside of the APC and the PDP, and the YPP is the leading alternative party. There are numerous polls that have established that, and I don’t want to go into them.”
Moghalu further argued that his popularity is not determined by social media engagement, saying “I’m not a social media candidate, I’m on social media but I deal with real people on the ground in Nigeria who vote actually.”
“We will see at the end of the day what the reality is, but I have no question in my mind that I will be sworn in as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Durotoye questions Moghalu’s credibility: Durotoye referenced the fact that the YPP candidate failed to uphold the decison made by PACT in July 2018. Several presidential candidates came together to choose a consensus candidate among themselves. Durotoye emerged winner of the internal election in a close contest with Moghalu, but the YPP candidate refused to accept the outcome.
According to Durotoye, making promises is politics but fufilling the promises made is leadership. He said, if Moghalu couldn’t keep his promise to a group of eighteen people, how then does he intend to do so to 200 million people.
Bottom line: Both candidates have very slim odds in the election, so their nibbling over who is more popularity is less likely to have an impact. However Durotoye’s point about Moghalu’s credibility is an important one, especially because the YPP candidate partook in the process with the intent to win, only to end up painting the process with a bad brush because he lost.