Kingsley Moghalu, who is eyeing the presidency 2023, has made a symbolic gesture to indicate that national reconciliation would be his top priority if elected as president in 2023.
Prof. Moghalu, former Deputy Governor at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a presidential candidate in the 2019 election, on Friday, 8 October 2021, at a world press conference, announced that he has joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC) party.
The event held at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Hall at Stonehedge Hotel, Abuja. The hotel is owned by Magajin Garin Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Marafa Danbaba, the grandson of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) and Premier of the Northern Region in the First Republic.
“My choice of the hotel and the hall were deliberate and of symbolic importance,” Moghalu said. “I wanted to signal that national reconciliation will be a top priority of my presidency if elected in 2023.”
Asked how he intends to unite Nigerians against the backdrop of ethnic and religious division that has deepened during the current administration, Moghalu responded: “It starts from the heart. You must genuinely love the people. I love Nigerians irrespective of their religion and ethnicity. But if you harbour hate or prejudice against people from some parts of the country and you have an agenda of ethnic dominance, you cannot unite the people.”
Moghalu said he agrees that Nigeria is indivisible because that is what the constitution says. He, however, noted that there is a difference between saying a country is indivisible and achieving national unity.
Moghalu has recently reaffirmed his view that the violent January 1966 coup started the violent phase of the Nigerian political crisis during which prominent politicians, including Ahmadu Bello, were killed. The incident ultimately led to the civil war in 1967-1970 and has since accentuated the challenge of national unity. Moghalu has advocated for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in Nigeria, similar to the one in post-apartheid South Africa, to help the country to heal from its injurious past.
During his speech, Moghalu identified the four major responsibilities for the president: nation building, national security, the national economy, and international affairs.
“My entire career has uniquely prepared me for these responsibilities,” said the former UN diplomat who worked to foster post-conflict national reconciliation and nation building in countries including Rwanda after the genocide, Cambodia and Croatia. “As CBN deputy governor, I worked with colleagues to introduce and implement reform that saved the banking system during the 2008 global financial crisis, ensured no Nigerian lost a kobo of their bank deposits, brought inflation down to single digit of eight percent, and introduced the bank verification number (BVN).”
Moghalu urged Nigerians to evaluate 2023 presidential candidates in terms of their capacities to carry out the primary responsibilities of the president to the best possible benefit of the citizens.