PDP NEC Meeting Takes Shine Off Babangida Wednesday Declaration
ABUJA, Sept 14, (THEWILL) - Former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida will Wednesday in Abuja officially declare his interest to contest the January 2011 Presidential election under the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His declaration would however not dominate headlines as the leadership of the PDP will meet about the same time on Wednesday to take crucial decisions on the party’s guidelines and conduct of its primaries.
Analysts say the leadership of the PDP deliberately moved the NEC meeting to Wednesday from an earlier scheduled Thursday to divert focus from the Babangida’s declaration, but the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party insists that its meeting was not in any way meant to sabotage Babangida’s presidential declaration.
The former military dictator will be the second PDP aspirant to officially announce his intention to run for next year’s presidential election after former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who flagged off his aspiration last month.
The Eagle Square in Abuja, venue of the rally where IBB is to address his supporters is already wearing a new look adorned with national and PDP flags, as well as posters of the Mr. Babangida.
Director General of the Babangida Campaign organisation, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, who spoke to reporters while inspecting progress of work at the Eagle Square today, express optimism that the event will be a success.
The embattled Director General, who is also the owner of African International Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM said, the rescheduled meeting of NEC will not affect the declaration as every machinery has been put in place to ensure a hitch free rally.
He assured that Babangida can not be intimidated by anyone to chicken out of the presidential race noting that the former military ruler is the most qualified and experienced to lead Nigeria to the next level.
General Babangida was president from August 27 1985 to August 28, 1993, when he was forced to ‘step aside’ and hand over to the Interim National Government (ING) headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Elections widely believed to have been won by the late philanthropist and business mogul, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawole Abiola, popularly known as MKO.
But Babangida’s biggest hurdle in the PDP is the desire of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to contest in the same presidential election.
President Jonathan’s public declaration is expected to happen on Saturday in Abuja, a night before his departure to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.