Nigerian President-elect Moghalu’s Proposal

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Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, founder of the Moghalu 4 Nigeria Movement, has cautioned that playing politics as usual will not serve Nigeria’s interests in the 2023 presidential election, writes Nduka Nwosu.

Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, one of the candidates in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, has decried a situation in which the country has spent five decades, including 22 years of democracy since 1999, “chasing shadows because we have failed or neglected to focus on the question of leadership.”

Moghalu has called for a constitutional reordering of Nigeria, stating that it will improve leadership and governance by bringing government accountability closer to Nigerian citizens by returning the country to real federalism, including devolution of powers to regions.

Moghalu, who spoke at the 10th Emeka Anyaoku Annual Lecture series in Awka, Anambra State, reminded the packed audience of politicians and technocrats that only true leadership, not politics, will save the country from its political quagmire, including its ranking among the world’s most corrupt countries and as a global poverty capital, among other issues.

“We face an urgent leadership problem that we must confront,” he added, “with nations like Malaysia and South Korea, which were on par with Nigeria in the early 1960s, now well ahead of Nigeria in economic and technological development, and with 100 million Nigerians living in abject poverty.”

“Politics as usual will not do the job,” the founder of the Moghalu 4 Nigeria Movement stated. We must recognize that the 22 years of democratic politics since 1999 have not generated any meaningful democratic dividends in terms of economic and political development.

“As a result, we must return to the foundations. The main driver of human society’s evolution is leadership, not just politics.

“As a society, we must move away from divisive politics that makes us poorer and weaker collectively, and instead focus on finding real leadership that will unite our country and lead it to prosperity.

Moghalu, who was recently named one of the presidential candidates to watch in an ARISE News ranking as a follow-up to its interview with former military President Ibrahim Babangida, went on to say that for a government to be truly effective, it must have a leadership capacity that will enable it to deliver on the promises it has made, or on deliverables that are necessary for effective governance.

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On the one hand, he continued, these deliverables include protection of people and property, and on the other, economic development-human development indicators like health care, education, and drinkable water supplies. “ The Nigerian Constitution mandates this in section 14(2)(b), which states that “the fundamental objective of government should be the security and wellbeing of the people.”

According to Moghalu, “the waste created, and efficiencies destroyed by the huge costs of governance in Nigeria across the board, at the levels of both federal and state governments, is a predominant aspect of bad governance in Nigeria.” A responsible and effective all inclusive, transparent, and participatory government, backed by respect for the rule of law and accountability to citizens, will not tolerate “the waste created, and efficiencies destroyed by the huge costs of governance in Nigeria across the board, at the levels of both federal and state governments, is

Moghalu urged political leaders to move away from the current dominance of politics without governance and toward politics that prioritizes good governance as a priority for electoral platforms and candidates. “Party selection for presidential elections, for example, should prioritize aspirants who are knowledgeable about the economics, country development, international relations, and foreign policy,” he argued.

“We need to focus on political education of voters so that they know what to look for and can make informed voting decisions,” he continued. This is an important aspect of a shift in focus away from politics and toward elections as a democratic quest for true leadership, without which good governance will remain a mirage. Political education is primarily a duty of INEC, but it also serves political parties and civil society organizations.

He also stated that non-partisan actors such as clergy, traditional rulers, civil society, and professional organisations, as well as Nigeria’s live past heads of state and administration, must now begin to play a more active role in leadership selection in Nigeria.

“They can do this through public declarations, endorsements, or discreet recommendations,” he added. Every country’s democracy must be tailored to its specific circumstances. Politics is far too crucial to be placed only in the hands of politicians.

“A recent encouraging example of the potential involvement of elder statesmen is former military President Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s intervention in a media interview to honor his 80th birthday on the profile of a prospective future president of Nigeria.”

He continued by stating that Nigeria’s development failures after 60 years of independence, with our country placing near the bottom in every metric of corruption, healthcare, education and human capital development, policing, state instability, and others, can no longer be dismissed or rationalized. “Asian developmental states were also colonized at similar times in history, but they are now powerful and capable of being stable states,” he said.

Moghalu urged political leaders to move away from the current dominance of politics without governance and toward politics that prioritizes good governance as a priority for electoral platforms and candidates.

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