Pulse Opinion. It's over, the 3rd force has no chance in this election
The 3rd force has no chance in this election, but they can build on the momentum for 2023.
In other words, one of these two septuagenarians, flawed as they are, would be announced winner of the election after close of voting and collation of results. I have battled this reality for months now, but now we’ve all got to live with an Atiku or Buhari presidency for another four years at least.
Everyone else can pack their bags and head home now. It's over. Like, finito.
Back in January of 2018, I still harboured faint hopes of a third force sprouting from within the brightest, smartest and younger crop of Nigerians with fire in their bellies, creating an upset and handing the establishment political parties a run for their money.
I was painfully deluded.
From January to December of 2018, I watched Kingsley Moghalu of the YPP talk a good game, Fela Durotoye of the ANN bamboozle with his oratory, prose and rhyme, Obiageli Ezekwesili of the ACPN withdraw from the presidential race, Omoyele Sowore of the AAC remove his gloves and aim for everyone’s jugular in scatter-gun manner, Donald Duke of the SDP put up a disappointing, litigation strewn campaign and Eunice Atuejide of the NIP flatter with social media posts that caught the eye for how foolish there were.
I saw a PACT coalition floated by the younger candidates, crash and burn before it even had the chance to get off the ground. I saw pretenders and contenders alike.
In another era, on another planet, some of the younger, vibrant, more cerebral contenders should be dominating the discourse ahead of a major vote. Unfortunately, they all have to wait. The signs are glaring enough. One of Buhari or Atiku will win Saturday’s presidential contest, leaving the chasing pack of third force candidates to settle for a distant, less respectable finish.
Due largely to their patronage networks, endless resources and grassroots structures, the APC and PDP are untouchable at the moment.
But the third force and younger candidates are better for the experience this spirited, sometimes lack luster presidential run would have handed them. Some of them did shake tables. If they don’t disappear from the scene only to reappear on the eve of the 2023 general elections to announce their candidacy, Moghalu, Sowore, Duke, Ezekwesili would have a say in who becomes Nigeria’s future president when this septuagenarian nightmare is over.
Younger candidates and their lesser known political parties should begin to build grassroots structures that will rival those of the PDP and APC. It’s the only way to win an election in a country where literacy levels remain abysmally low. Loads of money is also required. This can be surmounted by crowd-funding or crowd sourcing. Nothing is impossible and the established politicians must have seen enough in this campaign to worry about their longevity on the terrain hereon after.
It’s time for the so called third force to begin to build from the ground up. Brick by brick. For the future. For 2023. And beyond.
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