Babangida to contest Nigeria poll

Babangida to contest Nigeria poll

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:11 pm

Nigeria's former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida has announced he will be a candidate in the presidential election due to be held in April 2007.

In a press interview, he accused the country's present political elite of fuelling ethnic and religious violence.

Mr Babangida governed Nigeria for eight years until 1993.

He was toppled from power by mass protests after he annulled elections that were widely seen as having been won by a businessman, Moshood Abiola.

"I will contest in the election. Under the banner of the Nigerian people," Mr Babangida said in an interview with Reuters and the London newspaper the Financial Times.

Mr Babangida is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), but it is far from certain whether the party would back him as its presidential candidate.

Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is also believed to be seeking the PDP nomination.

Challenge

"The challenge of the next leadership is to make Nigeria whole again," Mr Babangida said, blaming the political elite for fuelling violence that has killed at least 15,000 people since democracy was restored to Nigeria in 1999.

He dismissed suggestions that current President Olusegun Obasanjo would try to remain in power beyond his two-term constitutional mandate.

"As long as we conduct elections, which I am optimistic that we will in 2007, the transition process from civilian to civilian is feasible, it's workable," Mr Babangida said.

"We have a constitution. If you go outside that, it is like a breach."

Correspondents say there has been speculation in Nigeria that Mr Babangida gave financial support to Mr Obasanjo's 1999 election campaign, in return for a promise that he would become the president's chosen successor.

Mr Obasanjo has however denied favouring any particular successor to the presidency.

BBC
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Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:20 pm

Enough already. These old politicians, especially these guys of military background should step aside and let other people rule.

Babangida, you spent eight long years in office, you didn't make a difference. Why should anybody anticipate a miracle this time around.

We need rulers in Nigeria with the ability to think like businessmen, not those with militant mentality. Business minded people are more creative in terms of taking what they have, and turning it into a profitable venture. Militant people merely give orders and spend a lot of money. You may find an exception here and there, but that's the general rule.

We need a new Nigeria. Nobody wants to return to old Nigeria.
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