BBOG Co-convener, Oby Ezekwesili emerges ACPNpresidential candidate

Dr Oby Ezekwesili

A Co-convener of #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) and former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, on Sunday, emerged the presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) for 2019 presidential election.

Dr Ezekwesili, who emerged at the party convention in Abuja, declared that her presidency would be anchored on a return to strong values, human capital development, sound policies, and institutional reforms.

She said the #NewNigeriaOfOurDreams which her administration would build from 2019 would be measured on four planks of progress.

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According to her, as president, I will not take my eyes away from any of these four planks at any time, which include a high standard of living which we shall measure by real GDP per capita. It is a pity that Singapore which got its independence five years after Nigeria now has a real GDP per capita of $60,000, while Nigeria’s GDP per capita as at 2017 was $1,944.

She said her four cardinal projects would be based on: ‘‘a high knowledge capital which we shall measure by adult literacy. Today, the adult literacy in Singapore is 98 per cent, while adult literacy in Nigeria is just 57 per cent; as well as a high longevity which we shall measure by life expectancy at birth. Today, Singapore’s life expectancy is 85 years, Nigeria’s life expectancy is a mere 52 years and a strong, resilient, sustainable and thriving nation which we shall measure by the fragility index. Today, we are the 13th most fragile country in the world. This is beyond unacceptable.”

She said the current government promised to create three million new jobs yearly, but under its watch the country has seen more people lose jobs, while unemployment and underemployment have actually risen to 40 per cent of the population.

‘‘Let us not forget that this government promised to kill corruption before it kills us, but under its watch the culture of corruption continues to fester under a regime of favoritism. There is no comprehensive strategy to the fight. There is not even sincerity to it.  We can and we will do better.

‘‘As co-founder and pioneer director of Transparency International, one of the foremost anti-corruption organizations in the world, I ruffled feathers without fear or favor. As the head of the Due Process office under the Olusegun Obasanjo government, my team cleaned up the public procurement and contracting process in Nigeria. Some of the most sustainable transparency laws in Nigeria today have my imprint – from the public procurement to NEITI.  

“Let us not forget that this government promised to keep Nigerians safe and secure. But crime, violent conflicts and insurgency are on the rise. We can and we will do better. As president, the dignity of the Nigerian life will be at the centre of everything I do.

‘‘My approach to security will be holistic. There is the militaristic intervention which we will take seriously, but just as important is a preventive intervention to crime, an economic intervention, as well as a climate and sustainable development intervention. The situation in the Middle Belt which has resulted in the sad loss of thousands of lives this year alone is one such issue that will receive the necessary holistic response from my government once and for all,’’ she added.

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