The presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Fela Durotoye, has expressed his willingness to commit to a third force coalition just weeks to the presidential election.
The leadership coach reiterated his call for a united front against the two biggest candidates in the election in a signed statement released early on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
His renewed call comes in the wake of Oby Ezekwesili withdrawing from the race on Thursday to "focus on helping to build a veritable coalition to ensure a viable alternative to the APC-PDP in the forthcoming elections".
In his statement, Durotoye commended Ezekwesili for leading the charge to form a coalition to present a consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
He further expressed his readiness to ensure an alliance is formed with other prominent candidates, Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), to present a united front for the election.
He said he would step down if the process produces someone else as consensus candidate and urged other candidates to join the train to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said, "To be clear, if the process produces any other candidate apart from myself, I AM READY to support whoever the Consensus Candidate is and to do all I can to support the coalition to win the 2019 Presidential elections for our generation.
"Let us come together and seize this historic window of opportunity for our generation to select one of us to go ahead of us...so that ALL OF US can come together and speak with one voice at the 2019 General Elections.
"Together, we can do the perceived impossible. Our generation is depending on us. We must not let them down."
Durotoye's call comes months after he won an election to become the consensus candidate of the Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT), a coalition that consisted a dozen then-aspirants. The coalition fell apart after Moghalu, who lost the election, and a few others abandoned the coalition.
Moghalu recently described the coalition as "a political assassination attempt" to derail his candidacy by certain powerful forces. Sowore dumped the coalition before the election because of what he described as irregularities in the constitution of the participants.
The February 16 presidential election is expected to be a keen contest between APC's President Muhammadu Buhari and PDP's Atiku Abubakar.