Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida has said that he will not be running for the Presidency in the 2015 elections.
He made this statement during a Kaduna-based radio programme Liberty Radio monitored by this correspondent, where he also clarified his support for the newly-formed All Progressives’ Congress, which he said was because he believed that a two-party system is good for Nigeria.
He said, “If there is one party state, because the smaller parties don’t have the strength, then there will be a lot of impunity, a lot of lawlessness.
“I am a firm believer of two-party system and I also studied the emergence of political parties in this country immediately after independence and it showed that this country will be heading for a two- party system.You heard about the national alliance, parties coming from the north aligning with those from the south, NEPU aligning with NCNC and so it started again during ShehuShagari time.
“So when we came into office, the two-party system was favouredbecause democratically you have a choice and can vote without belonging to a political party.
“You vote for the quality of the man you want to represent you, so it is not anything new because I believe in two parties and I see signs of the possible emergence of a two-party system, I welcome it, it is good for the polity, it is good also for the unity of this country.
“When we were doing it in 1989 some of you write us in the media that no it is going to be one Christian party, one Muslim party, it did not work then you said it was going to be one northern and one southern party and it did not work and everybody blended.
“The chairman of NRC was Chief Tom Ikimi, the chairman of SDP was Dr.BabaganaKingibe and everybody was in one or the other, you just have to have an accommodation. I am a founding father of the PDP and I cannot disown what I founded.”
Babangida also spoke on the election of former President Olusegun Obasanjo where he played a key role in drafting the former Head of State into the race, saying that the events in the country in the build up to that year’s election demanded a leader who was conversant with the country and ready to work hard to keep the country one.
“The country was in a serious crisis and we have to find the solution to the problem and therefore we needed a leader who is known in the country. We did not believe in foisting somebody who is not known on Nigerians, so we looked for a man who has been involved in the affairs of this country, who held position either in the military or in the cabinet and believed in Nigeria.
“He (Obasanjo) quickly came to mind. Remember those days the fight was against the north’s perpetuation in power. But here, we have someone who knows the north, knows the south and who fought a war, who says what he means. Obasanjo’s emergence saved Nigeria. At least, we did not disintegrate because we believe he can go to war again, to keep this country,” Babagida stated.
He also spoke on the claim of Gen.Dimkat Balli that he would have become the head of state, saying, “He could have, but there was an understanding that we follow seniority in the service, we did not want to truncate the seniority order. That is why we still maintain that in 1975. Domkat Balli no doubt was our senior.”
On the recent arrest of Iranian who claim they were on mission kill him and former Sultan of Sokoto,Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, Babangida said that “I do not think that the Iranian have any reason to kill me.”