2023: Why I want to be President - Senator Ken Nnamani

By AdvocateNews on 01/05/2022

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Ex-Senate President, Ken Nnamani
Ex-Senate President, Ken Nnamani

Time to Deliver Hope and Prosperity in Midst of Despair and Poverty

Press Brief on Declaration of Interest to Run for the APC Presidential Primary

Gentlemen of the press 

I welcome you to this briefing. The idea of the brief is to further expatiate on my intention to contest for the APC 2023 Presidential Primary. A few days ago, I expressed the intention to join the contest for the primary. Now, I give firm declaration that I will purchase the nomination forms in a couple of days.  

Many of you may want to seek my views concerning the high cost of expression of interest and nomination fees of our major political parties. My view is that we should work towards reducing the cost of nomination for political offices so that we can create an inclusive environment for our dynamic youths and women who may not have access to much wealth but have great intellect and public spirit to enter into public service through political recruitment. I hold the view that high costs of election are not aligned to our socioeconomic realities in terms of comparative per capita income and purchasing power of Nigerians. But ultimately, the pressure for drastic reduction in nomination fees for public offices will come when citizens and citizen groups begin to play more active role in demanding and presenting credible and capable persons for elective offices rather than allow money bags force themselves into such offices. 

I believe that the nomination fees that parties ask aspirants to pay for elective offices in Nigeria need rethinking in order to improve the inclusion of youths, women and most Nigerians who earn salaries in an economy that has become distressed, largely on account of global economic meltdown and domestic insecurity and low productivity. Maybe it is time the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) lays down guidelines to the parties on both the costs of nominations and campaign expenses. I will back such regulatory control that will improve the fiscal responsibility and inclusive politics in Nigeria. 

In spite of the high nomination costs, I am delighted that many persons have declared their intention to contest for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in my party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). I consider this a good development as it shows that our democracy is growing to the point of significant inclusivity and democratic freedom. The bedrock of democracy is that right of citizens to aspire to political offices and offer themselves to other citizens to evaluate and elect them to make decision for the rest of the society. The responsibility to choose the best amongst the qualified for the office rest on the citizens. In the case of party primary, that responsibility rests on the party delegates chosen according to law for that purpose. In the days to come, I will be consulting and communicating with our party delegates who have the responsibility to choose the best to fly our flag in the competitive presidential election in 2023.

Looking at the array of aspirants to replace President Buhari in 2023 under the platform of the APC, I believe that I am very suited for the job of the President of the republic at this period in the history of Nigeria. We will all agree that President Buhari met enormous challenges. In spite of the challenges we face, we have to acknowledge Mr. President’s patriotism that manifests in the unshaken belief that Nigeria will move past the current problems and setbacks. With rigour and commitment, he has been dealing with the crises of stability and development since 2015, when he became President in a historic mandate that inaugurated the first democratic transition from one party to another. As members of the ruling party we have to step forward to tackle these difficult challenges and continue in the spirt of courage and patriotism.

I believe that every period in the history of a country requires a particular kind of leader. Nigeria faces very tough challenges now more than ever. It is a time like this that we need a man of tested integrity and competence to mobilize Nigerians to overcome these tough challenges. My pedigree as the President of Senate and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Constitutional and Electoral Reform shows beyond doubt that I am that man. 

Different period requires different kind of leadership. In 2015, we needed a Buhari to take Nigeria away from the misdirection of the Peoples Democratic Party. In 2023, we need a leader who knows how to work across the divides and lead a coalition for competent and dedicated Nigeria to lay foundations for social stability and prosperity. We need tested and trusted leaders who would reignite hope in the hearts of young Nigerians and unlock the competencies that we are losing to other nations. In 2023, we will need a Ken Nnamani to help unite Nigeria, deepen democracy, and rebuild the social and economic infrastructure of sustainable development based on production and fair distribution.

This is a season of politics. The season of politics is often a season of empty promises and of needless drama. Many persons will make claims that are unrelated to reality. But this is not time for such frivolities. This is time for aspirants to present their ideas and visions for a better Nigeria. Such ideas and visions will be matched with the right pedigree. My pedigree and previous accomplishments in high office in Nigeria lend credence to the fact that I am a good fit to the challenges of this moment in Nigerian history. I am aspiring to be President in 2023 because I believe that at this period of grave crisis, Nigeria needs to be reinvented to be a modern, democratic state that prioritizes the socioeconomic wellbeing of its citizens; to be restructured from inefficient consumption to production; and to be led with integrity and compassion. Nigeria needs a leader who can build a coalition of diverse talents and identities and regain the trust of Nigerians in the Nigerian state. we must recover the state from the grip of despair and despondence and chart a future of hope and achievement for every Nigerian. It is in response to the imperative to provide courageous, competent and committed leadership for Nigerian at this difficult moment that I declare my intention to contest the 2023 Presidential Primary.

