Grand Patron of the Legacy Initiative International (LII), a non-governmental organisation, Dr. Kenny Martins, has given reasons why Nigeria’s economy would not improve until after the 2019 general elections, when next set of leadership emerges.
Speaking during a press conference organised by LII, in Lagos, on Tuesday, Martins stated that President Muhammadu Buhari himself said to the 36 states governors a few days ago that the state of the economy was worrisome.
According to Martins, never in the history of Nigeria has the economy been so bad. He added that it is not a campaign issue rather the reality.
“The blame can always be traded left and right but reality is that it is not well with the people and it is not well with the economy.
“We cannot do a campaign for national elections and still have attention to address economy. It doesn’t work.
“That’s why in every country there is always a law in campaign term. Even the owners and the drivers of the economy they take a holiday, they take a break because they are watching who is going to emerge, what are the policies he wants to drive, how does that affect what I want to do?
“So, they wait for their campaign promises and talks. It’s only after they have listen to them and they silently pray for their own candidates, that’s when whoever wins becomes the centre of their focus and the fulcrum for economic development.
“So, nothing can be done about the economy until the next set of leadership emerges in terms of presidency and governorship.”
Speaking further on the delay on annual budget presentation, Martins said one day Nigeria would get it right.
He continued, “We don’t know why budgets cannot be presented sometimes in August and debates go on till sometime in November and ratification and ultimate pronouncement of the emergent takes place last week of December or the first week of January.
“One day Nigeria will get matured enough democratically.”
On the 2019 elections, he said some members of Legacy are currently undergoing training with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and they are expected to return, ahead of the 2019 polls, to train volunteers on election monitoring.
“Our aim in legacy is not just to be electoral monitoring body as a Nigerian issue. We intend to register at Economic Community of West Africa, Africa Union and the United Nations levels so that legacy can be globally recognised as an electoral monitoring body that is pursuing free and fair elections.”
Reiterating further he said the INEC of 2015 did a credible job, challenging the current INEC to surpass them.
According to him, Legacy would recommend a candidate to the nation, adding that the plan is still in process as Legacy is working with the leadership of the Christian and the Muslim faiths across the country on that.
He said it is the reason the organisation in conjunction with Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), it recently organised presidential debate, in Abuja, where all the 10 leading presidential candidates and their deputies attended with the exception of the President who was represented at the debate by the Minister of Transportation, to talk about their manifestos and their objectives.
He also said LII and CAN would hold a National Day of Prayers, in Abuja, in January 2019, to seek God’s Intervention for peaceful conduct of the general elections and for the progress of Nigeria.