Posted by News Express | 12 March 2015 | 4,256 times
Former President Ibrahim Babangida yesterday discountenanced prospects of an interim government or his role in such, saying that the conditions that gave rise to the contraption in 1993 were non-existent under Nigeria’s flourishing democratic system.
In a statement yesterday, Babangida also called for encouragement for the Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), urging all to accept the use of the card reader, a device, he said, said would further enthrone transparency in the electoral register.
“Let me state in emphatic terms that Professor Attahiru Jega and his colleagues in INEC have to be encouraged, motivated, animated and commended for the sheer courage and determination they have shown thus far in their preparations for the March 28 and April 11 elections.
“They have demonstrated their sense of patriotism in a manner that underscores their readiness for the elections and love for country. Rather than condemnation, they deserve our commendation. They need to be encouraged to deliver on their statutory obligation to the Nigerian state. I have no doubt to state unequivocally, that elections will hold on the appointed dates in line with the unflinching assurances from INEC,” he said.
While dissociating himself from participation in an interim government, Babangida said he bade goodbye to politics in 2011 at the age of 70, taking into consideration that after his eight year unbroken rule as military president that he had seen it all.
“When we introduced the idea of an “interim government” during our time as a military government, we had in mind to enthrone a democratic government in the shortest possible time in sync with the agitations of the people, after the inconclusive elections of 1993. That was a stop-gap measure because we were determined to quit office at the set date of August 27, 1993. Having left office since 1993 and with the benefit of hindsight, I think what we did was auspicious enough to reassure our people that we were ready to leave office and keep the country going. The end result of our patriotic action is another topic for another day. Suffice it to say that the circumstances we found ourselves in 1993 are totally different from what obtains today in our democratic journey as a nation with flourishing opportunities,” he said.
Babangida also commended the security agencies, especially with the successes already recorded in the fight against the Boko Haram, declaring ”This is the real Nigeria Army of my expectation. I am not only proud of the military uniform, I am betrothed to it. It is a symbolic and very unique institution that nurtured me on how to dominate my environment. Whether retired or serving military officers, we all share common professional affinity and collegiate loyalty.”
He stressed that the unity of the country and loyalty to the nation is paramount in his heart and is unequivocal. He, therefore, commended the military for the determination they have shown in combating the Boko Haram menace and preparing the ground for credible elections.
•Adapted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows Babangida.
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