By Chika Otuchikere
Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has formally declared his ambition to become Nigeriaa��s president in 2019.
Moghalu said that he was compelled to join the presidential race because of his love for the country and a fierce commitment to a vision of rapid progress for the over 180 million citizens.
He said after wide-ranging consultations, a�?II 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.a�?
The renowned banker made the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday at a world press conference. He said that Nigeria lacks an economic philosophy and so, a�?it is time for a radical change in the political leadership of Nigeria.a�?
Moghalu, who lamented that a combination of military rule, oil booms and busts, and successive leadership failures of the political class have robbed the country a�?of what seemed our destiny at independence,a�? said he has the a�?competence, capacity, and character to lead Nigeria and make it to become a strong nation.a�?
While noting that the Nigerian government has failed to protect the citizens, and that Nigeria has lost its place in the comity of nations, the former CBN boss said that Nigerians are collectively exhausted by politicians who continually fall in and out of alliances with each other and does care for the ordinary Nigerian.
Moghalu was however silent on the political party he would stand for the election, stressing that his focus is the people of Nigeria and not party platforms.
He said: a�?While I have been approached by a number of political parties, the movement that I am part of will decide which one we will join. Such decision will be based on commonality of vision and the imperative of a generational shift in leadership, and we will announce this decision in the coming weeks.a�?
He said that if elected president he will restructure Nigeria and return the country to true federalism by 2021, as well as reform the countrya��s healthcare, education, police and the energy sector.
Moghalu, 54, is a political economist, lawyer, and former United Nations (UN) official. He served as Chairman, Boards of Directors of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and the Financial Institutions Training Centre, and is the founder and President of the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), a new think-tank based in Abuja. He was born in Lagos State.
By Chika Otuchikere