Nigeria’s former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, today staged a big rally of a medley of political forces, some spent, some active at the Eagles Square in Abuja, to make a formal declaration of his interest in running for the 2011 presidencial election. IBB rode in an open sports utility vehicle, SUV, with former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, the CEO of Daar Communication, owners of AIT and Raypower, Dr.
Ramond Dokpesi and a few other supporters.
Speakers at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the IBB 2011 declaration flaunted IBB’s experience as his foremost qualification to lead Nigeria, 17 years after he ‘stepped aside’ from power.
At the declaration ceremony IBB said, for almost two decades, especially since the democratic dispensation commenced, people have been asking him if he had the intention to participate in the political process.
“After a serious reflection, today, I am convinced and determined to take on fully the challenges facing the country,” IBB told his supporters amid shouts of ‘IBB, power,’ ‘PDP, power to the people.’
He said his involvement in politics has taught him that good governance is all about meeting the needs of the people. This, he said, he wanted to do by insisting on transparency and accountability, stressing that EFCC and ICPC would be sustained to fight corruption.
IBB promised to utilise Nigeria’s resources to diversify the economy to stop the overdependence on oil and gas, and poverty alleviation.
Chairman of the occasion and a former president of the Senate, Chief Ken Nnamani, in a welcome address, was the first to recount IBB’s experience as his remarkable qualification to grab the nation’s number one political seat.
Amid shouts of “IBB, Power” and “PDP, Power to the People,” Dokpesi noted that 17 years after IBB left office, health, educational institutions are in ruins while security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed.
Speaking in a similar vein, Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said the people of the state are solidly behind their child, IBB, who he described as humble, courageous and experienced for the task of rebuilding decaying infrastructure in Nigeria.
Former Senate President Nnamani, while addressing the supporters, said he expected a competitive presidential primaries within the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, with “an illustrious son like IBB” joining the race.
He described the declaration as historic, expressing the hope that the party will ensure a free and fair contest.
All the speakers expressed confidence in IBB to effect the much desired change in Nigeria, flaunting his experience.
They also declared him a detribalised Nigerian who could muster the support and cooperation of Nigerians across tribal, regional and religious divides.
Some of the dignitaries at the Eagle Square include: Chief Alex Akinyele, former Speakers of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba and Aminu Bello Masari, Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako and Zamfara State Governor Mahmud Shinkafi.