POLITICS: Why Are Twelve Presidential Candidates Missing In Nigeria’s 2015 General Elections?

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By Efio-Ita Nyok | 25 February 2015 | 7:00 am
Nigeria has twenty-five registered political parties according to Prof. Attahiru Jega the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Of these 25, fourteen have presidential/vice-presidential candidates for the 2015 general elections.
On the 14 of January 2015 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria published the list of cleared presidential and vice presidential aspirants eligible to stand for election in 
the 2015 general elections. They include:
1. Goodluck Jonathan & Namadi Sambo (PDP)
2. Muhammadu Buhari & Yemi Osinbajo (APC)
3. Tunde Anifowose-Kelani & Mr. Ishaka Paul -Accord Alliance (AA)
4. Rufus Salawu & Akuchie Cliff -Alliance for Democracy (AD)
5. Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima & Ojengbede Farida -Africa Allied Congress Party of Nigeria(ADC)
6. Dr. Mani Ahmad & Obianuju Murphy-Uzohue  -African Democratic Congress(ADC)
7. Aye Adebayo & Anthony Ologbosere -African Peoples Alliance (APA)
8. Chief Sam Eke & Hassana Hassan -Citizens Popular Party(CPC)
9. High Chief Ambrose Owuru & Alhaji Haruna Shaba-Hope Party
10. Comfort Sonaiya & Alhaji Seidu Bobboi -KOWA party
11. Chief Martin Onovo & Ibrahim Muhammad -National Conscience Party(NCP)
12. Allagoa Chinedu & Abrambamhen Mary -Peoples Party of Nigeria(PPN)
13. Godson Okoye & Haruna Adamu -United Democratic Party(UDP)
14. Dr. Chekwa Okorie & Bello Kumar -United Progress United Progressive Party(UPUPP), for president and vice-president respectively.
However, what seem to baffle me, and any other observant Nigerian, is the complete absence of these political parties in Nigeria’s ongoing general electioneering process. I am compelled to ask: what could be the reason for their elusiveness? Why is the presidential/vicepresidential  aspirants of the ruling party, the PDP and the major opposition party, APC taking the center stage unduly?
This pertinent question has become quite important to ask owing to fact that Nigerians are oscillating between an obviously failed candidate in the Peoples Democratic Party in the person of Goodluck Jonathan and an unarguably incompetent candidature in Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians need some bouts of fresh air beyond the duo of GEJ and GMB. Jonathan’s 6 years in ASO Rock suggest very strongly that no right thinking Nigerian should cast a ballot to return him back there. Buhari’s antecedent dislodges any hope for the much touted notion of change. There is an urgent need for an alternative.
I think the vacuum of this much needed alternative could be filled if the remaining 12 political parties take responsibility. I do not understand how they just disappeared from our political space. Why are they missing in action at a time when we most need them to ‘show working’?
I believe they must have been ready for the task ahead when they clamoured for registration with INEC; and I strongly believe that before they were finally registered they must have met certain requirements, one of which is that they should have been able to hold a national convention where their presidential aspirants must have been Democratically selected. That is  they must have truly been a political party of national influence. If this supposition of mine is true, then why is the reverse the case? Since after the publication of their names by Jega as been eligible for elections, media outlet completely forgot about them or they never participated again in the ongoing process to the degree of national recognition. Then, what was their motivation in the first place?
In my thinking there is a dialectic to change. This dialectics is Hegelian in nature, according to which there is the -thesis, antithesis, and synthesis of change. To my mind, the ruling party, the PDP is the thesis, the initial position. While the major opposition party, the APC is the antithesis (and truly they have given the ruling party a run for their money!). The ‘synthesis’ is begging for expression without which the cycle wouldn’t be complete! While some may contend that the synthesis should subsist in the electorate, my counter is that there is no avenue for such expression from the electorates because the candidates of these 2 mega parties are without profound controversies. That is to say in other words, that the ‘synthesis of change’ could only be secured should there be an alternative candidature(s) to both the PDP and APC. And this alternative is viably represented in the remaining 12 political parties.
I am therefore imploring Anifowose-Kelani of AA, Salawu of AD, Galadima of ACPN, Murphy-Uzohue of ADC, Adebayo of APA, Eke of CPC, Owuru of Hope Party, Sonaiya of KOWA,  Onovo of NDP, Allagoa of PPN, Okoye of UDP, and Umar of UPP to rise to the challenge of constituting a viable, credible and authentic alternative of change to Jonathan and Buhari. Who know whether the hope of this country hinges on their responsibility. Besides, the 6 weeks extension from 14 February to 28 March was not just for the PDP and APC. It was and is still inclusive of they.