Professor Kingsley Moghalu, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and an aspirant in the 2019 Presidential race paid a two-day visit to Benue following the recent attacks and unjust killings visited upon residents in the State.
He was accompanied on this condolence visit by his wife, Mrs Maryanne Moghalu and key members of the Kingsley Moghalu Benue Support Group.
Professor Moghalu and his wife made it a point to visit the burial site along Naka Road in Makurdi where 73 victims of the January 1 and 2 attacks on Guma and Logo local government area of the State were buried in mass. The couple laid a wreath and made prayers for the dead.
Commiserating with fellow Nigerians
At the Palace of the Och’Idoma, His Royal Highness Agaba Idu, Dr. Elias Ikoyi Obekpa IV, in Otukpo, Kingsley Moghalu described the purpose of his visit to Benue as a show of “solidarity with the people of Benue; to listen and to commemorate with people of Benue on the misfortunes that have hit the community in recent times.”
In his response, the royal father, blessing and accepting him with the customary Kola, commended the presidential aspirant on being the first in the political class to have considered it expedient to pay such a visit during this period.
The party also paid a visit to the Igbo community in Benue. They were received by the Igbo Council of Elders made up of elder statesmen from Anambra, Imo, Enugu and several other parts of the South East. The Council, which was visibly pleased with the visit, assured Professor Moghalu of their support and blessings in his ambition to become the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Hope is not a strategy”
Kingsley Moghalu who declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election at a World Press Conference in Abuja in February has emphasised his candidacy as one not born of ethno-religious colourations but rather rooted in a desire to build and grow Nigeria through innovation and strong global worldview.
Kingsley Moghalu re-emphasised this point at the opening of the Benue State Support Group office, donated by members of the Kingsley Moghalu Benue Support Group to serve as the base for grass root activities in the State.
Having deliberately chosen the Benue as the “first stop on a nationwide listening tour”, Professor Moghalu made it a point to hold a town hall meeting in Makurdi where he spent hours answering questions from residents of Benue. The crowd at the town hall meeting – made up of students from various tertiary institutions in the State, the Benue Market Women Association, Benue Motorcycle Riders’ Association, the Association of Tiv Actors, as well as representatives of the various zonal communities within the State – also offered suggestions on how many of Nigeria’s problems can be solved using innovation.
This crowd-sourcing of solutions to national problems is an integral part of the style of leadership Professor Kingsley Moghalu proposes to override what he has described as “a lack of true political leadership in Nigeria.” According to the political economist and former professor of practice in International Business and Public Policy at the prestigious Tufts University, “seeking the opinion of citizens and forming a government based on this is the only way to move from a political atmosphere of “godfatherism” to one where power truly lies with the electorate”.
As the residents of Benue dispersed from the town hall meeting to continue their daily activities, it was evident that the visit had reinvigorated them with a new perspective on building a better Nigeria in spite of the current circumstances.
“We have to kill tribalism and declare it as the enemy of progress”, said a representative of the Benue Motorcycle Riders’ Association who had attended the town hall meeting.
According to a student representative who met with the Presidential aspirant for the first time during the meeting, Kingsley Mogahlu represents the kind of leader Nigeria needs to heal and grow. “We have given Professor Moghalu the key to Benue. He is exactly the kind of leader Nigeria needs. Part of being a leader is to help pull people up from their pain; knowing that despite the hurt, we must ensure that we get past it and move on. It is time we elect such leaders.”
The Presidential aspirant and his wife had earlier been given honourary titles as Peace makers of the Tiv Kingdom by members of the Tiv Actors Association who also presented them with traditional Tiv attires and a symbolic key to the city in a show of complete acceptance.