Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has declared to run for the presidency in 2019.
He made the declaration yesterday at a world press conference held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Wuse.
Moghalu said combination of military rule, oil booms and busts, and successive leadership failures of the political class have robbed the country “of what seemed our destiny at independence.”
He stressed the need to focus on individuals seeking elections than on platforms and parties that have delivered wrong candidates and failed leaders which, he said, is responsible for where the country is today.
Moghalu said politicians who caused the mess the country is at the moment, when they were in their 30s, will not bring about any change at age 70.
He said: “The next president of Nigeria cannot be one who does not understand economics because the country’s problems demand practical solutions.”
Moghalu, who did not mention the platforms he will be running on, said: “I am standing here, today, saying it is time we shattered the downward spiral to nowhere.
“I am here, today, standing with the 110 missing girls of Dapchi and their grieving family, and with the traumatised young women of Chibok, those with us and those still in captivity.
“I am here, today, standing with 180 million Nigerians, in addition to thousands of businesses struggling to share a meager 4000MW of electricity.
“I am here, today, standing with the 100 million Nigerians experiencing crushing poverty, living on less than N300 a day.
“I am here, today, because 33 million of our able men and women are unemployed or underemployed, nearly 15 million children are out of school, and only 60 per cent of Nigerians are literate.
“I am here, today, because our hospitals are understaffed and mismanaged death traps, and women are still subject to horrific prejudices and devastating early marriages.
“I am taking this stand, here and now, because Nigeria, today, is divided by ethnic and religious conflicts, made worse by corruption.”
The ex-CBN deputy governor admitted that he cannot fix the country in months or weeks, but assured that changes will take place within shortest possible time.
“Things will be difficult and painful choices will have to be made together. Together, we can deliver for ourselves a different outcome.”
He said Nigerians are “collectively exhausted by politicians who continually fall in and out of alliances with each other and care nothing for the ordinary citizens.
“They aggravate our fears in the hope that we will continue to keep them in power even though they offer nothing new.”
On security, he said the government in power has not demonstrated the political will to deal with the fundamental root cause of insecurity in the country.
He said: “If we do like we do presently, as an animal farm of which some animals are more equal than the other, we cannot enforce the rule of law. Having said that, I’d like to say I have the political will to ensure the rule of law during our administration.”