2019: Is Nigeria Ready For Kingsley Moghalu?

On Wednesday, February 28, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu declared his Intention to Contest the 2019 Presidential election during a world press conference, held at Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja.

Without ceremonial protocols and any circumlocution, the former Deputy Governor of CBN, Nigeria’s apex bank, declared at the well-attended media event: “With love for our country and a fierce commitment to a vision of rapid progress for our more than 180 million citizens, and following wide-ranging consultations, I offer myself to serve you as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as from May 29, 2019.

I therefore intend to be a candidate in the 2019 presidential election. I seek the opportunity to offer our country visionary, purposeful, competent leadership to build our future”.

With an unassailable confidence and 21st youthful looks that reminds one of Presidents  Emmanuel Macron of France and the pre-White House era of ‘Audacity of Hope’ campaigns of Ex-President Barak Obama of USA, Moghalu further said, “Nearly 60 years ago, our Founding Fathers Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo envisioned a great country that would take its pride of place in the world based on the talents of its citizens and a constitutional federation that would ensure justice, equity, and economic productivity.

“Their vision and hopes have yet to materialize—military rule, oil booms and busts, and the successive leadership failures of our civilian political class have combined to rob us of what seemed our destiny at independence.

I am standing here today saying that it is time we shatter the downward spiral to nowhere”.

The latest candidate in town for the 2018 presidential election in Nigeria is dead serious about his mission to shatter the downward spiral to nowhere in the history of Nigeria since her political independence almost 58 years ago.

His Marshal Plan move the nation out of her undeserved derailment was lucid, unambiguous, enchantingly convincing and unapologetically ambitious. He further espoused, “What we need now is a REAL movement of the people, by the people and, most importantly FOR the people of Nigeria to move our country forward and break with our troubled past.”

He continued, “It is time for a radical change in the political leadership of Nigeria, a visionary, competent and inclusive leadership that truly cares about our country, equipped with the skills, intellect and competence to wage a decisive war against poverty and unemployment, a Nigeria in which our youth can fulfill their full potential and our daughters can aspire to any opportunity they desire… The world is changing: time and tide have in several countries swept away old orders and brought in new, more dynamic ones. Nigeria must not remain stuck in its past… ”

Self-assuredly riding on the crest of competence, capacity, and character which he further elucidated, are key requirements and elements of the battle to reorient Nigeria into a strong, capable country, the cerebral ex-CBN chief laid bare what could be considered his Manifesto for the envisioned Great Nigeria.  In summary, this is how he put it:

Leadership and Governance

  1. “Compose a world-class, “first eleven” team based on merit and inclusive governance to drive government policy. We will be ready on Day One. The appointment of all senior officials of the Presidency will be announced within 48 hours. My government will enthrone evidence-based public policy, strategy and risk management as tools of effective and modern governance.
  2. “Establish and propagate through the educational system a foundational philosophical worldview for the Nigerian state, around which all Nigerians will unite in a common purpose.

Nation-building

  1. “Lead a consultative political process, in cooperation with the National Assembly, to achieve a constitutional restructuring of Nigeria and return our country to true federalism for stability and prosperity by 2021.
  2. “Implement a 50:50 gender parity policy in all political appointments – nearly double the ratio recommended by the National Gender Policy of 2008.
  3. “Establish and implement a Diaspora engagement and return policy and strategy as a new, fundamental component of our national quest for development as has been the case in China, India and Israel. My government will build the Diaspora Commission approved by the National Assembly into an effective, world-class institution to accomplish this important agenda.
  4. “Fundamental overhaul of the Nigerian Police Force that will emphasize training, equipment, and boosting the strength of the Force by recruiting at least 1.5 million policemen and women, up from the grossly inadequate present force strength of 350,000.

Economy

  1. “Establish an innovation-led economy, with intellectual property and commercialization of local innovation as its bedrock.
  2. “Establish a Venture Capital Fund with a minimum of N500 billion as a public-private partnership to invest in the creation of new businesses by presently unemployed youth in Nigeria; the new businesses created with support from this fund will in turn create new jobs. The fund will be managed by private sector partners while the Federal Government of Nigeria will be a core investor.
  3. “Reform energy policy to create an enabling environment for Nigerian households to be powered by renewable energy while industrial zones are served by gas and hydro-powered energy.
  4. “Fundamental reform of Nigeria’s healthcare system to assure quality healthcare for Nigerian citizens and remove the need for medical tourism abroad. Healthcare will have 15 per cent of Nigeria’s budget in line with the Abuja Declaration of the African Union in 2001. A world-class hospital will be established in each of the six geopolitical zones at a federal university teaching hospital.
  5. “Fundamental reform of Nigeria’s education system to create skills and human capital that will drive Nigeria’s industrialization and job creation. “Education will be allocated 20 per cent of the federal government budget, with a progressive increase to 30 per cent over eight years”.

With his above well-thought out mission to rescue Nigeria; an inimitable professional pedigree, world-acclaimed expertise in risk-management, good parentage and admirable family of his own that came with him to his epic declaration, one may not be judged to jump into conclusion that Nigeria really needs Moghalu to speedily move into her predestined greatness. However, the Nigerian peculiar situation seems his albatross.

In straightforward tense, a major sociological problem hindering the growth of the Nigeria is ethnicity politics. It is the bane of anything progressive in the country has ever sought after. It is the mother, father and godfather of federal character, inability of Nigeria to hold a successful head-count since 1952, mediocrity in every facet of our national socio-economic cum political life and the quicksand of fate on which the sub-culture of Zoning by political parties, is pillared.

Will the Anambra-born astute banker and boardroom maestro turning politician be able to wade through the miry waters of ethnic politics in Nigeria in just one year? This is the puzzling riddle that only the disproportional PVCed electorate in the estimated 180 million Nigerians can unravel. And, this is the very reason the question resonates timelessly: Is Nigeria ready for Kingsley Moghalu in 2019?

  • Dapo Olaosebikan (dapolash@yahoo.com), is the Managing Director of the Abuja-based Sahel Standard Newspapers and magazine.
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