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Why I want to be president again — IBB

Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (middle) with former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, shortly after declaring intention to contest for 2011 presidential election, yesterday, in Abuja. Photo: Gbemiga OlamikanBy Jide Ajani, Kingsley Omonobi, Henry Umoru, Chris Ochayi, Luka Binniyat & Victoria Ojeme

ABUJA—AFTER several months of speculations, former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, yesterday, formally declared his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election.

Babangida, who anchored his interest on the abysmal lack of governance in the country, said that Nigeria as a nation was in a crisis.

He said he would pursue a macroeconomic framework that would, among others, attract investment, promote stability and sustain high non-inflationary growth.

The former military leader who is vying for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also promised to use Nigeria’s wealth of natural resources to diversify the nation’s economy that would, at the end of the day, help reduce the country’s over dependence on oil and gas.

He said: “Today, Nigeria stands at the threshold of history. As we celebrate 50 years of independence, the country faces a pressing urgency for accelerated development to actualize the tremendous expectation that our enormous endowments evoke. It is equally distressing that we have not succeeded in remarkably harnessing the enormous human and natural resources to provide the foundation for a productive and caring nation such that we now stand in grave danger of state failure.

“Today, the reality of our present circumstance is that our country is in a crisis. We cry over the economy; and we agonise over the state of our educational system as well as over organized crime. Our infrastructure has collapsed and we continue to live with epileptic supply of electricity. We bicker over the never-ending issue of subsidy.

Challenges of the society

“Two decades ago, the central challenge of the Nigerian society and economy that we grappled with, was the big, inefficient State that had a stranglehold on the society, occupied the commanding heights of the economy; and behaved like a general business enterprise, producing and selling myriads of commodities running airlines; managing commercial banks and owning cement factories. Naturally, it ended up as a colossal failure in this regard, since it neither had the bottom-line sense of a business enterprise nor the residual claimant motivation to ensure proper and efficient management of the societal resources under its care.

“Today, however, Nigeria faces a qualitatively different challenges. The reality in our country is that of an abysmal lack of governance. The State has virtually become overwhelmed by multi-dimensional crisis constraining its ability to minister to the needs of the “For me, the response to such issues defines governance. Our challenge today is to come together and make Nigeria work better. We should awaken ourselves to challenges of building a productive economy and a caring society.

There is no option open to this nation than to create an economic framework that prioritises job creation, entrepreneurship, productive engagement of our  teeming population. I am making a solemn undertaking to devote the four years that would be available to me, if elected president, to create the foundation for creating that economic framework.

“The first requirement of attaining the above is to ensure that the economy grows at such a rate as to absorb the productive labour continuously being generated in the country. In particular, with the growing rate of urbanization in the country and with growing mechanization of the country’s agricultural sector, we must find placements for the surplus labour that is bound to be released.

The key sectors of manufacturing and services that will, therefore, be given importance in this regard, is the programme of boosting small and medium scaled enterprises to improve not just their service delivery and wealth creating potentials, but the capacity to engage the labour of millions of Nigerians.

Potential for job creation

“A previously neglected sector in terms of potential for job creation is so called informal sector that currently houses the productive endeavours of millions of Nigerians. Steps will be taken to formalize the informal sector by integrating it to the mainstream, structured economy. Other sectors that would also have very significant impact on job creation include a revitalized solid minerals sector, the emerging information and communication technology industry, the tourism sector including hotels and the budding Nigerian film industry.

“Nigeria has the material resources, the intellectual endowment, the capacity and the pressing need to attain the above objectives. The ingredients necessary for the achievement of these noble goals are competent leadership, social orderliness.

We would then draw up and resolutely implement a bold innovative National Reconstruction Plan which ensures the sustained mobilisation of all the people, their resources, imagination and institutions, on an urgent task. “The Nigerian economy can and will be driven to secure two-digit, non-inflationary or minimal-inflationary growth rates over a long period at least two decades –  as some of Asian economies have done. Clearly, traditional economic management – planning and budgeting methods and norms cannot serve, for essentially they ignore the factor of mobilization, which must be grasped for sustained long-run progress. There is much work to be done by all Nigerians and much benefit for al Nigerians, in the attainment of this objective.

