“I can retain neither respect nor affection for a Government which has been moving from wrong to wrong in order to defend its immorality.”
- Mohandras. K. Ghandhi (1869-1948)

Since the advent of another phase of democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999, the year preceding the general elections never falls short of its billings as being the most dramatic in the nation’s political space. So far, the year 2018 has not disappointed many. The striking and interesting difference between 2018 and other penultimate election years is the relative high number of aspirants who had officially declared their interests to unseat the incumbent President come February, 2019.

Whilst some have mooted that 2019 might just be the last chance to salvage Nigeria from the monstrous claws of the carnivorous elite, a handful are resolute in their beliefs that the APC (the ruling party) would beat all comers come February, 2019. Amongst the latter, opinions are widely divided as to why and how the Buhari-led government would remain in Aso Rock for another four (4) years.

Judging by the varying commentaries in the mainstream and new media, there is a consensus that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was definitely not an option to consider. The reasons are not far-fetched. The hitherto ruling party is on a gradual descent to the abyss. In the last twelve (12) months, erstwhile party stalwarts of the PDP ignominiously defected in droves to the ruling APC. Arguably, the PDP might not rise to her former glory (again) courtesy the APC.

The recently released list of looters of the nation’s treasury by the APC which was replete with active members and political aficionados of the PDP might just be the death knell officially signalling the demise of the PDP. The released list is one-out-of-many ruthless strategies the APC would deploy to decimate the PDP rendering it impotent en route to 2019.

Undoubtedly, the crux of Nigeria’s political juggernauts is evenly distributed between these two political parties. Many have argued that the lack of asymmetric ideologies makes both parties birds of a feather. The shameless ease of cross-carpeting lends credence to this assertion. Simply put, the seeming contrasting forces (party names and ideograms) coupled with the interrelation and interconnectivity (ease of defection) morphs both parties into yin and yang-the Chinese philosophy for tangible dualities.

It is against this apparent dualistic vicious cycle that the cry for a Third Force became the rallying point for two broad categories of political activists viz (1) The former President Obasanjo-led Social Democratic Party (SDP) and (2) A raft of politicians who appeal to the larger young demographic.

This brought-back-from-the-grave Social Democratic Party (SDP) is obviously not the stallion the late Chief M.K.O Abiola rode on in his quest to becoming the President of Nigeria in the ill-fated Presidential elections of 1993. The make-up of the SDP obviously makes it a hard sell. There is a growing disdain for recycled leaders. Some have labelled the SDP as The Third Farce-a Dead on Arrival (DoA) project.

The second constituent of the Third Force would be where real the action is. Leading the pack is Mr. Omoyele Sowore (Sahara Reporters), Mr. Fela Durotoye (Popular Motivational Speaker), Mr. Ahmed Buhari (an Entrepreneur), Dr. Kingsley Moghalu (Former Deputy Governor, CBN), Dr. (Mrs) Remi Sonaiya (KOWA Party), Dr. Bukola Saraki (Senate President), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (Former Vice President) to mention few. With exemption of the last two Presidential aspirants, attention should be beamed on these new breeds of political neophytes ready to the wrest power from the ruling APC.

With the benefit of hindsight, electioneering in Nigeria is beyond the game of numbers. Money plays a pivotal role in determining what direction the pendulum of victory swings. Besides the significant roles money plays, most elections in Nigeria are marred with a broad spectrum of irregularities ranging from underage voting to ballot box snatching under the watchful eyes of electoral officials. The Third Force political office seekers should definitely not be oblivious of these grim realities.

To make meaningful impact in the Presidential elections of 2019, it behoves all the political parties underneath the Third Force umbrella to form an alliance. In addition, elections are not won on Social Media. Arguably, the new media is fast becoming a veritable platform to gain traction, the real critical mass are the plebeians whose self-worth are measured in Vietnamese Dong during elections.

Finally, the political parties constituting this Third Force should embark on a massive campaign for the collection of the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs). The only legitimate voters are the PVC holders. This does not require rote understanding. The political parties in the Third Force have less than nine (9) months to come up with a formidable plan to become the real force to be reckoned with.

Any strategy outside political alignments would only make the contending presidential aspirant a minced meat in the gnashing jaws of the political Cerberus at the elections.

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