TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center


By NBF News

With the 2011 election fast approaching, people and groups are campaigning for various aspirants. The Ibrahim Babangida for You (IBB4U) is one of the groups rooting for the candidature of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida.

Project Director of the group, Mr. Abuchi Anaeto has pleaded with Nigerians to support Babangida, who, according to him, has all it takes to change the country positively.

With President Goodluck Jonathan as leader of the PDP, how would Babangida actualise his dream of being president?

I am sure we can achieve our dream. We believe that in 2011, IBB will become president of the country. PDP is made up of individuals. The question to ask is: how much of President Jonathan do we have in each PDP members and how much of IBB is in each member. Also, for how long will that loyalty remain? In a democracy, as opposed to a dictatorship, everybody is involved. Democracy is not about who is in grip of party machinery, otherwise it's no longer democracy but dictatorship. I want to put it to you that IBB is more politically relevant than any other person in the party. If you look at his background, with his military training he has an edge. If you are talking about adaptability to manage difficult situation of life, IBB is shoulders above others. And he is highly detribalized. He cuts across all the geopolitical zones.

Having clarified that, it implies that we are not afraid. That is why we have started our campaign from the grassroots. We are telling Nigerians that IBB is the best candidate so far. Nigerians must make haste and move on tirelessly with the determination to reach a better future with Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

You seem to be sure of this. What gives you the confidence and what structure do you have?

To start with, we are group of professionals and businessmen who have decided to come together to work for the realisation of this noble objective. Right now, we have about 15 zonal coordinators in 15 states, with structures fully on ground. We have printed over 50, 000 posters, which we have been pasting across the country. We also have operational website, which is WWW.IBB4Y.COM, where millions of people are already clamouring for IBB's return to power. All in all, we have the foot soldiers who have been deployed to the grassroots to spread the good news.

What is IBB looking for after spending about eight years as military president?

First, without sentiment, we believe that he will be a servant- leader, especially as this is democracy. With his vast experience, IBB will ensure that there is elimination of poverty from the nation. He will also fight corruption. All these and many more is what IBB will offer. Let me also digress by saying that he will ensure equity in all appointments by making sure that all the cry over injustice and marginalization is addressed. He will actively seek to bring back the reputation of the nation as the giant of Africa. He will address the Niger Delta problem.

Let me ask you. Why did former President Olusegun Obasanjo come back after ruling the country as a Head of State? Why is Gen Muhammadu Buhari trying to come back to rule this country? Why are people not looking at all these people but only raise their voices whenever IBB's name is mentioned? It is simply because they are afraid to face him.

But to answer your question. IBB wants to come back because those in charge have not been able to get it right because of their limited knowledge of Nigerian politics. It is either they are pro-North or pro-South. But IBB sees the country as one. He doesn't believe that you an Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba. All he is interested in is how to unite the country and move it forward.

What do you think of President Goodluck Jonathan and how will IBB be better?

Only a Narcissist tries to make himself look good by rubbishing others. We are not such group. I want to start by recognising the good things that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is doing for the nation. For a start, the Jonathan administration has raised the hope of Nigerians. We are happy he is not parochial. Jonathan knows that what Nigerians need today is unity. To be very honest, President Jonathan is trying his best for the nation. But what every past leader in Nigeria did wrong is what IBB is coming back to correct. He knows it more than all of them. For instance, he empowered women. Anyone who cares to ask will learn that women are the backbone of civil society and it was the IBB regime that championed their empowerment, through his wife.

Could you be more specific?
What I am saying is that Nigerians have seen the worst of IBB. He cannot be worse than the IBB we know as a military leader. And Nigeria, since the return of democracy, is not the same kind of Nigeria we had during the military era. Things have changed. The military left us since 12 to 13 years now. What I am simply saying is that we cannot use that past record of military era to judge IBB. Again, I can tell you that IBB is the wisest Nigerian leader ever. It is said that the wise man foresees evil and hides himself. His decision to step aside when this country was about to implode was not out of cowardice but to stop evil. He believes he will come back. And there is no better time than today.

Since you began this project, have you got the endorsement of IBB?

Obviously, the endorsement of IBB will make a huge difference to our campaign, given his track records, as man who has served this nation for more than 40 years. But come to think of it, do we need to get an endorsement from IBB before we begin to do what is good for this country? We don't need endorsement for that because what we are doing is for the good of the nation. However, we hope that the merit of our project will attract such a powerful endorsement.

Nevertheless, for now, our appeal goes to all Nigerians, including the rich and the poor, the men and the women, those at home and those abroad, the young and the old, the powerful and the powerless, to support IBB. History is full of good examples of people in power who saw a good candidate and supported such a candidate for the good of the people. Many rich people have also supported the common good without any desire to own the project. We hope that such powerful people and rich individuals will support us. We need all the support we can for IBB, so that we elect him president in 2011 and make poverty a history in our land.

But Nigerians are not happy with IBB…
It is not true. I think many like what I am doing. Can you prove it? They are saying that I have collected money from Babangida, but that's not true.

Why do you like IBB?
Babangida is a mature leader. This nation needs a mature leader like him. He has experience. He is a father figure. IBB is more than qualified. I want you to understand that this a man who has touched every geopolitical zone of Nigeria. And you know that during his time, he was able to cage the armed forces with his charisma. He is a man who knows how to reach out.

Nigeria has many others with the same characteristics?

It is certain that not everybody will like you. Even Jesus Christ was hated by some. You must have an opposition. That is what democracy is all about. So, people are bound to disagree with what I am saying. We welcome this opposing view, but what we are saying is that IBB is also accepted by millions. These are Nigerians who want him to come back. We are happy that a lot of people are beginning to understand our point. Remember that there was a time that IBB was not accepted in the South West. But what is happing today? Even the founder of Oodua People's Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, has come out to campaign for a change; the same thing with Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who said recently that IBB is a better candidate than others. These are Nigerian leaders.