“At the same time, the policy of equity in the distribution of the gains would mean increased wealth and improved welfare for all Nigerians, as well as stimulation of the spirit of enterprise, with due compensation for valid risk-taking, on the basis of justice and diversity. Growth will be principally measurable in terms of aggregate output and employment, although other major variables will be of interest. There is no more debate or doubt the debilitating role of corrupt practices in governance, public policy design and implementation, and even in the relationship between the public and private sectors.

“Indeed, corruption has been established as a fundamental cause in the underdevelopment of our economy and society. We will insist upon and deepen the policies and instruments of  transparency and accountability in governance. The existing institutions such as EFCC and ICPC will be sustained, strengthened and complemented by other anti-corruption authorities such that the national and global constituencies of the Nigerian state shall bear concrete witness to our efforts in dealing with the phenomenon of corruption.

“From the above, the following specific objectives, among others, would constitute the focus of our economic management policy in a determined effort to re-inaugurate a caring society, a macro-economic framework that attracts investment, promote economic stability and sustain high non-inflationary growth; a strong partnership between public and private sector which is private sector-driven with the government as the enabler.

“Use Nigeria’s wealth of natural resources to diversify the economy, and thus reduce significantly over dependence on oil and gas; the growth and development of small and medium scale business top provide wider economic opportunities, employment and poverty alleviation; a modern, well-structured, efficient and competitive financial; and banking system that caters for the long term needs of the economy.

“Transform our urban and rural communities as well as the waterways into centres of production, and thus generate employment opportunities for our people; human development programmes through massive investment in education, health and housing; restore and sustain our family values and morals as the basis for as caring society; collaborate with the states, local governments, the legislature and judiciary to sustain democracy and federalism as the definitive character of the Nigerian state and as the framework for achieving our objectives of economic productivity and a caring society.”

2011 poll, a defining one, Nnamani

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, described the 2011 general election as a defining one just as he stressed that the election will also determine whether Nigeria would make it through to the next decade in full stride.

He said the general election will also judge if Nigeria as a nation will continue to stumble, “as we have done so often before”.

Nnamani who spoke at the formal declaration of Gen. Babangida for the 2011 presidential election, warned that the change the country desires will not come if as a country we continued in what he termed unprofitable practice where “we negotiate political offices behind closed doors.” He said: “Today, let political offices be decided by a fair primary and the open ballot, to determine the popular will of the people. Today is a momentous day in Nigeria’s political history.

Change for the better must come to this country otherwise posterity will not forgive all of us.
“I am, therefore, highly honoured to be the chairman of this event. This is a historic moment when former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, GCFR, makes his public declaration seeking the presidential nomination of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 2011 presidential election.

“By virtue of his entry into the presidential race, we are guaranteed a competitive primary for the 2011 presidential election. Through a competitive primary, the best candidate will emerge. Through this process, both the party and the nation will benefit.

“Let me be clear, this declaration is an internal party affair. Our great party, the PDP has agreed on zoning because we believe that the practice of zoning will give every part of this country the opportunity to, one day, produce the President of this nation.

Principle of power rotation

“It is boldly written in section 7(2) C of our Party Constitution. The principle of power rotation is the true essence of “the federal character” which is captured in the 1999 Constitution section 153. I make bold to say this, we need rotation of power and zoning of public offices for inclusiveness, peace and stability of this country. People of like minds are, therefore, looking up to the North to rally together and hopefully give PDP ‘a common candidate’ for the 2011 presidential election.

“Many times people fail to recognise that experience is critical in leadership, especially for a highly complex country like Nigeria. At this period of our national development we need a tried and tested, steady hand to lead this nation.

We can no longer afford to experiment with our collective future and destiny. The man for whom we are gathered here today is a man of enormous experience and immense courage, as we all can testify.

“The need for reform in our politics and in our economy is another reason Nigeria needs strong leadership in order for us to catch up with developed economies. I am a strong believer in reform, and I will urge Nigerians to demand a new style of leadership that makes the welfare of the citizen the centre of governance from all our leaders. IBB is himself a reformer and his track record speaks for him.

