Nigeria: 2019 - Why I'm Running for President - Oby Ezekwesili

Aso Villa, presidential residence, National Assembly, right (file photo)
15 October 2018

The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Oby Ezekwesili, on Monday said she is running for president to right the wrongs of governance in the country.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, Mrs Ezekwesili, a former education minister, said she is not in the race to make up the numbers.

"I am the candidate of the Nigerian people and there is no power or force greater than the people acting as a collective," she said.

Mrs Ezekwesili said there is need to revive the economy as a matter of urgency and that within 100 days of her taking the office, Nigeria would experience a change.

"The only reason you need leaders is for them to solve daunting challenges, it is only when there is an ineffective government that the problem persists," she said.

"There is need to implement policies that will boost the economy and lift people from the state of extreme poverty. China has shown us the way to do it, and we can do it, we need to keep hope alive," she said.

The candidate also said one of the things she would treat as a matter of urgency is to put the citizens first and make every citizen begin to matter again.

Asked the areas of the economy she would accord priority, Mrs Ezekwesili said, "We need to get our fiscal crisis sorted out. The 2017 budget performance that was released by the federal government shows that we are now in a state of imbalance.

"The oil revenue is not sufficient to cover the personnel cost of government. This is a nation of about 186 million people but the two million people in public service consume the entire oil revenue, there has to be drastic measures on the cost of governance."

She explained that the country needs to shift her gaze from oil revenue to making investments in proper livelihood, quality education and skills necessary to make Nigerians world class citizens.

"The country also needs to invest in human capital and creating an environment suitable for development," Mrs Ezekwesili said.

"We will do everything to improve the conditions of livelihood, human security and identify and carry out very ambitious security reform that will function effectively.

"Nigerians must not be told that what they deserve is a choice between evils, I am not the evil one, I am the choice of the Nigerian people."

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