In spite of media reports that it had endorsed the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar, the Red Card Movement said it was not disposed to aligning with the candidates of the PDP and that of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“The Red Card Movement did not ENDORSE Atiku, neither did it ENDORSE Buhari,” RCM tweeted on Thursday.
Ezekwesili, a former education minister convened RCM in 2018 as an apolitical movement of accountable and good governance advocacy.
“Our goal is to redefine the parameters for leadership in the polity, which would consequently improve the quality of governance,” RCM said on its official website.
Earlier in the month, it reiterated its disavowal of both PDP and APC, saying “Red Card Movement will not support, participate, endorse or champion an alliance that involves any of the 2 dominant political parties – PDP and APC.”
The stance was consistent with that of Ezekwesili, who resigned as the leader of the group in November 2018. She insisted that both the PDP and APC have failed Nigeria.
“The way to continue this fight for Nigeria is for a coalition of alternatives to come together and end the poverty escalating reign of the #APCPDP in two weeks,” she said recently.
But on Thursday, some members of the movement at a press conference endorsed PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, the main challenger of the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari.
Tony Akabuno, a co-chairman of RCM said the misgivings about the presidential candidate of the PDP were unfounded and that only Atiku can defeat Buhari at the polls.
Akabuno was pessimistic about the chances of a coalition being championed by Ezekwesili at the poll.
“We believe that it is a myopic and grandiose delusion for anyone to think that any other political party can dislodge this failed APC, apart from PDP,” RCM co-chairman Tony Akabuno said in a statement.
“We feel that those who demonize His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are either envious, hateful or ignorant. This is a man that has never been indicted by any court of competent jurisdiction anywhere in the world.”
He, however, stated that the endorsement of Atiku as RCM presidential candidate was not largely accepted by the movement’s membership nationwide. He urged others to support the PDP candidate.
He explained that “after several failed attempts by RCM at midwifing a coalition of the alternatives, our members – resolved that the primary focus should be how to ensure that the present Buhari led regime is voted out of power.”
But RCM insisted on Thursday that the plan to form a viable coalition was still on less than two weeks to the elections.
“In the meantime, we are concluding the ongoing process of midwifing the emergence of a credible consensus alternative candidate for the upcoming general elections,” it said.