2019: Meet the new­com­ers who may change the tide

There are 47 pres­i­den­tial and 821 gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­dates be­ing spon­sored by po­lit­i­cal par­ties for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions. Many of those in the race are pop­u­lar in their var­i­ous en­deav­ours but this is the first time they are vy­ing for elec­tive positi

Sunday Trust - - SUNDAY MENU -

By Ab­bas Ji­moh, Oz­ibo Oz­ibo (Abuja), Lami Sadiq (Jos), Romoke W. Ah­mad (Ilorin), Eyo Charles (Cal­abar) & Jeremiah Oke (Ibadan) Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates

BO­moyele Sowore - African Ac­tion Congress (AAC) orn on 16 Fe­bru­ary, 1971, Omoyele Sowore is a Nige­rian hu­man rights ac­tivist, pro-democ­racy cam­paigner, and a founder of Sa­hara Re­porters. He is the Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the African Ac­tion Congress (AAC) in the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions. Sowore is a po­lit­i­cal new­comer since he is con­test­ing an elec­tive of­fice in Nige­ria for the very first time. A na­tive of Ilaje in Ondo State, Sowore stud­ied Ge­og­ra­phy and Re­gional Plan­ning at the Univer­sity of La­gos between 1989 and 1995; he was barred twice for stu­dent ac­tivism as Pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of La­gos Stu­dent Union Gov­ern­ment in 1992-94.

Obi Ezek­we­sili - Al­lied Congress Party of Nige­ria (ACPN)

Obi­ageli Ezek­we­sili, pop­u­larly called ‘Oby’ or ‘Madam Due Process’ was born on 28 April, 1963 in Anam­bra State. She trained as an ac­coun­tant. She was a co-founder of Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional, serv­ing as one of the pi­o­neer di­rec­tors of the global anti-cor­rup­tion body based in Berlin, Ger­many. She served as Fed­eral Min­is­ter of Solid Min­er­als and then Ed­u­ca­tion dur­ing Obasanjo’s gov­ern­ment between 2003 and 2007. Although Ezek­we­sili is no strange face in gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cracy, she is un­doubt­edly a po­lit­i­cal new­comer as she is con­test­ing for an elec­tive of­fice in Nige­ria for the very first time.

“The over­rid­ing vi­sion of an ACPN pres­i­dency shall be to build a new Nige­ria that is pros­per­ous, sta­ble and har­mo­nious,” she said and went ahead to ask Nige­ri­ans not to vote for both Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) and Vice Pres­i­dent Atiku Abubakar of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), say­ing they are prod­ucts of the same old sys­tem.

Kings­ley Moghalu - Young Pro­gres­sive Party (YPP)

Kings­ley Moghalu served as Deputy Gover­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria from 2009 to 2014. He was also a mem­ber of the Board of Di­rec­tors, Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee, Com­mit­tee of Gov­er­nors of the CBN, and Nige­ria’s Eco­nomic Man­age­ment Team. His ten­ure at the Nige­ria’s apex bank was not without con­tro­versy. He was charged with ex­e­cut­ing fre­quently con­tro­ver­sial bank­ing sec­tor re­forms spear­headed by then CBN Gover­nor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He pub­licly ar­tic­u­lated and de­fended the cen­tral bank’s re­forms, in­clud­ing the con­tro­ver­sial Is­lamic bank­ing.

On his mo­ti­va­tions for ac­tive pol­i­tics, the Anam­bra-born tech­no­crat has said he joined YPP be­cause he be­lieved the party would be pro­gres­sive, as an agent of rais­ing stan­dards across the board for pol­i­tics and pol­icy. “It is a choice between re­main­ing a mere frac­tious as­sort­ment of eth­nic­ity and re­li­gious on one hand and build­ing a real na­tion on the other,” he said.

Hamza Al-Mustapha - Peo­ples Party of Nige­ria (PPN)

Hamza al-Mustapha was the Chief Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Sani Abacha between No­vem­ber 1993 and June 1998. Af­ter Abacha’s death he was ar­rested and tried for mur­der. On 12 July 2013, a Court of Ap­peal in La­gos dis­charged and ac­quit­ted him of the mur­der of Kudi­rat Abi­ola. The Yobe State-born is the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of Peo­ples Party of Nige­ria. He is a new­comer in ac­tive pol­i­tics, es­pe­cially at the pres­i­den­tial level.

Tope Fa­sua - Abun­dant Nige­ria Re­newal Party (ANRP)

Born Septem­ber 11, 1971, Tope Ko­lade Fa­sua is a busi­ness­man, econ­o­mist and writer. He is the founder and CEO of Global An­a­lyt­ics Con­sult­ing Lim­ited, an in­ter­na­tional con­sult­ing firm with its head­quar­ters in Abuja. Fa­sua founded the ANRP, and got elected as its na­tional chair­man since Fe­bru­ary 2018; and there­after an­nounced his in­ten­tion to seek nom­i­na­tion to run for Nige­ria’s pres­i­dency in the forth­com­ing 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

Us­man Ibrahim Al­haji - Na­tional Res­cue Move­ment (NRM)

Forty-eight-year-old Us­man Ibrahim Al­haji is the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the Na­tional Res­cue Move­ment (NRM).

Al­haji was born in Makurdi, Benue State though his par­ents were from Kebbi State.

He is a grad­u­ate of Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion Sci­ence, Univer­sity of Maiduguri and a pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tion­ist.

