Presidential aspirant, Donald Duke has said that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed in every aspect of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political life.
The former Cross River Governor said the president has failed to deliver on his major campaign promises to genuinely fight corruption, revamp the economy, and shore security by defeating Boko Haram.
Duke, who became governor at 37 and is reputed for turning his state into a major tourist destination, told DW Africa why he should become president in 2019 instead of Buhari.
Asked why he is a better candidate than Buhari, he said, “Because I see such obvious failings. I see a leadership that is steeped in the past; that has refused to evolve with a nation that is predominantly a nation of young aspiring people and still doing things the way they were done many years ago and did not work.
“I think our leadership in the country today is totally out of tune with the current reality of our nation. There is disconnect somewhere so when you have a leadership that blames its young people for instance of not striving enough or of being lazy, there is a disconnect because the tools to make them achieve their aspiration have not been provided.”
He added, “They were not prepared for leadership. For example, it took six months to set up a cabinet. Where do you hear such? President Buhari came into office to fight corruption and insecurity.
“Let us look at the scorecard. Corruption is not dead. Prosecuting corruption is addressing the symptom and not the problem. The real problem is you have got to create jobs for people; you have got to strengthen institutions that make it almost impossible to engage in such an activity.”
Speaking on insecurity, Duke stated, “They have announced that the war is over and Bokom Haram has been defeated. We know it hasn’t been defeated. There are still bombings and kidnappings in the North-East. If you visit the IDPs, you will see that we are breeding the next generation of very disgruntled people.”
On the economy, he said, “You can’t grow your economy with the type of banking system we run where the interest rate is in the upper 20s. You need to have affordable credit which will enable small and medium scale businessmen to borrow and expand their businesses.
“Nigeria grew faster when we had regulation on interest rates; when the interest rates were in single digits. Secondly, we have to grow the economy at 15 per cent for 10 years to recalibrate the system.
“Nigeria ought to be a $2.5tn economy and not a $400bn economy.”