“As leaders of PDP, we must offer a level playing field to every aspirant who declares on our party platform to give us his or her vision of change, a clear road map of where and how far he wants to take this country. This will help Nigerians to choose a leader of their conviction. And that’s genuine democracy.

“The change we need will not come if we persist in the unprofitable practice where we negotiate political offices behind closed doors. Today let political office/s be decided by a fair primary and the open ballot, to determine the popular will of the people.

“We are now negotiating a very critical bend in our politics when absolute care needs to be exercised so that we don’t destroy the labor of our heroes past. Many of us have read the statements credited to a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, to the effect that Nigeria runs risk of state failure in the 2011 elections unless real care is taken to sagaciously manage the tensions and political conflicts in Nigeria.

“Expectedly, many Nigerian public officials are criticising John Campbell without properly digesting what he is saying. The correct answer to John Campbell is to work hard to make sure that the 2011 election is free, fair, credible, peaceful and satisfactory to all Nigerians. And it starts with fair, credible and open primaries

“This is a defining election. It may well determine whether Nigeria will make it through to the next decade in full stride or continue to stumble as we have done so often before.

“A few years ago there was a prognostication that Nigeria may disintegrate by 2015. Of course, we reject this prophecy. But the best way to reject this prophecy of doom is to avoid the politics of intolerance and violence. Politics in Nigeria must have principles and ground rules. It should be issues driven. And leaders must have the vision and plans to address these issues.”

