Abuja – Former military ruler, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has said that he does not have any intention to deny President Buhari his right to vote and be voted for.

Babangida said this while denying reports that he had called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to re-contest in 2019.

Former heads of state, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari

Babangida described the report as “the personal views of the writer”.

Babangida said that “as former President and Statesman, I have unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities without sensational public correspondence”.

“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.

“I always have one clear objective that freedom can only be achieved through democracy.

“Some people find this freedom as an avenue for eroding democracy by antics of hate speeches under the guise of religion, tribal or self imposed mentorship.

“This trend of pitching political class and the people is unhealthy and skewed.”

He added that the current challenges facing the country would be solved through constructive engagements by politicians rather than overheating the polity.

“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.”

According to Babangida, the clamour for re-alignment of governance in the country is a welcome development only if the agitations are channeled through legislation and total supremacy of the constitution.

He said that any attempt outside this circle of democratic tenants was deceptive and capable of plunging Nigeria’s political journey into disarray.

“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 fair share of conflicts, and we cannot continue to fall back to those dark years of bloodshed.

“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.”

An online medium has quoted a statement by one Mr Kassim Afegbua as saying that Babangida had “called on Nigerians to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his tenure and collectively work towards preparing the way for new generation leadership to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.

“While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation when personal ambition should not override national interest”.

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