By Teslim Olawore
Former Malawi President, Joyce Banda, has endorsed the presidential ambition of Dr. Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). Banda testified that Ezekwesili possesses the ability to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Banda, who ruled Malawi from April 2012 to May 2014, said Ezekwesili’s advice saved her from corruption allegations during her tenure. She said Ezekwesili’s international exposure, transparent and accountable skills would help the growth of the country.
Endorsing the ACPN candidate on Wednesday, Banda said: “While fighting corruption during my presidency in 2013, Oby Ezekwesili advised me to protect myself with a forensic audit, which United Kingdom government supported. I am forever grateful for this transparent, accountable daughter of Africa.”
On her part, Ezekwesili gave her words to Nigerians that she would put effective structures in place to fight corruption.
She said that defeating corruption in Nigeria would ease job creation and boost the country’s economy.
The presidential candidate also assured the citizens that her tenure as President would end the attitude of using political positions for personal gains. She said: “Needless to say, every other area in our comprehensive manifesto, including our anti-corruption, sports, foreign policy, security agenda, and every other programme of our platform, will be evaluated on three questions: How much wealth is it going to generate? How many jobs is it going to create? And how many people it will get out of poverty?
“We will measure our economic success as a government, not by the number of private jets parked at our airports, but by the number of Nigerians we lift out of poverty who go on to live richer lives. We mean business.
“We will put in place a massive programme of deregulation of the Nigerian economy to unleash the depth of competition and efficiencies necessary for higher and deeper economic growth and expansion of the economy. The division and rebalancing of roles between business and government will reduce opportunities of corruption and bottlenecks that limit the competitiveness of the Nigerian economy.”
While accusing previous governments of paying lip service to the fight against corruption and accountability, she stated that her promises would be fulfilled.
“When I make these promises, I do them with the realisation that you are tired of broken promises. The broken promises of previous administrations are still fresh in your memories and it has tainted the way you look at politics. That is why as a principle, our campaign will only promise what we can deliver, and will deliver what we promise,” she said.
“Our politics is the promise of a new, honest start to rebuild and renew our country. Our direction is clear; and our destination is also clear. When we deliver, we would rebuild the crucial bonds of trust between the people and their government without which a democracy cannot flourish.
“This election is the most important of our lifetime. I believe that the next four years could determine the next 40. If we fail to get it right, what would we tell our children? What manner of consequences would befall us? What would another four years of wrong leadership mean for you and I? More poverty. More divisions. More corruption. More debt. More insecurity. More disregard for human rights. More and more of the same.”