ROLL CALL

*Governor Aliyu Shinkafi , Zamfara State
*Governor Murtala Nyako Adamawa State
*Governor Babangida Aliyu  Niger State
*Governor Aliyu Shinkafi , Zamfara State
*Governor Murtala Nyako Adamawa State
*Governor Babangida Aliyu  Niger State
*Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor Rivers State,
*Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former Speaker, House of Representatives,
*Former Governor Abdulkadir Kure,  Niger State
*Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani
*Former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu
*Former Health Minister, Professor ABC Nwosu
*Alhaji Tanko Yakassai.
*General Mohammed Magoro,
*Alhaji Mohammed Abacha
*Kazeem Afegbua
*Abdulkadir Dantata
*Sen Nuhu Aliyu
*Gabriel Umoden
*Alhaji S. Bakare (Oluwalogbon)
*Mohammed Abacha
*Chief Kenny Martins
*Chief Mrs. Remi Adiukwu-Bakare
*Hon. Awwal Tukur
*Senator Zainabe Kure
*Senator Nuhu Aliyu
*Senator Awesu Kuta.
*General Saliu Ibrahim, former Chief of Army Staff
*Senator Kanti Bello
*Professor Sam Oyovbiare
*Hon. Abdul Ningi
*Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Chief Obinna Uzor
*Chief Francis Ayegbeni.
*Representatives of the Yoruba Council of Elder
*Representatives of the South-South Youth Assembly
*Dr. Mrs Gambo Zuweira
*Hazim Gbolaranmi, *Former Dep. Gov
Magaret Udom
*AVM Hamza Abdullahi
*Deputy Gov of Kwara
*Alex Akinyele
*Mike Nwaukoni
*Amb Leo Okogu
*Sunny Okogwu
*Dr. Abiye Sekibo
*Apollos Amadi
*Murtala Aliyu
*Dr. Bello Gusau
*Alhaji Sada Ilu
*Shettima Mustapha
*Alhaji Umar Abba Gana
*Jibril Aminu
*Sen. Sylvester Anyanwu
*Chief Regal Ofomba
*Dr. Tony Eze
*Prince Arthur Eze (represented)
*Francis Ogboru
*Alhaji Abbey Ibrahim
*Keneth Kobani
*Hon. Bawa Buari, former Chief Whip, House of Reps
*Alhaji Hassan Jalo
*Alhaji Danjuma Hammed
*Munir Jafar, former MD, NMA
*Clem Ohameze
*Dr. Junaid Mohammed
*Former Minister Musa Gwadabe
*Alhaji Hamed Hassan
*Hon. Shehu Sani
*Hon. Wadada
*Hon. Mercy Almona-Isei
*Hon. Linda Ikpeazu
*Princess Adama Dania
*Professor Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, former Minister
*Alhaji Bello Bagudu
*Alhaji Umaru Ndanusa
*Sen. Dangana Ndayako
*Sambo Dasuki
*Governor Murtala Nyako Adamawa State
*Governor Babangida Aliyu  Niger State
*Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor Rivers State,
*Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former Speaker, House of Representatives,
*Former Governor Abdulkadir Kure,  Niger State
*Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani
*Former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu
*Former Health Minister, Professor ABC Nwosu
*Alhaji Tanko Yakassai.
General Mohammed Magoro,
*Alhaji Mohammed Abacha
*Kazeem Afegbua
*Abdulkadir Dantata
*Sen Nuhu Aliyu
*Gabriel Umoden
*Alhaji S. Bakare (Oluwalogbon)
*Dr. Kunle Olajide
*Mohammed Abacha
*Chief Mrs. Remi Adiukwu-Bakare
*Hon. Awwal Tukur
*Senator Zainabe Kure
*Senator Nuhu Aliyu
*Senator Awesu Kuta.
*General Saliu Ibrahim, former Chief of Army Staff
*Senator Kanti Bello
*Professor Sam Oyovbiare
*Hon. Abdul Ningi
*Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Chief Obinna Uzor
*Chief Francis Ayegbeni.
*Representatives of the Yoruba Council of Elder
*Representatives of the South-South Youth Assembly
*Dr. Mrs Gambo Zuweira
*Hazim Gbolaranmi, Former Dep. Gov
Magaret Udom
*AVM Hamza Abdullahi
*Deputy Gov of Kwara
*Alex Akinyele
*Mike Nwaukoni
*Amb Leo Okogu
*Sunny Okogwu
*Dr. Abiye Sekibo
*Apollos Amadi
*Murtala Aliyu
*Dr. Bello Gusau
*Alhaji Sada Ilu
*Shettima Mustapha
*Alhaji Umar Abba Gana
*Jibril Aminu
*Sen. Sylvester Anyanwu
*Chief Regal Ofomba
*Dr. Tony Eze
*Prince Arthur Eze (represented)
*Francis Ogboru
*Alhaji Abbey Ibrahim
*Keneth Kobani
*Hon. Bawa Buari, former Chief Whip, House of Reps
*Alhaji Hassan Jalo
*Alhaji Danjuma Hammed
*Munir Jafar, former MD, NMA
*Clem Ohameze
*Dr. Junaid Mohammed
*Former Minister Musa Gwadabe
*Alhaji Hamed Hassan
*Hon. Shehu Sani
*Hon. Wadada
*Hon. Mercy Almona-Isei
*Hon. Linda Ikpeazu
*Princess Adama Dania
*Professor Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, former Minister
