Ezekwesili, Moghalu, Durotoye Seek ‘Political Disruption’ As Buhari And Atiku Shun Debate

   Advertisement The presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Democracy (ANN), and Young Progressives Party (YPP) have … Continue reading Ezekwesili, Moghalu, Durotoye Seek ‘Political Disruption’ As Buhari And Atiku Shun Debate


The presidential candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Democracy (ANN), and Young Progressives Party (YPP) have called for a paradigm change in the Nigerian political sector. 

Obiageli Ezekwesili of ACPN, Fela Durtotoye of ANN, and Kingsley Moghalu of YPP, made this call at Saturday’s debate organised by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

Though five candidates were selected by NEDG and BON, two were noticeably absent and these were the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The absence of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP further strengthened the arguments of the other three candidates who blasted the flagbearers of the two major parties in the country, for shunning what many Nigerians consider the mother of all political debates.

No prior notice had been given to the organisers of the debate by the camp of the APC candidate, President Buhari regarding his absence at the debate.

On his part, Alhaji Abubakar arrived at the venue of the debate in Abuja, but just as the debate was about to start, he refused to join the other three candidates who had already been called to the rostrum by the moderator.

The Buhari campaign organization released a statement saying that the president was not at the debate because he had already attended a live town hall last Wednesday. On his part, Mr Abubakar, who was at the venue of the debate but refused to mount the podium, said there was no point participating in the debate if Mr Buhari will not be attending.

In their absence, Oby Ezekwesili; Fela Durotoye; Kingsley Moghalu, took to the stage to tell Nigerians of their plans for the country if elected president in the election in February.

The candidates, who are all political outsiders as this is the first time they are seeking elective positions, kicked-off the debate with gusto.

They told Nigerians why they were qualified to govern the country and what they were going to do differently if elected to lead Africa’s most populous nation.

Though the candidates agreed on the “need” for a political disruption, they had divergent plans for Nigerians as contained in their manifestoes.


We Must Disrupt Our Pattern Of Politics Or Continue To Fail – Ezekwesili

Ezekwesili said at the debate that the people must disrupt Nigeria’s pattern of politics in order to end what she described as a cycle of failure.

The former education minister said she believes that a major problem which the nation has witnessed over the years, is bad leadership which she says has increasingly led to poverty and lack of hope among citizens.

She said, “The problem with our country was identified by Chinua Achebe when he said the problem of Nigeria is simply and squarely a problem of leadership”.

“It is urgent for us to change the direction of our country,” she noted.

She further said that if she’s elected into office, her administration plans to lift at least 80 million Nigerians out of poverty.

“If people are more productive, they earn more and are lifted out of poverty,” she argued.

Ezekwesili said her government will reward merit by finding the most competent people and putting them in positions of leadership so that others can be inspired towards achieving excellence.

She also said getting girls in school must be a priority for every nation, especially one like Nigeria which is still “struggling with development”.

Ezekwesili argued that a nation which “educates the girl-child has a higher track to progress and development”.

She said her educational policy which includes plans on how to develop the girl-child, will pay particular attention innovation and teachers’ quality.

The rights activist said promises to rekindle the drive towards educating the girl child if she’s elected into office.

Leadership In Nigeria Must Not Be Based On Nepotism – Fela Durotoye


Fela Durotoye, the presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), said the nation’s problem is on of leadership.

Durotoye said the reason Nigeria has not been able to attain her full potential is that the nation has been ruled for the past 50 years rather than being led.

He said, “Why haven’t we fulfilled our nation’s potentials? Because we have been ruled and not led for the last 50 odd years” adding, “Rulers suppress the potentials of others whereas leaders support those people to release their potentials.”

Durotoye explained that he got into the race because of his zeal to serve the people of the country, noting that he is a Leadership expert that has helped others to discover their potentials, a skill which he believes will help restore the hope of the Nigerian people.

He said his plan to grow the economy is centred on the improvement of agriculture, housing and road construction. He promised to increase the use of Nigeria arable land from 37 per cent to 50 per cent.

