By Tunde Niyi-Akinmade
Kingsley Moghalu, the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to form an inclusive government with competent people, for his second term in office.
Moghalu, in his first personal reaction to the Presidential and National Assembly elections that took place last Saturday, said on the basis of Buhari being announced the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the president owed Nigerians an inclusive and competent government.
In a statement, Moghalu said this was the only way we “can heal our land and take millions of Nigerians out of crushing poverty.” He said the the Buhari administration must establish a new, philosophically and conceptually grounded approach to economic management in the country.
This, he said, must go beyond mere economic growth statistics to urgent priority to real economic development and structural transformation for our country.
The former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offered to be part of the engagement process to bring about a new economic system in the country over the long haul.
“Our struggle for a better and well-governed society, a productive and inclusive economy that breaks the backbone of poverty, and to restore Nigeria’s leadership role in the world continues. I for my part will remain engaged in that struggle over the long haul,” he said.
He expressed sadness over the violent loss of lives during the elections, saying the vote was marred by operational failures of INEC.
Apart from massive vote-buying and vote-rigging through various methods, he said the credibility of the election was called to question by the complicity of the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the malpractices.
He rejected the number of votes tallied for him by the INEC during the election, saying it did not represent anything close to the electoral strength of his candidacy.
“These false numbers were the result of brazen theft of our votes and the suppression of our voters,” he said.
Moghalu said it appears the desire for real change in the country’s polity and governance in 2019 far outweighs the strong determination by Nigerians to change the incumbent government through the ballot box.
Describing 2019 as the “last gasp of the old political order that has robbed Nigeria of real development,” he said he was confident of a change by 2023.
He called for fundamental reforms in the country’s electoral system for our democracy to have real meaning.
“Elections, as they are organised and executed today in Nigeria, are a travesty,” he said.
He identified the areas requiring urgent reforms to include the systems of registration, voting and collation of votes.
“As of today, these processes are tedious, inefficient and prone to risks and performance failures such as those we have experienced. We can make the processes more transparent through better use of technology,” he said.
Besides, he said government should be ready to issue stiffer punishment for electoral offences and ensure stricter enforcement of accountability in the electoral process.