Following serious concerns expressed by eminent Nigerians, including Prof. Wole Soyinka, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Rt, Hon. Ghali Umar Naaba among others on the need to produce a consensus candidate from among the fresh breed ‘Third Force’ presidential hopefuls to challenge the candidates of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections, a new umbrella coalition of the emergent third political force in Nigeria, Alliance for Defence of Democracy, has come out with a final list of candidates to be considered for consensus at its endorsement summit in Abuja on February 14.
The Coalition was initiated last week against the background of the current threats to Nigeria’s nascent democracy, national stability and the credibility of the 2019 elections, especially with regards to the constitutional crisis foisted by the recent actions of President Muhammadu Buhari against the Nigerian Judiciary.
The coalition is billed to meet again on Tuesday to put finishing touches to its plans to convene the third force endorsement summit as well as it much awaited mass action against constitutional breach by the President.
It will be recalled that Leaders of thought, Presidential Candidates, Leaders of Political Parties, Civil Society and Labour Movements, Stakeholder and Allies of the third force movement in Nigeria had converged on January 31, 2019 at the Banquet Hall of the Sheraton Hotels in Lagos to find political solutions to the lingering constitutional crisis between the Nigerian Presidency and Judiciary, an intervention which led to the formation of Alliance for Defence of Democracy.
This followed thorough and painstaking analysis of issues involved in the country’s heightening constitutional crisis and its impending backlash on the credibility of the forthcoming 2019 elections.
The forum however recommended a Selection Council of eminent leaders and political icons, who believe and are committed to the agenda of producing a consensus Presidential Candidate for the Third force as follows: Soyinka, who will be assisted by a collegiate, including Colonel Abubakar Umar Dangiwa, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’abba, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Dr. Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Tokunbo Dosumu Awolowo and Femi Falana.
They are expected to be formally invited to serve as a panel of eminent jury that will choose a consensus presidential candidate from among the final list of credible presidential hopefuls at a Third Force summit scheduled to hold on February 14, 2019 in Abuja.
This invitation to serve as impartial arbiter, the Third Force said, does not make these eminent persons members of ADD except they voluntarily wish to become one.
Those who made the final list of candidates to be considered for the position of consensus candidate of the third force are Olawepo Hashim of People’s Trust; Omoyele Sowore, African Action Congress; Kingsley Moghalu, Young Progressive Party; Ali Soyode, Yes Electorate Solidarity; Adesina Fagbenro Byron, Kowa Party; Durotoye Olufela, Alliance for New Nigeria; Ahmed Buhari, Sustainable National Party; Tope Fashua, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party; Donald Duke, Social Democratic Party; and John Dara, Alliance of Social Democrats.