He is cur­rently a busi­ness­man, manag­ing two ed­u­ca­tional con­sult­ing com­pa­nies and one agro-al­lied com­pany. Al­haji dur­ing his dec­la­ra­tion in Abuja said he be­longs to a new gen­er­a­tion of “youth­ful pa­tri­ots with a burn­ing de­sire to con­trib­ute his ev­i­dent dy­namism, cre­ativ­ity and newer per­spec­tives among other qual­i­ties that align with to­day’s re­al­i­ties and rapidly pro­gres­sive devel­op­ments in hu­man and so­cio-eco­nomic en­deav­ours for na­tional trans­for­ma­tion.” Gov­er­nor­ship can­di­dates Cross River Bar­ris­ter Eyo Ekpo - So­cial Demo­cratic Party (SDP)

He was born in 1966. He was for­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Com­mis­sioner for Jus­tice in Cross River State dur­ing the ten­ure of Mr Don­ald Duke. He later worked with Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Agency and the Gen­eral Elec­tric (GE).

He is of the Efik eth­nic group whose peo­ple said they have been marginalised. Mr Ekpo en­joys sup­port from many who see him as a fresh face and the party as an al­ter­na­tive. He cam­paigns on the theme “Res­cue and Re­store Cross River.” Plateau Pas­tor Mar­garet Inusa - Ac­tion Demo­cratic Party (ADP)

She is a first timer in pol­i­tics and she is eye­ing Plateau’s seat of power in Lit­tle Ray­field. She is also the only woman among the 21 can­di­dates jostling for the seat.

Mar­garet Inusa is a se­nior Pas­tor at Glo­ri­ous Life In­ter­na­tional Church, a re­la­tion­ship coun­cil­lor and a ra­dio talk show host in Jos. Thanks to her role in peace build­ing and em­pow­er­ment for the young, she has been able to gar­ner a lot of sup­port from women, youths and among non­indi­genes res­i­dents in the state.

Com­ing from Kanke Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area in Plateau Cen­tral Sen­a­to­rial dis­tricts means Mar­garet and her party are break­ing the state’s un­writ­ten zon­ing agree­ment which presently gives an up­per hand to can­di­dates from the South­ern Sen­a­to­rial district.

With no po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, Mar­garet is not do­ing badly. She will face stronger con­tenders and more ex­pe­ri­enced con­tes­tants es­pe­cially Gover­nor Si­mon La­long of the APC, Sen­a­tor Jeremiah Useni of the PDP. Kwara Com­rade Issa Obalowu Aremu Labour Party (LP)

He was born on Jan­uary 8, 1961 and he is a trade union ac­tivist and labour leader. He is the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Na­tional Union of Tex­tile, Gar­ment and Tai­lor­ing Work­ers of Nige­ria (NVTGTWN) and Vice Pres­i­dent of the In­dus­trial Global Union. He is also a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil of the Nige­rian Labour Congress who served as Vice Pres­i­dent of the congress dur­ing the ten­ure of Com­rade Adams Osh­iom­hole.

Aremu who has im­pacted lives of many Kwarans as a labour leader has been able to reach out and reg­is­ter him­self in the minds of many peo­ple in Kwara State who have ben­e­fit­ted from him di­rectly or in­di­rectly.

His five-point de­vel­op­ment agenda which in­cludes ad­dress­ing poverty, has en­deared him to many peo­ple hav­ing stud­ied chal­lenges con­fronting the state. Borno Prof. Baba­gana Zu­lum- All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC)

He was de­clared win­ner of the APC pri­maries in Borno State and en­joys the sup­port of in­cum­bent Gover­nor Kashim Shet­tima. He is a Pro­fes­sor of Ir­ri­gation En­gi­neer­ing from the Univer­sity of Maiduguri and the im­me­di­ate past Com­mis­sioner for Re­con­struc­tion, Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Re­set­tle­ment.

With the ac­ri­mony in the lead­ing op­po­si­tion PDP in Borno, all is now set for Zu­lum de­spite the fact that this is the first time he is vy­ing for po­lit­i­cal of­fice through the bal­lot. Oyo Chief Bayo Ade­labu - (APC) Ade­labu, a 48-year-old for­mer Deputy Gover­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria re­signed in May this year to ven­ture into pol­i­tics.

He will be slug­ging it out with a for­mer gover­nor of the state, Chief Ade­bayo AlaoAkala who is the can­di­date of (ADP), Sen­a­tor Olufemi Lan­le­hin of the ADC and many oth­ers. Ade­labu who is from Ibadan which con­trib­utes over 55per cent of the to­tal votes in Oyo State may en­joy the good­will of his grand­fa­ther, Ade­goke Ade­labu with “Penkelemesi” as his cam­paign slo­gan. Ade­labu was op­po­si­tion leader, Western House of As­sem­bly, Chair­man, Ibadan District Coun­cil and Min­is­ter of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and So­cial Ser­vices.

Ade­labu, First-Class de­gree grad­u­ate of Ac­coun­tancy from Obafemi Awolowo Univer­sity, Ile-Ife, Osun State, was in pri­vate sec­tor be­fore join­ing Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria in Fe­bru­ary, 2014.

At the apex bank, Ade­labu served as the chair­man, Board of Di­rec­tors of the Nige­ria In­ter­bank Set­tle­ment Sys­tem (NIBBS) and had also chaired the Board of Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tion Train­ing Cen­tre (FITC). He also served as a mem­ber of the Board, Fed­eral In­land Rev­enue Ser­vices (FIRS), Nige­ria Se­cu­rity Print­ing and Mint­ing Com­pany (NSPMC), the As­sets Man­age­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of Nige­ria (AMCN) and the Nige­ria In­cen­tive-Based Risk-Shar­ing Sys­tem for Agri­cul­tural Lend­ing (NIRSAL).

Th­ese rook­ies are set to feel the pres­sure of seek­ing elec­tive po­si­tion and whether they will suc­ceed de­pends on the elec­torate.

Omoyele Sowore

Kings­ley Moghalu

Oby Ezek­we­sili

Chief Bayo Ade­labu

Tope Fa­sua

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