He was relatively not in the consciousness of many Nigerians.
He was not a part of those whose campaign posters dotted the entire landscape of the country, maybe as a result of poor financial muscle like the two dominant parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Felix Nicolas of the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) came third in the tensely contested presidential election which just ended.
As Nigerians suddenly started digging for who the 37-year-old New York-based pastor was that could beat known faces like Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress (AAC); Olufela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Kingsley Moghalu, the Young Progressive Party (YPP) candidate, Nicolas released a message thanking Nigerians for giving him the opportunity not just to contest, but to be in a third place after Atiku Abubakar, who came second.
“I will not fail to express a resounding gratitude to everyone that saw this political process through.
Truly, we have been able to show every observer from the international community, to purported political bigwigs and ‘GodFathers’, even to the poor masses that must have lost faith in the process that power indeed belongs to the people.
“As the election results collated by INEC continue to trickle in we realise that indeed despite so many anomalies, there is a progressive adjustment in paradigm. As the electoral process advances to other stages that will include state elections as well as litigations to iron-out the anomalies of the whole process, we will get to see clearly, how well we have come from yesteryears.
“This is a huge step out of dark ages into the age of enlightenment; civic and social awareness. My congratulations go to every young Presidential Candidate who made it this far, Ahmed Buhari, Omoyele Sowore, Kingsley Moghalu, Chike, Fela, Emmanuel, Alistair, Eunice, Dare Fagbemi…..I wish to reiterate that the reason for holding a public office at any level is to effectively provide a sustainable progress in the country of which the people will benefit. The people; the pinnacle of our service.
“To every Nigerian, I once again tender my appreciation for your unwavering support to myself and as well as my co-aspirants. We have definitely stepped closer to an inevitable political liberation,” he said in his message.
Nicolas’ excitement might be expected. Who would have thought that a man who was not seen going from one state to the other in campaign rallies could beat 70 candidates, many of whom embarked on visits to monarchs to drive home their political messages or those who went from one tertiary institution to another with the belief that the youth of the country, in population, held the key to who would emerge president? He scored a total of 110,196 votes far ahead of the other contestants aside Buhari and Atiku.
For example, he defeated his closest rivals, Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and John Gbor from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), with 12,322 votes. The two scored 97,874 and 66,851 votes respectively.