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Nigeria: 17 Years After Stepping Aside, IBB Returns With Promises

Posted by Admin on Sep 16th, 2010 and filed under Afrique. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Abuja — Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), yesterday formally declared his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election – 17 years after “stepping aside” from Aso Rock after the June 12 election crisis.

He promised to fight corruption and create two million jobs, listing three priorities: national security and cohesion, development of youths and women and a new social charter.

Babangida, speaking at his declaration attended by three state governors, vowed to wage war against corruption by targeting “unexplained and unexplainable wealth” in the country.

The retired general, who said he would rule for only four years, declared his intention to put an end to “executive lawlessness and impunity in governance”.

He said corruption was a problem that must be dealt with decisively in Nigeria because of its negative impact on society.

“Corruption of society is the ultimate social cancer since it afflicts every process and every transaction. It defeats the personal goals of most citizens and distorts our values as a nation,” he stated.

General Ibrahim Babangida.

He went on to say that he is aware that the battle must be waged vigorously. There should be a link between work and wealth, if Nigeria is to make progress, he argued.

“Our approach shall be to energise and fortify the anti-corruption agencies of government and implement a systematic and protracted engagement with the values and institutional structures which promote corruption in Nigeria. Specifically, my administration shall be more pro-active in the war against unexplained and unexplainable wealth,” he said.

Babangida, who is running on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, promised to create two million jobs within the first two years in office.

“I believe firmly that Nigeria is one of the very few countries in Africa and the world where conditions exist for spectacular economic growth and human development, it is therefore distressing to me that we have not succeeded in harnessing our enormous human and natural resources to build national prosperity to the extent that we are now in grave danger of state failure,” he said.

He was accompanied by his four children, Aisha, Muhammed, Aminu and Zainab. Other supporters were former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani (chairman of the occasion), former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, Sen. Kanti Bello and Chief Alex Akinyele.

Others are Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi (who is also his son-in-law); Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako (former Chief of Naval Staff under Babangida); Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu (who said he was there as chairman of Northern Governors Forum); media mogul Chief Raymond Dokpesi; and former Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu.

He listed his priority areas to include the economy, job creation, Niger Delta, power/ electricity, oil and gas, education/healthcare, agriculture, transportation, housing and credible foreign policy.

He further said his administration would concentrate on three key areas: national security and cohesion, development of youths, women and a new social charter.

There was apprehension at some point as his daughter, Hajiya Aisha Shinkafi, temporarily left the stage reportedly due to exhaustion. She was taken off stage for a while. But she recovered quickly to rejoin her dad on the podium.

While canvassing for the continuation of zoning, former aide to ex-President Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakassi, said the 2011 elections present an opportunity for power to return to the North.

The Niger State governor said he was disturbed with news that the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting had been scheduled for noon when IBB would be declaring his intention, but was relieved with the movement of the meeting to 2pm.

He also said with experience and courage on his side, IBB “is the best candidate to redeem Nigeria”.

Also, a booklet circulated at the venue by the IBB Vision Group 2011 UK, Nigerian Chapter, said he was not the only one involved in circumstances that led to the annulment of the June 12 election.

Titled “The Fallacies on June 12 Elections”, the pamphlet said that “he (IBB) didn’t do it alone but several interest groups after due consultation. However, he takes Responsibility and begs for forgiveness.”

It further declared that IBB did not kill Dele Giwa. “There is no evidence against him (IBB) and no one has been convicted up till now. He is a man of great faith in God and he values life,” it said.

On the Okigbo report, it said: “He was never accused of any wrong doing by the Okigbo Report on the $12.4 billion oil windfall. The report was not a probe on IBB but a document on how to improve the operation of the CBN.”

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