Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu, for the February 16 presidential election.
Mr Moghalu is a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a statement on Friday entitled ‘New directions in a time of decision,’ Prof Soyinka wrote: “Let me reiterate: there is over-abundant, but stifled leadership material, and there can be no excuse, now that that potential of high quality is being manifested, for constricting the political space in a population that is nudging two hundred million. And that statement is of course specially addressed to those who took part in this exercise; those who deliberated opted out of it, some of whom were assessed anyway.
“Such potential compelled us to exercise utmost rigour in what proved to be a most daunting exercise. The final determination however is – the flag-bearer of the Young Progressive Party – KINGSLEY MOGHALU.
“I shall conclude with a somewhat interesting aside. I met Moghalu again on Monday morning, February 4th, and informed him of the Forum’s decision. During our discussion, I happened to ask him – what is the meaning of Moghalu. I was curious, because it had taken quite some time along the way for me to know to which ethnic group the name belonged.
“He replied, it means – ‘Evil Spirit, Leave me Be!’ Then I asked him for his other names and he spelt them out: ‘Actually my full names are Kingsley Chiedu Ayodele Moghalu’. Eyebrows raised, I asked, How come, Ayodele? A piquant revelation resulted: ‘Oh, that came from Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. She was friends with my father. Mrs. Kuti was my godmother, and she gave me the name Ayodele.
“I was learning this for the first time. Moghalu’s CV is however in the public domain – his publications, record, and vision. The above is just a side-note that contains its own mild, thought-provoking instruction, for those who care to examine the distractions of ethnic equivocations, and the rigid mindsets and stereotypes imposed on products of circumstance.”