In April, after an hour long session with presidential candidate and former Deputy Governor of the CBN Kingsley Moghalu, I asked him why he is so insistent on running even though the odds are well stacked against him.
"This isn't going to end well for you", I recall warning Moghalu, with the sun almost merging with the Lekki shore in the background.
“Jude, I am the best presidential candidate right now”, he told me as we walked to his car.
“Oh well, but do you seriously think you stand a chance against the PDP and APC who have grassroot structures across the country, especially because you don’t have a structure to win a nationwide election?”, I wasn’t about to let him get away with this one.
“It is people who make up these structures you speak of and my campaign has started interacting with these people across Nigeria…”
“We are talking 36 States here and you only have 8 months…how do you….you don’t even stand a chance…”
But Moghalu wasn’t about to let me win. Several minutes after the interview, we leaned on his car in the parking lot and debated his presidential run and plans for the Nigeria of his dreams.
It’s been over a month since that session with Moghalu and I have to admit he’s surprised me with the way he’s been going round the country to present his plans to the Nigerian people. He's not just campaigning from a luxury suite in Lagos,he's working the base in rural Nigeria.
He's never been short of ideas, but he's now added zest and energy to an ever cascading fountain of ideas. To put it succinctly, Moghalu is working his socks off out there every other day and he’s beginning to warm his way into so many hearts.
He will be an underdog come February 2019, of course, alongside the likes of Fela Durotoye and Omoyele Sowore. But what Moghalu is doing differently from the rest is his boundless energy on the stomp, a well drilled campaign structure and team behind him, and a consistent message delivered eloquently to Nigerians from Lagos to Abuja. Moghalu has been putting the work in and you can't even knock his hustle right now.
Moghalu has been organizing town halls, he’s been making television appearances; and his candour and faith in the Nigerian project is almost infectious. He's become part of the conversation. Where other fresh faces have been campaigning from the comfort of the tech savvy Lagos audience, Moghalu has travelled to villages in Benue and Niger, telling whoever cares to listen that“I am the next president of Nigeria”.
Of course the establishment in APC and PDP are everyone’s favourites to produce the next president in 2019 and I’m sure that isn’t lost on Moghalu either. But what this political economist has done is put himself on the shop window and hand himself a fighting chance should the tables miraculously turn.
And for a man who literally believes in shaking tables, he isn't doing badly at all.