According to Durotoye, by fixing road agriculture and housing, he intends to create 30 million jobs.

Addressing security issues in Nigeria, Durotoye said, for security lapses to be fixed in Nigeria, then the leadership of the Armed Forces must not be based on nepotic biases.

He said the security agencies must be strengthened.

“First and foremost we must ensure that the institutions, the security agencies are strengthened,” Durotoye said, adding that to strengthen the institutions, “they must be properly led,” he said.

He also noted that, “You have to make sure that the leadership of the police, the civil defence corps, the leadership of the army, the navy and all of the armed forces are based not on nepotism, not on friend or man know man as we say sometimes in Nigeria”.

The ANN presidential hopeful said the leadership of the armed forces will be based “On performance and the brightest and the best will be selected amongst the people and promoted to lead the rest and provide for them, role model leadership”.

He further noted that investment in technology will also play a key role in ensuring that Nigeria is secured.

The adroit business expert said drone technology will be employed in securing the borders while the needs of those serving in the armed forces will be tended to adequately to enable them to serve with their all.

He said the armed forces must be motivated, noting that “Nothing demotivates the military or any of the security forces more than not having the proper equipment to be able to do the work that they have been trained to do”.

We Cannot Fix The Economy If We Don’t Fix Our Politics – Moghalu


Professor Kingsley Moghalu said Nigeria’s political system must be fixed before its economy can experience any significant improvement.

“Let’s first understand that we cannot fix the economy if we don’t fix our politics,” Moghalu said.

“Our economy can never grow for as long as we are led by the incompetent, visionless, and recycled and arrogant old politicians that have run this country’s economy into the ground and are seeking another four years of poverty for us,” he added.

The ex-deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said he joined the presidential race because he believes it is time for a different kind of leadership in the country.

He said his aim was to address the root causes of the problems that beleaguered the country.

“We will restructure the country to establish its potentials,” he said. “We would restore Nigeria position in the world. Nigeria’s position in the world has fallen.”

The YPP candidate stressed the need for Nigerians to elect a president who understands how to manage the economy.

He further highlighted some of the strategies he plans to use in fixing the nation’s economy to improve the standard of living of the people.

According to Moghalu, the problem the nation must solve is that it does not have an economic policy.

He said the nation has to realise that it needs to decide whether it is a capitalist or socialist country and the type of capitalism it is practicing if that is the case.

“My approach to the Nigerian economy is, first of all, to focus on reforming the educational system, to ensure that our young people have the skills that can make them competitive in the 21st century and the skills that can give them jobs or help them to set up their own jobs,” the YPP candidate stated.

He added that there are plans by his administration to ensure the youths have access to finance through “N1trillion venture capital fund” which would provide equity capital for them.

On fixing the economy, he said the country’s politics has to be first fixed. “The path to fixing Nigeria economy depends on who becomes the president of the country,” he said.

He promised to move Nigeria away from an oil economy by focusing on innovation and spreading ICT to rural areas by providing incentives for start-ups to move to the rural areas, vowing to curb corruption and tribalism and ethnic considerations in the appointments of military leaders.

Moghalu promised to increase the education budget to 20 per cent of the annual budget and will reform pedagogy.

He also promised to end the perennial strike of university lecturers, saying, “We will invest in how our children learn … then we will invest in educational infrastructure and finally, I will end ASUU strikes in Nigeria“.

“When I say that I will be the education President of Nigeria, the YPP is committed and my government will make secondary school education free in this country.”

United In Our Diversity

The debate came to a very beautiful end with all three contestants coming together, joining their hands in unity as the award-winning singer, Timi Dakolo crooned sonorously his patriotic song titled “Great Nation”.

INEC has released the full names of candidates for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

The electoral umpire published the names on its website on Thursday, 29 days to the general elections.

Over 70 presidential candidates have been shortlisted.

On Saturday, February 16, the nation heads to the polls, to vote in the next president.