Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, members and leaders of the National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Riders Association (NACTMORA), popularly known as “Keke Napep” and “Okada” riders in 18 northern states, have called on Professor Kingsley Moghalu, a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor and a presidential candidate in 2019, to contest for the presidency again in 2023.
The tricycle and motorcycle transporters made the call at a press conference with Nigerian and international media at Abuja on Friday, May 7, where they endorsed the ex-central banker and new-generation political leader in a statement signed by Alhaji Nasiru Amburtsa, the Chairman of the group’s 19 northern states coalition, and the heads of 9 states chapters representing the three northern geopolitical zones of the North-Central, North-East, and North-West.
In the statement NACTMORA, a grassroots trade association with over 10 million members in the 19 northern states, said Nigeria was facing “a very serious national crisis caused by incompetent leadership, bad governance and corruption”, and that today’s crop of politicians in the country “cannot solve our national crisis because they have played bad politics of corruption, tribalism and election rigging for a long time and do not know anything else”.
“After carefully looking at the situation in our country today, the members of our Association in 18 northern states have unanimously decided that Professor Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu OON…a presidential candidate in 2019 and the Ifekaego Nnewi, is the best potential candidate to be elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023. We are therefore unanimously calling on Prof. Moghalu to run for president in 2023, and we hereby pledge our support and endorsement for his candidacy”.
The keke napep and okada riders recalled Moghalu’s track record of national service at the CBN as deputy to the then CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as well as in the United Nations where Moghalu was a senior official for 17 years before he was invited to return home for national service.
“Prof Moghalu is not corrupt. He is not tribalistic. He is a man of truth and courage. He has a good heart for the common man. And he has the global pedigree needed for leadership in the 21st century. We strongly call on Prof. Moghalu to step forward to lead Nigeria. We plead with all Nigerians, for the sake of our children and our future, to support this patriotic Nigerian. He is the man we believe has the vision, capacity, and competence to lead Nigeria into a better future”, the statement said.
Moghalu, who turned 58 on May 7, is currently serving as the Special Envoy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Post-Covid Development Finance for Africa, working on policy options and innovative financing sources that will enable sub-Saharan countries recover from the negative fiscal and development impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Political analysts view the endorsement of Moghalu by such a large grassroots group in northern Nigeria as a significant development.
“It’s an indication that widespread insecurity and poverty in the country is creating disenchantment not just with the government of the day, but with the political elite, represented by the APC and the PDP, more broadly” said Pascal Odibo, a public policy analyst and the Founder of Unleash Nigeria group.
“The outcome of the 2023 election is far from certain, and previous voting patterns could be broken” he said. Moghalu was the presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in 2019, but resigned his membership of the party in October 2019, a few months after the election. He has so far not joined any other party.