*Alhaji Bello Bagudu
*Alhaji Umaru Ndanusa
*Sen. Dangana Ndayako
*Sambo Dasuki
*Colonel Bello FadileDr. Peter Odili, former Governor Rivers State,
*Governor Aliyu Shinkafi , Zamfara State
*Governor Murtala Nyako Adamawa State
*Governor Babangida Aliyu  Niger State
*Dr. Peter Odili, former Governor Rivers State,
*Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former Speaker, House of Representatives,
*Former Governor Abdulkadir Kure,  Niger State
*Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani
*Former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu
*Former Health Minister, Professor ABC Nwosu
*Alhaji Tanko Yakassai.
General Mohammed Magoro,
*Alhaji Mohammed Abacha
*Kazeem Afegbua
*Abdulkadir Dantata
*Sen Nuhu Aliyu
*Gabriel Umoden
*Alhaji S. Bakare (Oluwalogbon)
*Dr. Kunle Olajide
*Mohammed Abacha
*Chief Kenny Martins
*Chief Mrs. Remi Adiukwu-Bakare
*Hon. Awwal Tukur
*Senator Zainabe Kure
*Senator Nuhu Aliyu
*Senator Awesu Kuta.
*General Saliu Ibrahim, former Chief of Army Staff
*Senator Kanti Bello
*Professor Sam Oyovbiare
*Hon. Abdul Ningi
*Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Chief Obinna Uzor
*Chief Francis Ayegbeni.
*Representatives of the Yoruba Council of Elder
*Representatives of the South-South Youth Assembly
*Dr. Mrs Gambo Zuweira
*Hazim Gbolaranmi, Former Dep. Gov
Magaret Udom
*AVM Hamza Abdullahi
*Deputy Gov of Kwara
*Alex Akinyele
*Mike Nwaukoni
*Amb Leo Okogu
*Sunny Okogwu
*Dr. Abiye Sekibo
*Apollos Amadi
*Murtala Aliyu
*Dr. Bello Gusau
*Alhaji Sada Ilu
*Shettima Mustapha
*Alhaji Umar Abba Gana
*Jibril Aminu
*Sen. Sylvester Anyanwu
*Chief Regal Ofomba
*Dr. Tony Eze
*Prince Arthur Eze (represented)
*Francis Ogboru
*Alhaji Abbey Ibrahim
*Keneth Kobani
*Hon. Bawa Buari, former Chief Whip, House of Reps
*Alhaji Hassan Jalo
*Alhaji Danjuma Hammed
*Munir Jafar, former MD, NMA
*Clem Ohameze
*Former Minister Musa Gwadabe
*Alhaji Hamed Hassan
*Hon. Shehu Sani
*Hon. Wadada
*Hon. Linda Ikpeazu
*Princess Adama Dania
*Professor Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, former Minister
*Alhaji Bello Bagudu
*Alhaji Umaru Ndanusa
*Sen. Dangana Ndayako
*Sambo Dasuki
*Colonel Bello FadileHon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former Speaker, House of Representatives,
*Former Governor Abdulkadir Kure,  Niger State
*Former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani
*Former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Adamu
*Former Health Minister, Professor ABC Nwosu
*Alhaji Tanko Yakassai.
General Mohammed Magoro,
*Alhaji Mohammed Abacha
*Kazeem Afegbua
*vAbdulkadir Dantata
*Sen Nuhu Aliyu
*Gabriel Umoden
*Alhaji S. Bakare (Oluwalogbon)
*Dr. Kunle Olajide
*Mohammed Abacha
*Chief Kenny Martins
*Chief Mrs. Remi Adiukwu-Bakare
*Hon. Awwal Tukur
*Senator Zainabe Kure
*Senator Nuhu Aliyu
*Senator Awesu Kuta.
*General Saliu Ibrahim, former Chief of Army Staff
*Senator Kanti Bello
*Professor Sam Oyovbiare
*Hon. Abdul Ningi
*Democratic Party presidential aspirant, Chief Obinna Uzor
*Chief Francis Ayegbeni.
*Representatives of the Yoruba Council of Elder
*Representatives of the South-South Youth Assembly
*Dr. Mrs Gambo Zuweira
*Hazim Gbolaranmi, *Former Dep. Gov
Magaret Udom
*AVM Hamza Abdullahi
*Deputy Gov of Kwara
*Alex Akinyele
*Mike Nwaukoni
*Amb Leo Okogu
*Sunny Okogwu
*Dr. Abiye Sekibo
*Apollos Amadi
*Murtala Aliyu
*Dr. Bello Gusau
*Alhaji Sada Ilu
*Shettima Mustapha
*Alhaji Umar Abba Gana
*Jibril Aminu
*Sen. Sylvester Anyanwu
*Chief Regal Ofomba
*Dr. Tony Eze
*Prince Arthur Eze (represented)
*Francis Ogboru
*Alhaji Abbey Ibrahim
*Keneth Kobani
*Hon. Bawa Buari, former Chief Whip, House of Reps
*Alhaji Hassan Jalo
*Alhaji Danjuma Hammed
*Munir Jafar, former MD, NMA
*Clem Ohameze
*Dr. Junaid Mohammed
*Former Minister Musa Gwadabe
*Alhaji Hamed Hassan
*Hon. Shehu Sani
*Hon. Wadada
*Hon. Mercy Almona-Isei
*Hon. Linda Ikpeazu
*Princess Adama Dania
*Professor Mrs. Chinwe
*Obaji, former Minister
*Alhaji Bello Bagudu
*Alhaji Umaru Ndanusa
*Sen. Dangana Ndayako
*Sambo Dasuki
*Colonel Bello Fadile

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