2019: Christian Group Clamours for Consensus Candidate, Rejects Choice Between “Lesser of Two Evils”
By Samuel Mayowa
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has called on all Christian Presidential candidates “to accept a common candidate” with the aim of ousting the incumbent government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This was contained in a welcome address on Friday by the Chairman of the body, Solomon Asemota at a meeting with the candidates for the 2019 Presidential elections held at Onigbagbo House, Maryland, Lagos.
Giantability Media Network, at the event, reports that the group outlined the need to resolve: “how to get New Comers to become the Third Force; how to get partisan leaders (new presidential candidates) to accept a common candidate; how to sell the common candidate to Nigerians and the world.”
Despite the outlined needs generating mixed reactions from the candidates, there was a united mindset that there was urgent need to have an eventual outcome where there will be a credible candidate who is not just a Christian but a Christ-like individual as postulated by Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC).
The NCEF, in the statement while demanding for a “righteous” government for Nigeria, also rejected and urged Nigerians not to accept the offered choice between “lesser of two evils” in the persons of incumbent, President Buhari of the APC and the former Vice-President of the country, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The address read in part, “Today, Nigerians are offered a choice between “lesser of two evils”…NCEF rejects evil as an option for Nigerians, whether they are Christians, Muslims or Traditionalists. NCEF believes that Nigerians have suffered enough and politicians should no longer take the perseverance and patience of Nigerians for granted. It is time to demand a “righteous” Government for Nigeria.”
The group explained that their move is born out of the fact that, “Those who are determined to hold on to leadership in Nigeria do so with the mentality of Feudal lords which is not for the Common Good or for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
In all, 12 presidential candidates or their representatives were present at the meeting for their various parties. These candidates, along with Sowore were Reverend David Esosa of Better Nigeria People’s Party (BNPP), John Dara of Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD), Apostle Sunday Chukwu-Eguzolugo of Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP), Emmanuel Etim of Change Nigeria Party (CNP), Obadiah Malafia of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Moghalu Kingsley of the Young Progressives Party (YPP, a former Central Bank Deputy Governor.
Representatives of absent presidential candidates at the event include Rotarian Chibikem Iwu representing Retired Major General John Wilson Terwase Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Tosin Akande representing Ali Shoyade of Yes Electorates Solidarity Party (Yes Party), Jimi Tewe representing Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) as well as Pastor Funke Awolowo and Segun Awe Oni representing Gbenga Olawepo Hashim of the Alliance for New Nigeria.
Though conclusion of the consensus candidate wasn’t arrived at after the occasion, the body concluded that a final decision on the consensus candidate will be decided after fervent prayers have been made.