If I become President in 2023, I will be coming to that job in a depressive and somber moment like in 2005 when I was elected as President of the Senate. Many of you will remember vividly how Nigerians lost faith in the credibility and the mission of the National Assembly. Many of you will remember that the National Assembly was swept into the maelstrom of corruption and inefficiency before I became the President of the Senate. But soon after becoming Senate President, I worked with my colleagues across party lines to reinvent the National Assembly and reinvested it with character, competence, and commitment to excellence. We recovered the institution of legislature from the perception of corruption and instituted procedures that defeated corruption and made the National Assembly an exemplar of excellence. We can do it again.

I am in the race to solve Nigeria’s problems, just as I did as head of the National Assembly. In 2005, we met the problem of lack of credibility and effectiveness of the legislature. We fixed it and bequeathed to Nigerians a legislature that could protect democracy and promote stability. I believe that the role of the leader is to solve problems, not to offer excuses. I believe that the President in 2023 should be someone who will inspiring Nigerians and lifting them to a higher level of performance. I did exactly that as President of the Senate. I offer to do it again as President of the country in 2023. I have the competences, the experience and the moral courage and integrity to become the President that will bring back hope and recreate the foundations of democracy and economic development. My profile for the job of the president is not just degrees, it is not only my extensive experience in best global companies, it is majorly my performance in my last high office. When you have held public office in the past, your next job auditioning should be based on your performance scorecard, not merely on your CV. My scorecard in previous leadership positions speaks for itself. 

Nigeria needs a leader of courage, competence, integrity, and clarity of vision. Nigeria needs a man or woman who recognizes that the strength of any nation in today’s world is human capital, and therefore is willing to give young people the platform to bring their innovation and passion to change the country. With about 30 percent of Nigerian young persons, we need value-based leadership that create an environment of democratic freedom and fosters innovation. That is the leadership I promise to provide for Nigeria. I declare my intention to contest for the 2023 APC Presidential Primary from a sense of urgency and purpose, not from a sense of political career or as a form of national drama. For me, this is a call for duty of honor; it is a national service, not a joke. It is a serious business. It is about justifying the trust of Nigerians of diverse ethnic and religious orientations who have called on me to avail the nation once again, the competences, discipline, and character I displayed in the past.

I am delighted that there is a growing national consensus that the next president of Nigeria should come from the Southeast. I believe that the people of southeast owe other Nigerians the reciprocal respect of bringing forth the best to lead. Many southeasterners and other Nigerians, especially my colleagues in the National Assembly, have asked me to avail the Nigerian nation the characteristic honest, competent, and disciplined leadership I offered the Senate.

If I am not convinced that I will provide the leadership that can overcome the tough challenge we are faced today, I would not express intention to be the candidate of my party for the 2023 presidential election. If I am not convinced that I have the template that works, the template that was employed by previous leaders of the successful East Asian countries like South Korea and Japan to move their countries from bottom to top from poor to high income countries, I would not bother to express desire for the presidency. I am not given to frivolities. I am not a man driven by mere ambition. I am not a man who joins the bandwagon. I am a man who is deliberate and resolute. I am a man who is driven by passion to change things, to institutionalize excellence. That is the mission I set for myself as I decide to contest the APC 2023 Presidential Primary. I will count on the support of the media to help articulate the vision of a new leadership that will deepen democracy, defeat insecurity, and entrench a new culture and structure of productivity that will grow our economy, arrest social anomie and reinvent nationalism and democratic citizenship, even in the midst of global economic and social crises. 

I believe that what one nation has done correctly, another nation can do, even better. With good leadership Nigeria can become a prosperous, peaceful, and stable country. With a transparent, courageous, competent, and trustworthy leadership we can successfully move millions of our countrymen and women from extreme poverty to high socioeconomic wellbeing. Today, Nigerians of all ethnic and religious identities, from the south to the north, need  a leadership that is tested and trusted, a leadership that is not hypothetical, but practical and verifiable. I am here to offer that leadership again in 2023.

Thank you and God bless Nigeria.

Senator Ken Nnamani, GCON

President,

Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2005-2007)

April 29, 2022

Posted 01/05/2022 03:33:31 AM

 

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