A former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili has formally declared her intention to run for President in 2019.

Ezekwesili, who is also the co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group, made this know in a statement which she posted on Twitter.

According to the former minister, she will be contesting on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

Ezekwesili, in her statement explain why she is contesting, said that the decision to run for President is the hardest she has ever had to make in her life.

According to her, “I believe that every generation faces its defining moment – and for us, this is our moment. A moment when our country’s motto: “Unity and faith; peace and progress” no longer holds meaning for citizens.

“In place of unity in diversity, we are faced with divisions, the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil War. The ruling political class stokes divisions between the “97% and the 5%”; their failed policies widen the inequality between the haves and the have-nots.

“Instead of faith in our can-do spirit and a shared vision of our future, Nigerians across the country suffer a suffocating hopelessness and despair. Our young people have given up; abandoned their hopes and dreams. They are leaving the country in their numbers every day. What a tragedy!

“Instead of peace and safety, our humanity is assaulted daily by killings, violence and kidnappings from Jos to Dapchi, from Afara to Zamfara.

“Instead of progress, our country now appears to be marking time; stagnant or declining on all the most important indices. The few opportunities available are cornered by a greedy political elite.”

Enough is enough

Ezekwesili also said that the time has come for Nigerians to rise up, adding that the citizens will no longer sit down and watch the political class destroy the nation.

The BBOG co-founder said “Ladies and gentlemen, the choice before us at this moment is clear. Do we wither in the face of this unsustainable cycle of failure by successive administrations? Do we sit content on the sidelines while our country and our people move closer and closer to the tipping point of economic, security, political and social collapse?

“I have a message today for the forces of the status quo and their defenders – Enough is now finally enough. We would no longer watch Nigeria be consumed in the flames of a mediocre political class that bumbles from one crisis to another and fails to live up to its responsibilities.

“I offer myself to lead a people’s movement that will permanently terminate bad leadership, ethnic and religious divisions, mediocrity and failure in governance in Nigeria.

“I bring a message of hope. A hope that a stable, progressive and prosperous society is possible. A hope that together – with the support of those in this room and the millions who will join us on this historic journey in the coming weeks and months – we shall remove any barrier standing in the way of the #NewNigeriaOfOurDream. We shall begin by pulling down the stronghold of the two failed dominant political parties – #PDPAPC. We will disrupt the politics of this nation, displace the old order and replace them with a new movement of visionary and dynamic leadership that will mobilize Nigerians to build a new nation.”

4 planks of her government

She said “The #NewNigeriaOfOurDreams which we will build from 2019 will be measured on four planks of progress. As president, I will not take my eyes away from any of these four planks at any time:

“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

“A high knowledge capital which we shall measure by adult literacy. Today, the adult literacy in Singapore is 98%, while adult literacy in Nigeria is just 57%

“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

“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.

“Let us not forget that the current government promised to create three million new jobs yearly, but under its watch we have seen more people lose jobs. Unemployment and underemployment have actually risen to 40% of the population. We can and we will do better. As senior economic adviser for the Open Society, I have advised some of the most reform minded governments on our continent. I served for five years as the Vice President of the World Bank in charge of the Bank’s operations in 48 countries. I know what sound economics that creates jobs and produces prosperity looks like. I know what it takes to build a productive and competitive economy. It is time to get our country and our country men and women working again.

“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 a 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.”

The world is leaving Nigeria behind

The former minister also said that Buhari’s government does not understand how to take advantage of the power of disruptive technologies.

“This government does not understand the power of disruptive technologies – the world is leaving Nigeria behind. The world is going through a 4th Industrial Revolution with profound changes that will basically change the world as we know it. How can a country gifted with millions of young, vibrant, brilliant people, be satisfied with just being onlookers at a time like this? It ought not to be so, and it will not be so under my leadership.

“I believe in the miracle of new, smart and disruptive technologies – from Artificial Intelligence to Quantum computing to Big Data and the Internet of things – to accelerate our productivity and global competitiveness. Under my leadership the young shall have their moment to demonstrate  that they have the skills and attitudes to lead the rest of the world through knowledge.

“My government will substitute oil focused governance with human capital governance. Today we have 13.5 million kids out of school. That’s a ticking bomb and things must change. Under my watch, education will be the new economy; education will be the new oil.

“Make no mistakes about it, the economy that this administration will be handing over to us in 2019 will not look pretty. The skyrocketing debt burden they have foisted on us, the serious fiscal crisis and the deep structural imbalances that they have done little or nothing about will await us from Day ONE. As frightening as that realization is, think about what a great opportunity it will be for Nigerians to demonstrate our can-do spirit.

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"Think about the effect that visionary leadership can achieve when the whole country is mobilized to sacrifice and work hard to achieve speedy recovery that benefits us all. That is exactly what we will do. What a great comeback story that will be!

“But it’s not just about this government. This government is part of an evil ruling class, including those who were in the PDP, who then went to the APC and are now in the PDP again, asking for our votes. What do these people take us for – fools?  Enough is enough of these #APCPDP Siamese twins," she added.

Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar has emerged as the presidential candidateof the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the party’s convention which held in Rivers state on Sunday, October 7, 2018.