BABANGIDA ALIYU LAMBASTS BUHARI
Newly re-elected Governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu yesterday asserted that Nigeria had become so politically sophisticated that sectional leaders and religious bigots would not ascend to the presidency of the country. According to him, any politician aspiring to the position of president of Nigeria must be one who has been able to build bridges of friendship across the various divides of the country.
Aliyu stated this while receiving the results of the Governorship election conducted in the state in which he emerged victorious, from the Director-General of the 2011 Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation, Barrister Tanko Beji at his residence.
'Anyone who wants to rule Nigeria must cross borders, he must shun sentiments, he must guard the language he uses,' Aliyu said in a veiled reference to the CPC presidential standard-bearer in the last presidential election, General Mohammadu Buhari. He said in the present day Nigeria, everybody must be carried along and condemned supporters of the CPC who, because of their principal won in their localities, had the impression that he had won the entire election, saying some of them felt that Minna is Nigeria.
'We should embark on serious voter education to avoid this type of misconception in the future,' Aliyu said.
The governor was also not happy with the leadership of the PDP and political appointees in the state, saying but for providence and last- minute intervention, 'we would have failed'. 'Where did we go wrong that things almost became difficult, we must do an assessment on why people did not care about our performance. We must reconnect properly with the people, we must not be carried away by this success but resolve to do more for the people'.
Speaking before presenting the result Barrister Tanko Beji said 'the outcome of the polls had swept away people who have called for change in Niger state' In the final results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission Gubernatorial returning officer in the state Professor Salihu Mohammed Audu PDP polled 543,205 votes to beat his closest opponent CPC's Bako Shettima who polled 244,770. ANPP's David Umaru came third with 68,368 votes and Abubakar Bawa Bwari of ACN got 49,060.