Pledges support for Northern Elders Forum
By Wole Mosadomi
MINNA—Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), has again urged Nigerians to ensure that only the younger generations were voted to power in the country.
This came on a day former Military President also threw his weight behind the newly formed Northern Elders Forum, led by Alhaji Tanko Yakasai.
Babangida, spoke at his country home, Minna, Niger State, when he received a delegation of YES Nigeria Movement, led by its convener, Ali Soyode.
He charged the delegation to seize the privilege offered by the next elections to serve their fatherland at a younger age.
Babangida, who, had in a statement in February asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019, urged him to complete his first term and allow a new generation of leaders to take control of the mantle of leadership of the country.
He had said: “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29, 2019, and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.”
The statement came on the heels of a similar statement issued by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, advising Buhari against re-contesting for the presidency in 2019.
The former military leader, however, reiterated the need for the electorate to get their voting documentations in order to play their role in the governance of the country, just as he pledged to work with the movement in achieving its goals.
“I want to commend the leadership of the movement for the great works it has achieved, especially in the areas of educating the electorate on their democratic and political rights and also supporting existing parties in identifying potential candidates for elective offices,” Babangida said
In his remarks, convener of the movement, Soyode, said the aim of establishing the movement was borne out of his desire to see a better political and democratic system educating the electorate of their power to elect, call to accountability of the elected and having right people in government through the exercise of their votes.
He maintained that the country was due for younger generations to lead and have the elders as the advisory council.
New Northern Leaders Forum formed, visits IBB
Meanwhile, Babangida has thrown his weight behind the newly formed Northern Elders group, led by Alhaji Tanko Yakasai.
Receiving the new body at his Hill Top residence in Minna, yesterday, Babangida said he would continue to support any group with a template that will ensure the unity and stability of the country.
He urged the new body to cut across all political parties, saying politicians knew what they needed and should be well educated in the agenda of the new body.
He said: “Anything within the context of one Nigeria is noble and I will support and bless what you are doing but you should be fair in your dealings with Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the NLSA, Tanko Yakasai, said the Assembly’s mission was aimed at promoting the cultural and political unity among all northerners.
He said: “This Assembly is political but non-partisan. It is political in the sense that the doors are opened to all northerners, irrespective of their ethnicity, differences of religious and political belief or sectional background.”