2019: PRESIDENTIAL DARK HORSES

In what was described as one of the greatest underdog sporting stories of all time, Leicester City FC were crowned champions of the 2015 – 2016 Premier League season. It was unarguably the ” greatest fairytale football has ever known ” of a team totally written-off by both bookmakers and football enthusiasts, fought against all odds to win the EPL title for the first time in their history, having competed against EPL heavyweights like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham FC. The Leicester story can be applied to the forthcoming 2019 Presidential polls in Nigeria.

The general perceptions of most media outlets and some Nigerians is that the 2019 Presidential polls will be a ‘two – horse race’ between the ruling political party (APC) and the main opposition political party (PDP), though it appears true based on the feeders I get daily as a result of my political interactions with some Nigerians both on social media platforms and otherwise. But the Leicester City’s fairytale journey to clinching the EPL title in 2015/16 should serve as a reminder to all Nigerians that there are “dark horses” who might pull-off huge upsets come 2019 polls.

In my previous write up, ” 2019: Exploring Other Options “, I dealt extensively on the political romance between the All Progressive Congress and Peoples Democratic Party, of which my conclusion is that, ‘they are birds of the same feathers’, and the need for Nigerian voters to explore other leadership options that will determine their destinies come 2019.

It is on this premise that I tend to explore the possibility of these “dark horses” emerging from the unknown to clinch victory during the presidential polls. Political bookmakers might choose to differ with my assertions which is politically normal, but i believe with the back and forth movements shown by the two dominant political parties, the dark horses might stand a chance of springing up a surprise.

Oby Ezewkesili

A former Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and Minister of Education, former Vice President of World Bank for Africa region, former Senior Special Assistant to the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, where she earned the name, ‘Madam Due Process’. She was also the head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Unit. Before then, Ezewkesili served as Transparency International’s Director for Africa and Director of the Harvard – Nigeria Economic Strategy Program. She became known as one of the leaders of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign which went viral on social media, to pressurize the Nigerian government to rescue the 276 Chibok school Girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militia in April 2014 from their school in Chibok, North Eastern Nigeria.

She has been a strong, fearless and vocal critic of the Nigerian leadership, both past and present, accusing them of ‘bad leadership, ethnic and religious divisions, mediocrity and failures in governance’. She is the presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) for the 2019 Presidential polls.

Her words: “I am here to answer the call of majority of Nigerians who are living in abject poverty in the midst of abundance. I am running as a credible alternative to the siemese twins of failure that the #APCPDP presents”. Her focal areas are security, economy, health, education and poverty reduction.

Kingsley Moghalu

A political economist, Lawyer, former United Nations Official, Professor in International Business and Public Policy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Founder of Sogato Strategies LLC, Senior Adviser of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF). A former Deputy-Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2009 – 2014 where he led the implementation of far – reaching reforms in Nigeria’s banking sector after a combination of global financial crisis. He was also a member of the Nigeria’s Economic Management Team, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), international Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILMC), Nigerian Export – Import Bank (NEXIM), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC) and Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

He is a frequent and sought after speaker at global forums, a recipient of the Nigerian National honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). Kingsley Moghalu is the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) for the 2019 Presidential polls.

His words: “we must stop recycling failed politicians and regenerate our leadership ranks with competent and experienced young men and women. Youth who have prepared themselves with the relevant qualifications must take over the mantle of leadership because this struggle is about the future of Nigeria, not it’s past”. His policy agenda includes leadership and governance, nation – building and economy.

The presidential candidates listed above and not listed also, has all it takes to win the 2019 Presidential election if the Nigerian voters decides to vote in their favour, but the chances of them pulling a stunt as that of Leicester City FC remains a difficult but possible task.

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