Babangida speaks on NotTooYoungToRun, Nigeria’s multi-party system, herdsmen killings

Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Rtd) has said the need for young Nigerians to lead the country cannot be over-emphasised.

The elder statesman, however, noted that any person interested in the seat of power must possess the four distinct qualities of a good leader.

He made this known during an exclusive interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, which aired on Monday.

He said: “What I want to see is a young man that has what I will call ‘four in one”.

“I want to see a young man who has a vision of a man called Obafemi Awolowo; I want to see a young man who has the charisma of a man called the Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello; I want to see a young man who has the eloquence and education and powers of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe; and I want to see a young man who has convictions like General (Olusegun) Obasanjo,” Babangida added.

He further decried the registering of more political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with about 300 days to the polls.

Amid the call for a third force in the country, the elder statesman believed nothing was wrong with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“If these two are not options, then somebody should be sitting down to think about what to do. Surely not to add more 90 political parties, but a constructive outfit and that is durable because we have a free press.

“I haven’t seen arguments why these two are not options; I may have my own opinion but I think the arguments have not been well articulated,” he noted.

Reacting to the recent herdsmen killings in the country, General Babangida recalled the era of the civil war and declared that the unity of Nigeria remained non-negotiable.

He noted that anyone or group calling for the disintegration of the country must have forgotten or not share in the sad experience that led to the death of millions of Nigerians.

Babangida said, “during the war of national unity, at least two or three million people have lost their lives in the course of keeping the country one; are we as a people fair to those who put down their lives so that we remain united?”

“So I think to be fair to them, we have no option but to accept what they have done because they sacrificed their lives for us to remain united – we shouldn’t negotiate anything to the unity,” he added.


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