Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, addressed some key issues about the state of the nation in an interview aired on Friday, August 6, 2021, by Arise News TV.
highlights some of the key issues raised by the elder statesman.
1. President Buhari’s successor in 2023
Ahead of the 2023 elections, Babangida spoke about the kind of leader Nigeria needs to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said Nigerians should not vote for anyone above 60 years of age as the president, noting that the country needs a young and vibrant Nigerian to take over from Buhari.
IBB added that Nigeria has both human and natural resources to transform the country without foreign assistance.
2. Corruption under democracy
The elder statesman also addressed the menace of corruption in the country, especially among the public officeholders.
Babangida boasted that his military administration did a better job in fighting corruption compared to how the fight against the menace is being handled under the democratic system.
3. Annulment of June 12, 1993, presidential election
The former military ruler also revealed what he called the ‘honest reason’ his government annulled the 1993 June 12 election which was won by MKO Abiola; an election considered the best in Nigeria’s history.
IBB claimed if he did not annul the election, there would have been a coup d’etat that could have been violent, PM News stated.
Legit.ng notes that Abiola’s victory was confirmed in 2018, when the Buhari administration awarded him a posthumous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR), an honour reserved for heads of state.
4. The fight against insurgency
On insecurity, IBB also said the Nigerian military is overstretched and is also using obsolete equipment.
He, however, noted that the military has the capacity to win the war against the insurgency and banditry in the north.
5. DSS and court orders
Also, Babangida advised the Department of State Services (DSS) to stop disobeying court orders.
His advice comes amid allegations that the secret police has become notorious for not obeying the rulings of the court.
He reiterated that the agency which was established under his military administration in 1986 has to stop flouting court orders.
6. Qualities Nigeria’s next president must have
As the nation approaches the general 2023 elections, IBB also revealed at least eight qualities the nation’s next president must possess.
Among others, he said the next leader must be someone who has friends everywhere, be well-versed in economics and understand politics well.
In other news, Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, on Monday, March 15, met with Babangida.
In what he described as consultation, the former governor said he also met with General Abdulsalami Abubakar, the former military leader who supervised Nigeria’s transition to civilian rule in 1999.
Fayose also noted that he will continue consulting with other stakeholders.