Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida

Former military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has called for the realignment of political forces in the country and for political office seekers to submit themselves to the electorates for scrutiny.

He stated this in a statement personally signed by him in Abuja yesterday in which he identified with the position of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo on zoning.

According to him, “I am pleased to read the position of the PDP Chairman, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, and the newly selected Party Chairman who was first among equals when he was zoned-in from a group of other persons from the South-East Zone.

“He is a direct product of zoning after waiving some encumbrances that would have mitigated his emergence as the new Chairman of our great Party. Nwodo pronounced the zoning policy of the PDP as dead, even though he said it can be revisited and that he is not afraid of an open discussion of the issue. By making room for further discussion on the zoning policy, Nwodo has demonstrated his liberal and progressive disposition to the whole world.

“I wish to congratulate him and to state that he seems poised to do for PDP many good things hopefully all in the interest of enabling a sustainable democracy for the nation and for the PDP as a party. In order for the PDP to be seen as a progressive vehicle for change it must rise above politics of personalities or that of “he who pays the piper”.

“It is pleasing to observe that the new PDP Chairman has liberalized politics in a most progressive manner. It is hoped that with his recent statements in the media, the people of this great country will have an opportunity to partake in politics of issues rather than of personalities.

“I urge all of us who may have an interest in the leadership of our country to present ourselves to the public. This would enable the people to know who are their leaders and ask them questions about how they would better their lives and wellbeing in every ramification. I hope that political leaders will now begin to educate the people so that power to choose the people who would lead them will be in their hands as the electorate.

“It is my belief that there is need to re-align political forces to achieve new objectives and to this end I call on all stakeholders, political parties and their leaders to constructively engage in discourse with the aim of re-educating and re-orientating the electorate.

“People should not lose sight that ultimately they have the right of choice through credible elections because of voter education. People have a right under our current system to exchange ideas and debate issues that are of concern to them. Under our current constitutional arrangements, power is in the hands of the people and they have the right to choose their leaders. It is only when people are free to interact and exchange ideas that they can find lasting good solutions to their everyday problems,” he said.

The former leader also observed that there was hope for a credible election in the country under the new leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) saying:  “There is a glimmer of hope with current happenings at INEC most especially with the refreshing appointment of Professor Attahiru M. Jega, as the new INEC Chairman.

It is hoped that all stakeholders will rally round the new INEC in order to have credible elections where the voters will not only guard the count of their votes but rather that their votes truly count in the emergence of winners in all elections.

“I believe Professor Attahiru will need the support of all Nigerians because he alone cannot be able to do it unless the people truly want him to do it by expressing their franchise in accordance with the dictates of the electoral laws. The political parties need imbibe the culture of good practice in elections.”


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