*Canvasses return to 2-party system
*Confusion over conflicting statements from his camp
By Richard Abu
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is no longer alone in the growing clamour for President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest the 2019 presidential election.
The latest entrant to the controversy is former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB).
There was confusion initially in the IBB camp as two conflicting statements emanated from his residence and his media team on the matter.
In the first statement, which was issued by his long standing media aide, Prince Kassim Afegbua, the gap-tooth General, like Obasanjo, gave the incumbent President red card on the 2019 presidential election.
A few hours after the statement was published on several online platforms, another statement which was apparently signed by IBB himself, emerged from his Hilltop Mansion, Minna, countering the first one.
But Afegbua insisted on Channels Television a�?Politics Todaya�? programme shortly thereafter, that he had clear and incontrovertible IBBa��s mandate to issue the first statement and disowned the second document.
IBB had stated: a�?In 2019 and beyond, we should come to a national consensus that we need new breed leadership with requisite capacity to manage our diversities and jump-start a process of launching the country on the super highway of technology-driven leadership in line with the dynamics of modern governance.
a�?It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Leta��s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.
a�?In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.
a�?While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running. a�?While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation, when personal ambition should not override national interest.
a�?This is the time for us to reinvent the will and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, stimulate their entrepreneurial initiatives and provoke a conduce environment to grow national economy both at the micro and macro levelsa�?.
Analyzing the state of the nation, IBB said he remain worried over the gory killings in parts of the country.
a�?From Southern Kaduna to Taraba state, from Benue state to Rivers, from Edo state to Zamfara, it has been a theatre of blood with cake of crimson.
a�?In Dansadau in Zamfara state recently, North-West of Nigeria, over 200 souls were wasted for no justifiable reason. a�?The pogrom in Benue state has left me wondering if truly this is the same country some of us fought to keep together. I am alarmed by the amount of blood-letting across the land.
a�?Nigeria is now being described as a land where blood flows like river, where tears have refused to dry up.
a�?Almost on a daily basis, we are both mourning and grieving, and often times left helpless by the sophistication of crimesa�?.
Specifically on herdsmen attacks, he said government inability to checkmate such a�?have continued to raise doubt on the capacity of this government to handle with dispatch, security concerns that continue to threaten our dear nation; suicide bombings, kidnappings, armed banditry, ethnic clashes and other divisive tendenciesa�?.
On the fight against Boko Haram, IBB recommended that the battle should be taken to the inner fortress of Sambisa Forest rather than responding to the insurgentsa�� ambushes from time to time.
He also took a swipe on Buharia��s style of war against corruption, stating that a�?modern leadership is not just about a�?fightinga�� corruption; it is about plugging the leakages and building systems that will militate against corruption. It goes beyond mere sloganeeringa�?.
Justifying his adventure into governance, he insisted it was one founded on the need to bring about generational change in leadership, and a marked departure from recycled leadership in order to create a�?new paradigms that will breathe fresh air into our present polluted leadership actualitya�?.
In the second document, IBB among others advocated a two-party system and supports community policing.
He also endorsed the clamour for a re-alignment of governance in the country prior to the 2019 election, but warned that such agitations should be made through appropriate channels of law.
He said recent happenings and utterances by political gladiators are alarming and not in the interest of common man whom he noted are already overstretched due to the precarious economic conditions.
Professing solutions, Babangida called for a return to two party-system, saying the merits far outweigh the current political structure.
During IBBa��s tenure between 1985 and 1992, he created two parties a�� the Social Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Republic Convention (NRC), but the country currently has over 56 registered political parties.
His a�?Maradonnaa�? transition programme ended on a sad note on June 12, 1993, when the presidential election believed to have been won by the late business mogul, Chief Moshood Abiola, on the platform of the SDP, was annulled.
*Canvasses return to 2-party system