In a forum, someone brought up the name of Prof. Kingsley Moghalu as one of the presidential aspirants, another asked if he is really in the race which returned with a laugh. Another labelled him a twitter-based aspirant – meaning that his aspiration is limited to Nigerians on Twitter.
Kingsley Moghalu has projected himself as a believer in competence over zoning though competent people with ideas are found in each region. He said, “I aspire to be President not because of where I come from but on the basis of what I, working with a “dream team” will offer Nigeria.”
Having said his business as President will be “to reestablish the idea of Nigeria on the business of equity and justice to all parts of Nigeria and all persons in this country,” Zoning (rotation – his preferred term) system will foster inclusion, and equity.
As a presidential aspirant running under the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Moghalu may choose to gloss over the argument on the zoning system which seems to solve equity issues in the country but not without its complexities. Attempts are made to shut out the South-east from benefiting from it as it is justifiably their turn.
Should zoning be in favour of the South-east for the next election, it will be easier for Moghalu to be noticed and his ideas properly situated than swim through the ethno-religious politics that tend to sideline the South-east political interests.
Regardless of his view on zoning and not wanting to play “ethnic identity politics”, Prof. Moghalu has demonstrated firm knowledge of the needs of the Nigerian people and governance from the viewpoint of result oriented leadership.
To build, innovate and grow Nigeria is the vision on which he would be asking for votes in 2023 to become the next president of Nigeria.
So lofty it is his vision, Moghalu has been explicit in his interviews on how his vision can be implemented.
As a political economist, the core of his vision is about the economic development of Nigeria based on sound economic philosophy.
Nigeria is handicapped without a sound economic philosophy where there is confusion on whether it operates a mixed economy or a capitalist economy. This seemed the bedrock of the economic problems of Nigeria, which is one of the many visions of the Prof to lay a sound foundation and economic philosophy to build the country’s economy.
In addition to a firm foundation, he said, “there must be a balance between the state and market” and not a situation where the state suppresses the market by managing and determining market prices, especially in the petroleum sector.
Moghalu envisions investing in innovation and establishing a N5 trillion venture capital fund as a start to enable the young business people to have start-up capital as well to commercialise their inventions so that the products become available in the markets.
At the base of economic development is the quality of education. To this, Moghalu’s presidency will invest in education ‘for the development of the right skills and universities’ curriculum will be such that it will be 70% in favour of science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM and then entrepreneurship.’
Apart from the economy among other issues, his priority will also be to secure Nigeria. The poor economy and insecurity are inseparable. He would expand the strength of the armed forces, reform the police and also reform “border security in Nigeria to protect the Nigerian territorial space more effectively”. In addition to that, “improving our sense of nationhood to become our brother’s keepers” will aid in nation building.
Moghalu, whose election is assumed a twitter based which in essence is not a candidate to waste time on, through his campaign organisation – Moghalu for President – has focused on grassroots and established structures at every polling unit in the 176,000 polling units in the country. But they have to do more to sell the Prof to more Nigerians.
Moghalu is a candidate to be closely watched but in a country deeply divided along ethno-religious lines, it is a wonder how Moghalu envisions uniting a complex Nigeria. As a former UN officer who helped to broker national peace in countries of need, Nigeria may not be easy as the country has no national philosophy and as well bedevilled by ethno-religious supremacy; a pursuit stifling socio-economic development and growth that could foster national unity.
Kingsley Moghalu will be a winning candidate with his eloquence and ideas but from a smaller party, Nigerians tend not to have much interest in good candidates in other smaller parties, it will be hard for the Prof to swim across. Yet, some Nigerian leaders had emerged when no one thought they stood a chance. With the state of disillusionment, anger, dissatisfaction, frustration and poverty, a man with a clear vision, not from the stock of professional politicians, should be given a chance.
As the South-east clamours for its turn to produce the next president and with seeming politics played in zoning the president to the region by the two major parties, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu is not only an aspirant with clear vision but also the home support given to him will go a long way to bringing him up to the front line and to win.