This was supposed to be the election when the third party candidates were supposed to make a roaring statement at the polls. In the end, they went down with a whimper – the combined votes of the 71 other candidates (other than the PDP and APC) amounting to less than 3% of the total vote count.
Even that percentage share is believed to be the result of a fluke. Nicholas Felix, the candidate who came third in the election with 110,196 votes, was most likely the beneficiary of the confusion generated because some of those who voted for him mistook his party, the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP), for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP (the largest opposition party). We wrote about what likely happened HERE.
Following behind Felix was John Gbor, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) which is currently the third largest party in the country and produced the Anambra governor. Gbor polled 66,851 votes, while Yusuf Yabagi of the ADP got 54,930 votes to round up the Top 5.
The Others: Former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke, endured a horror show when a court ruled that he was not the legitimate candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), forcing him to suspend his campaign until two weeks to the elections when a higher court upturned the verdict. He ended up in eight position with 34,746 votes.
Omoyele Sowore, the AAC candidate, won his poling unit but he only came ninth on the table with 33,953 votes.
When the televised presidential debates were conducted last month, the only three candidates on the stage were Obiageli Ezekwesili of the ACPN who stepped down shortly afterwards, Kingsley Moghalu of the YPP and Fela Durotoye of the ANN. So how did they perform?
Ezekwesili got 7,223 votes even though she pulled out of the race. Moghalu, who had boasted repeatedly that he was sure of at least 12 million votes, only managed 21,886 votes, and ranked 13th on the table. Durotoye, the motivational speaker, got 16,779 votes and ranked 16th.
Bottom Line: There is an argument to be made that if these candidates had come together, they possibly wouldn’t have gotten enough votes to mount a stronger challenge to the two dominant parties. But maybe that is a one-dimensional way to look at it. People seeking a change from the dominant parties may have viewed such a coalition as one with potential to win, and taken the chance with the coalition candidate, giving him/her some momentum. As it is, we will never know, because candidates like Moghalu insisted that they had 12 million votes on their own (☹️) and refused entreaties to come together.