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Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says he is consulting widely to run for the presidency in 2019.
Moghalu told political correspondents in Lagos that time had come for technocrats, intellectuals and experienced people to take power from career politicians.
He said he would not be deterred from joining the race, in spite of speculations that 2023 was the year slated for Igbos to have a shot at the presidency.
Moghalu argued that politics in Nigeria should be detribalised for Africa’s most populous nation to grow and take its rightful place in the comity of nations.
“It is the turn of any competent Nigerian to aspire for the post of the presidency because career politicians have failed Nigeria,” he said.
He said zoning, which had been used by the major political parties, might have been relevant in the past but that it was no longer necessary because competence should be placed above tribe in present-day Nigeria.
“Zoning was an internal arrangement by political parties that was not constitutional. It should no longer matter where the president comes from,” he said.
“The future of Nigeria rests in technocratic interventions. We need thinking people that will take Nigeria from the politics of stomach infrastructure to politics of mental infrastructure.’’
The former CBN chief said the first part to progress for Nigeria is for the people to begin to think differently and beyond tribe in choosing those who would lead them.
Speaking on a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari, Moghalu said that the president had constitutional rights to seek re-election.
“I don’t fathom how anyone can say the president should not run for a second term. It is his choice, the decision on who becomes Nigeria’s president in 2019 rests with Nigerians,” he said.
On the nation’s economy, the economist pointed out that “the economy was in a delicate situation before the present administration.
“The handling of the forex crisis though was misguided. The drop in oil prices actually affected the value of our currency but government should have simply allowed the naira to find its true value which would have reduced the inflation rate.’’
He said Nigeria must look beyond continued dependence on oil and encourage independent institutions to flourish.
Moghalu, however, advised Nigerians to eschew docility and become more forceful in demanding accountability from their leaders at all levels of governance.
Moghalu, who served as CBN deputy governor from 2009 to 2014, is a political economist, lawyer and a former United Nations official.
He was also a professor of practice in international business and public policy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts, U.S.
Born on May 7, 1963, Moghalu is a graduate of the London School of Economics. He also read political science at the University of Nigeria Nsukka.