2019: Danjuma’s forum meets today on consensus candidate

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The National Christian Elders Forum, led by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.) and Solomon Asemota (SAN), will meet on Monday (today) to take a position on whether or not it should endorse a presidential candidate among the ‘new entrants’ for the 2019 elections.

The Monday’s meeting follows an earlier one in Lagos which the forum held with those it described as “13 new presidential candidates.”

The forum had earlier said that rather than propose “two evils” from which Nigerians should choose, righteousness should be the basis for a new President for the country in 2019.

The Secretary of the NCEF, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel, told The PUNCH on Sunday that the meeting would review the demands by the 13 new presidential candidates to endorse one person among them for presidency.

He said, “The candidates who attended the last meeting held on November 30 made the proposal. But the NCEF has to study, deliberate on it and decide whether to act on the proposal or not.

“If we decide to act on the proposal, we will now tell them about the criteria to be used. Yes, there should be criteria on which one should come first and which should follow.”

Among the new presidential candidates who attended the meeting were Omoyele Sowore (African Action Congress); Chief John Dara (Alliance for Social Democrats); Apostle Sunday  Eguzolugo (Justice Must Prevail Party); Fela  Durotoye (Alliance for New Nigeria, represented by Olujimi Tewe); Pastor Emmanuel Etim (Change Nigeria Party); Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili (Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, represented by Oise Ihonde); and Dr Obadiah Mailafia (African Democratic Congress).

Others were Maj. Gen. John Gbor (retd.), (All Progressives Grand Alliance, represented by James Onuoha); Gbenga Olawepo (Peoples Trust, represented by Dr Olusegun  Awe-Obe); Rev. David Ize-Iyamu (Better Nigeria Progressive Party); Alistair Soyode (Yes Electorate Solidarity, represented by Tosin Akande); Chike Ukaegu (Advanced Allied Party); and Prof. Kingsley Moghalu (Young Progressive Party).

Apart from Asemota and Emmanuel, other NCEF members at the meeting were Michael Orobator, Moses Ihonde, Shyngle Wigwe and Nat Okoro.

Observers at the meeting included Dr Sarah Jubril (JMPP); Dr Olusegun Ijagbemi (JMPP); Pastor Funke Awolowo (PT); and Chief Rachel Oniga (PT).

Emmanuel, in the statement obtained by The PUNCH, said, “The NCEF has yet to deliberate and take a decision on this resolution. The NCEF remains non-partisan and will always act in the best interest of the common good.”

“The NCEF posed three issues for the consideration of the presidential candidates as follows: how to get newcomers to become the Third Force; how to get partisan leaders (new presidential candidates) to accept a common candidate and how to sell this candidate to Nigerians and the world

“The meeting gave room for each candidate/representative to speak and provide individual perspective into the political process. At the end of the deliberations, the presidential candidates resolved as follows: consensus building is desirable to harmonise the new presidential candidates but given the time constraint, it may not be feasible.

“The presidential candidates suggested that endorsement of a candidate from a reputable body may be a workable option. The presidential candidates unanimously proposed that the NCEF should assess the presidential candidates and endorse one of them so that votes and resources can be harmonised to contest against the two main political parties.” – Punch

– Dec. 10, 2018 @ 8:19 GMT |

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