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Dankwambo, Moghalu carpet Buhari on leadership, economy


Ibrahim Dankwambo

Two presidential aspirants, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo and Professor Kingsley Moghalu, yesterday, took President Muhammadu Buhari to the cleaners over his handling of the economy and style leadership. Dankwambo, who described Nigeria’s economy as comatose, regretted that the economy was shrinking without any feasible effort from the government to address. He decried the failure of the Buhari-led government to improve Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which slowed in the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Gombe State governor made the remarks, while seeking endorsement and support for his presidential aspiration from PDP delegates and leaders from the 18 local government councils of the state in Benin City.He said the decline in the country’s GDP amid growing insecurity and unemployment rate is alarming, stressing that they are indications that the government has failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

Dankwambo said the state of the nation has remained comatose since inception of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after almost over three years in power.Express dismay at the way the country has witnessed backwardness in the past three years of the Buhari administration, Dankwambo declared: “From the day they came on board, nothing has changed in the country. From the economy to security and job creation, in all the numbers released from day to day, Nigeria is going backwards. Just two days ago, we were told that the GDP also dropped by 1.5 per cent. 


“Like they say, a simple measure is if you check the standard or condition of your life in 2014 and 2015 and compare today, I do not know if there is any indicator that will show you whether it has improved or not.

“From the training we received, we can provide leadership and you will see what we will produce within a short period of time. “while contending that Nigeria needed a President who could harness the nation’s resources and improve the lives of its citizens, the former Accountant General of the Federation, said: “What is required is a man that can harness all these kinds of resources immediately, with all the energy that is required to implement them and ensure that the quality of life of Nigerians is improved immediately.

“From 2005 to 2010, I have participated in so many kinds of economic management programmes that have rescued or had provided succour to this country. I know how to do it (manage the economy); I had been part of what has been done and if given the opportunity, I would do it.”

On the crucial issue of restructuring, Dankwambo said every section of Nigeria must not feel marginalised, if the country must experience rapid development, adding: “No matter what you do about the economy, if somebody from Edo State feels that he did not belong to this entity called Nigeria or has doubts that somebody will not be fair to him, no matter how hard they have worked, then there will be a problem.

“We are bringing a government that will give Nigerians equal opportunity to excel in any position they desire,” he stressed, just as he urged the delegates to work towards giving Nigerians the best alternative by carefully assessing all the aspirants to get the party’s presidential ticket.

“For the alternative to be very good, we have to sit down and think. We should not be doing what we were doing before. We should sit down and have a criterion for identifying the kind of person that we will present or would be a good alternative.”

On his part, the former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and presidential aspirant on the platform of Young Progressives Party, (YPP), Prof. Moghalu said Nigeria’s leaders use power against the collective interest of citizens. Moghalu, who is is running on the platform of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), described such leaders as hegemons that have continually perpetuated political fraud against the country.

The presidential aspirant, who made the remarks in Calabar during a town hall meeting to declare his intention ahead of 2019, said: “Political power in Nigeria is a game played by tribal hegemons. They are all seeking hegemony on behalf of their tribe. This is political 419. He said: “These politicians that we must retire in 2019 are only out for one thing, which their stomach is. They believe that they and their children own Nigeria. They use ethnicity and religion, but when they get the power, even the members of their ethnic group and their religion do not fare better.  So, they use us to get to power for their selfish purpose.

“Nigeria is not yet a nation and we can only become great when we become a real nation. Nation building is a process of creating national identity using the power of the state, hence the first task that faces this country is nation building and this is one of the cardinal programmes of the YPP.

“For a leader to be able to build a nation, we must rise above the things that are limiting us. When our worldview is determined by your ethnicity, then you cannot build Nigeria and become a part of the problem rather than the solution. This is why our identity is first and foremost the political identity of citizenship of the federal republic of Nigeria.”

The former banker said he is offering himself to provide leadership beyond politics, but to fix Nigeria’s economy and fix jobs for the youths, young men and women, who have gone out of universities, but whose dream has been broken by bad leadership, selfishness and corruption which is at play today.As part of his plans for massive youth employment, Moghalu said his administration would establish a N1trillion venture capital fund for enterprising youths in the country thereby creating massive employment opportunities.He expressed the hope that from the next dispensation, Nigerians would have leaders that understand economics, stressing that a leader who does not understand an economy cannot create jobs.

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