A former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, on Friday, declared his intention to run for the 2023 presidential election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
While promising to improve on the legacy of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), he demanded the reduction of the cost of interest and nomination forms for aspirants seeking elective posts under the APC.
According to him, such costs do not align with the nation’s current socio-economic realities.
Nnamani who made his declaration during a press conference in Abuja said compared with other aspirants who had declared intention so far, he was the most suited for the job of the President. Some aspirants including a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello; Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Orji Kalu; ex-Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade; Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba have openly declared their interest to succeed Buhari whose second-year tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
Nnamani said his pedigree as the President of the Senate and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Constitutional and Electoral Reform makes him the right candidate.
According to him, Nigeria faces very tough challenges now more than ever, adding that the country needs a man of tested integrity and competence to mobilize them to overcome these tough challenges. He said, “Different period requires a 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 for the challenges of this moment in Nigerian history. I am aspiring to be President in 2023 because I believe that in this period of grave crisis, Nigeria needs to be reinvented to be a modern, democratic state that prioritizes the socio-economic wellbeing of its citizens; to be restructured from inefficient consumption to production; and to be led with integrity and compassion.”
He said following the growing national consensus that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South-East, the region owe other Nigerians the reciprocal respect of bringing forth the best to lead.
Nnamani said many people from the South East and other Nigerians, especially his colleagues in the National Assembly, have asked him to “avail the Nigerian nation the characteristic honest, competent, and disciplined leadership he 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”, he added.
The former Senate President added that the high nomination fees parties ask aspirants to pay for elective offices in Nigeria need rethinking.
He stressed the need for the Independent Electoral Commission to “regulate both the costs of nominations and campaign expenses.”
This according to him, was necessary “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.”