“IF I am called to advise in any capacity, as a patriot, I would. But I have decided not to contest elections again. You won’t have Ibrahim Babangida to beat around anymore”. With these words, former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, appeared to have foreclosed any future active participation in politics as a candidate. Babangida, who spoke yesterday at the 9th Daily Trust Dialogue, also reaffirmed his commitment to the country’s unity, submitting that he was ready to fight to keep the nation united despite its social and political upheavals.
Babangida, who chaired the event, said: “The country went through a three-year civil war and I took a bullet to ensure its oneness. I am assuring you, if some people want Nigeria to divide and the government says the country must remain united, I’m telling you I am going to put on my uniform to fight for the unity of Nigeria.” He said he decided to quit active politics following alleged unrelenting vilification from the media and charged the media to set the appropriate agenda to ensure a united Nigeria and ignore divisive reportage.
“I do not believe in the breaking up of Nigeria. The discussions centred on Christian South and Muslim North should not be a topic in the country. The media should ignore it because it is one of the issues bringing up the divisions that affect the unity of this country today. “No one should tamper with the unity of this country. Anyone who wants to remain in the country should not disrupt its fundamental unity. Nigeria will not be fragmented because the Republic status has been attained and cannot be reversed by sentiments. And, Nigeria is a capitalist country and we will remain a capitalist country”.