Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has issued a new statement titled “My counsel to the Nation”.
This is coming after the heavy backlash his earlier statement tagged ‘State of the Nation’ released on his behalf by his media aides Kassim Afegbua.
General Babangida in a statement he signed and made available to our Correspondent said the views expressed by Afegbua in a statement titled ‘towards a national rebirth’ are personal views of the writer.
Babangida in his speech titled ‘my Counsel to the Nation”, said he still believes that two-party system remains the best option for Nigeria.
According to him “the recent happenings and utterances by political gladiators is alarming and not in the interest of common man that is already overstretched and apparently living from hand to mouth due to precarious economic conditions.
“Our present political parties need surgical operation that will fusion them in to a reasonable numbers. I have been an advocate of two party systems but in our present reality in Nigeria, our political parties can fusion into strong political association/party that can form a formidable opposition to a ruling party.
“As students of history, we are aware that many advanced democracies have two distinct ideological political parties, with a handful of smaller political parties that serve as buffer whenever any of the known political parties derailed or became unpopular. I still believe in two party systems as the best option for Nigeria.”
He added that “despite all these challenges, I am optimistic that the political actors will play within the ambits of political norms and decorum to ameliorate the problems facing our society now.
While calling on Nigerians to allow democracy prevail, he said “I am a realist that believes in all issues in a democratic atmosphere are sincerely discussed and resolved in the spirit of give and take. Since after my military years that metamorphosed to the only Military President in the history of Nigeria and my civilian life, I always have one clear objective that freedom can only be achieved through democracy.
“It is high time that, we dialogue more on any issue in order to have a political solution on any problem affecting us. It is sad that, Nigeria had its fare share of conflicts, and we cannot continue to fall back to those dark years of bloodshed.”
Meanwhile, IBB while disassociating himself from a statement by his media spokesman said “distinguished Members of the Fourth estate of the realm. My attention has been drawn to a press statement on the State of the nation, particularly 2019 general elections and beyond.
“Let me categorically state that as former President and Statesman, I have unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities without sensational public correspondence, therefore those views expressed over there are personal views of the writer.”
Furthermore, General Babangida said “with due respect to individual opinion and constitutional rights, it is worrisome that Political events and civil unrest in many part of the country, have raised many questions on the governance and unity.
“Indeed 2018 is inundated with seasons of literatures on the corporate existence of this country. Many of such literatures have shown concerns of the corporate existence of Nigeria beyond 2019 general elections.”
He recalled, that in his message to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, he specifically expressed the dire need for proactive measures to stop farmers/herders clashes in the middle belt, Cattle rustling, armed robbery, Kidnapping, gangsterism and Cultism.
“Our security agencies have to step up surveillance with more efforts on intelligence gathering for maximum success”, he said.
He further disclosed that some people find the freedom as an avenue for eroding democracy by antics of hate speeches under the guise of religion, tribal or self imposed mentorship.
Accordingly, he said “this trend of pitching political class and the people is unhealthy and skewed; the clamour for re-alignment of governance in the country as we are approaching 2019 election year is a welcome development only if the agitations are genuinely channelled through legislation and total supremacy of the constitution.
“Any attempt outside this circle of democratic tenants is deceptive and divisive idea capable of plunging our political journey into disarray.
“Our present political parties and their structures need parameter pillars that will make them more strong with unique ideologies.”
General Babangida further advised that “as a people, now is the time to come together to address all Communal conflicts and criminality under any guise to further unite the country in line with the vision of our founding fathers so that as a nation, we can forge ahead in the task of building a more prosperous nation.