2015: IBB endorses Jonathan
…Says he has right to seek 2nd term
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Retd), has given approval to the anticipated 2015 re-election bid of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, just as he urged Nigerians to be patient with the president in his efforts to tackle the myriad of problems facing the country.
In an interview with journalists at his Minna country home to mark his 73rd birthday, Babangida said there is nobody in Jonathan's shoes who would not take advantage of a second term.
“Well, if you were in his shoes, won't you want to come back if you are there? If you believe in what you are doing, and you are doing well, why shouldn't you? I think we once got it right, and we can still get it right, and you guys have to get it right.
“I think what is lacking is what I have always referred to as voter education, the level of understanding, the level of belief are still below what we expect. For instance, if you (the journalist) were elected as the governor of your state today, you should be able to take a survey of whether people like you because you are doing well, but they may not like you because you are not fulfilling the promises you made to them.
“The only means is for the people to be patient and at the time of next election, the leader gets voted out. So, we have not reached the stage where the ordinary voter would say no, as a matter of fact, their leaders have not done well, let us vote them out. Once you do that, I think in the next dispensation, somebody else would come in and I really hope we would reach that stage where ideas are the main issues, not which zone should produce X, Y, Z positions. I think this is still part of the little problems that we are facing.”
As to what the old generation of leaders is doing about the multifarious problems confronting the country, Babangida said the leaders are doing a lot, and if there is any set of Nigerians who understand the
problems of this country, they are those of them who have had the opportunity to be at the helm of affairs at various times in the life of the country.
“We know what the problem is, we appreciate what the President is doing, and the best we can do, and what we are always doing is to be of help or assistance to him in forms of advice, meetings, interaction and so on.
“I think this is one of the luckiest countries, which has got seven living heads of state including interim head of government, and we have always availed ourselves through the President and we have also appreciated the problems the President, is facing, and because we were once there, we appreciate it more than any other person in the country. The best we could do is to always sit with him in an environment that is really conducive and then give him advice, and I think I am glad to say that we are doing the best we can to assist him, while we urge Nigerians to be patient with Mr. President.
“I have always said that there would be Nigeria in 1,000 years to come and, therefore,everybody who has followed the history of this country would have observed that every administration from the late Tafawa Balewa period to the current regime, every administration had faced one challenge or the other during the course of it's time and this one cannot be the end because the last administration had its own challenge too. The important thing is that we the people should strive hard to overcome the problem and then move forward. I think what is happening to us is not new in any developing country.”
Reacting to a question on the level of insecurity in the country, especially as it affects the abducted Chibok girls, the former leader responded thus: “I am aware of what the government is doing now, and I know that there is a lot of competition. It is no longer an issue that you could ask the military to move inside Sambisa forest and release these young girls.
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