…Votes For Two-Party System
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on Friday poured cold water on the agitation for zoning and power shift in the country.
He also insisted that Nigerians have always gravitated toward the two-party system since the First Republic.
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Babangida, who spoke in an interview with Arise Television maintained that rather than clamouring for zoning, Nigerians should always look for the best hands to run the country.
He said: “We have to make a choice. Either we want to practice democracy the way it should be practised or the way it is being practised we define democracy in our own whims and caprices. If we are going to do it the way it is done all over the world, you allow the process to continue because it is through the process you are going to come up with a candidate that will lead the country.
“His qualifications, his believes, should be known to Nigerians before somebody ever throw his hat into the ring regardless of where he comes from.
“Whether we do it now or we don’t, we will have to do it. Time will come when somebody will emerge in this country whether he is from Okpella or from Minna, the thing is everybody knows him, everybody tends to accept what he believes are. And if he throws his hats in, people can say, yes I’ve heard that name before.”
The former military president also said he has started visualizing the right person to lead the country in 2013.
“I’ve started visualizing a good Nigerian leader; a person who travels in this country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels and knows a person he can communicate with; a person who is very verse in the economy because of development and then, a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians.
“I have seen one or two or three already in their 60s. I believe such a person should emerge in 2023 if we could get him,” he said.
Babangida, who introduced a two-party system during his transition programme in the late 1980s to early 1990s described the system as the best for the country.
According to him, Nigerians always gravitate toward two-party system, despite the fact that there have always been many registered parties, right from the First Republic.
“Two party system is the best for the country. We used the experiences we had. We set up a committee to tell us why things went wrong. Democratically the political parties were not coming up fine. And it was very revealing. If you look at the First Republic, we found that up to after the Second Republic, everybody in this country tend to gravitate toward two party system.
“You have UPGA, you had NNA, there were a lot of other parties, but we all gravitated toward two party system. So, we had no difficulty in insisting that two party system is the best for us in this country. And it is happening even now when we have up seventy something political parties.
“Nobody is talking about them now. It is APC, PDP. During Obasanjo time, we came up with five (parties), all gravitating toward two party. So, Nigeria can do well with two party system,” he said.
He also said that Nigerians will never allow one party system in the country.
He spoke on the choice of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to herald the new democratic dispensation in 1999.
According to him, the former president was picked because of his passionate belief in Nigeria.
He noted that whoever wants to lead Nigeria whether democratically elected or militarily imposed must believe in Nigeria, with requisite knowledge in leadership.