Plato, an ancient Greek Philosopher once said: “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
That is why the decision by a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu to throw his hat in the ring by declaring his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election has been widely received by Nigerians who seem frustrated by the present crop of political leaders.
The audacious move by Moghalu is seen as a step in the right direction for a nation that is urgently in need of rebirth.
The former central banker encapsulated his manifesto for the transformation of the country in his new book entitled: “Build, Innovate and Grow – My Vision for Our Country,’ which was launched in Nigeria recently.
The 259-page book points to the fact that Nigeria can’t have good governance without good leaders and good leadership. He noted that Nigeria’s leadership problem is located mainly in its venal politics.
The presidential hopeful strongly believe that with the current state of the country where institutions such as the International Monetary Fund have highlighted the worsening state of poverty in the country, there is an urgent need to wage a war against poverty.
He is also disturbed by the rising state of civil unrest, ethnic clashes as well as the incidence of terrorism in the country.
According to Moghalu, political leaders must govern consciously with strategy, which has to do with strategy management and the discipline of execution.
He noted that every government must deliver on the promises it made for deliverables that are essential for effective governance.
He also challenged the youths to prepare themselves with the relevant qualifications and take over the mantle of leadership, saying the struggle is about the future of Nigeria, not its past.
He explained: “The battle to reshape Nigeria into a strong and capable country requires competence, capacity and character, and as a citizen who aspires to be a president, I possess all three.
“If it is about competence, my work as a deputy governor of the CBN who played a leadership role in rescuing and stabilising the Nigerian banking system after the global financial crisis speaks for itself.
“If it is about capacity, my work in the United Nations reconstructing countries torn by civil war or reforming the internal workings of the world body is there for everyone to see.
“If it is about character, well, talk to my colleagues, mentors, friends, and of course my family, and listen to what they have to say. Strong, knowledgeable guidance is needed as Nigeria navigates these difficult waters, and I offer myself for service with a solid track record of leadership.’’
He pointed out that there is nothing more pathetic than to keep hearing the excuses for leadership failure in contemporary Nigeria, just as he stressed that effective governance requires more than good intentions.
“Competent individuals must be selected to positions of public trust. Merit should not be sacrificed on the altar of federal character because there are highly competent and skilled Nigerians from all parts of the country,” he stressed.
It is believed that with his hands-on experience in policy making where as a central banker he led a team that repositioned the country’s banking system and initiated policies that drove growth in the country, Moghalu has the capacity to transform leadership in the country.
Moghalu, a political economist, lawyer and former United Nations official, is also a professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.