Professor Kingsley Moghalu, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has emerged the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party.
Prof. Moghalu, who was a former UN officer, emerged through delegates election at the party’s first National Convention and Presidential Primaries on Saturday in Abuja.
Moghalu scored 243 votes out of 253 accredited delegates, after his only opponent, Mr Donald Igwegbu, stepped down for him.
Igwegbu, announcing his decision to step down, said he took the decision not because he was not qualified to contest in 2019 but because Moghalu shared the same vision with him.
Igwegbu called on party members and his supporters to support Moghalu, while urging other politicians to emulate his spirit of sportsmanship.
He said: “Let us embrace spirit of love and patriotism.”
In his acceptance speech, Mogbalu said Nigeria needed a leader of international repute, not politicians that had failed the country.
“More than ever before, Nigeria needs to be driven by a vision, informed by a worldview that determines everything else.
“Up till about 40 years ago, China was viewed as a basket case; overpopulated, unproductive and ruined economically by policies of the decades prior to that.
“Today, they snap their fingers and nearly every single African Head of state shows up in China with their hands out, eager for Chinese largesse. That’s what a country driven by a worldview can achieve.
“In accepting the presidential ticket of this great party, I stand here before you to say that Nigeria is fully capable of achieving greatness at home and abroad in our lifetimes.
“But this cannot happen with the normal way of doing things, the so-called Nigerian way.”
Moghalu said that he joined the YPP because he believed the party would live up to its name of being progressive, as well as be an agent of raising standards across the board for politics and policy.
He said that it was time for the country to close the era of waste, corruption, and incompetence that held Nigeria back from achieving its potential.
“It is a choice between remaining a mere fractious assortment of ethnicities and religious on one hand and building a real nation on the other.
“It is a choice between freedom and slavery under our recycled and corrupt politicians; between poverty and prosperity for our masses of the poor, and the unemployed, and between stability and continuing instability of the Nigeria state.”
Moghalu also expressed worry about nonsigning of the Amended Electoral Act Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.