2011: IBB considers joining presidential race, says Aide

THISDAY Newspaper-Imam Imam

Various interest groups from within and outside the country are mounting pressure on former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, to contest the 2011 presidential election, an aide to the former army general has said.

Speaking to reporters in Kaduna yesterday, the aide, Alhaji Hassan Jallo, said so far, Babangida is considering all options and will make his decision known to Nigerians at the appropriate time.

He said the clamour to have IBB return to power was necessitated by the largely ineffective leadership the country has been subjected to since the return of democracy in 1999, adding that many Nigerians believe Babangida is the only person with the requisite experience and political sagacity to move the country forward.

He said what Nigeria needs at this critical point is a leader with tested credentials and ability to unite the whole country.
“IBB is that person. His national outlook makes him the right person to lead this country at this critical point," Jallo added.
On the ongoing crisis in the presidency brought about by the sudden return of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from his medical trip, Jallo warned those in authority to avoid dragging the country into chaos, adding that the constitution is very clear on who should be in charge of affairs now.

He said the present crisis was precipitated by the failure of the electorate to reject Yar'Adua during the last elections.
"We should have rejected him when his health failed him during the campaigns. I think this experience has made it a lesson to us. Next time you have to be medically fit before you can contemplate running for president in Nigeria," he said.

Babangida was widely expected to contest both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections but he failed to enter the race eventually.
He did not do much in respect of the 2003 race but in 2007, he publicly opted out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) race, though he did not publicly enter the race, saying he was withdrawing because of Yar’Adua, whom he described as a younger brother (younger brother of the late Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua) and General Aliyu Gusau, his former National Security Adviser.


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