By Ayo Kehinde
Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has said that the decision by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to disallow the idea of imposition of candidates is a welcome development, especially now that the party has found its footing after its recent national convention.
IBB, according to statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, made the statement in Minna, Niger State while receiving members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) on Saturday, led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
“I am happy at your assurances that there will be no imposition in all your primary elections. It is all about choice and you have promised to provide the best choice,” he is quoted as saying.
“Your ‘reposition, rebrand and regain’ agenda is working and I mean particularly the rebranding. Some people believed that having been in government since 1999, the PDP will find opposition difficult, but you are carrying on well and providing a better alternative.
“You have also not abandoned the people in times of crisis. I monitored your activities in Benue, Taraba and you just said your party has sent members to Zamfara to commiserate with the people.
“Surely you have made the people the centre of your return and they will not forget you because you were with them in time of sorrow,” Babangida is quoted as saying.
The statement also quoted Secondus, telling Babangida that Nigeria’s former leaders must rally together to save the nation from the current situation.
Secondus lamented the killings and economic hardships which Nigerians contend with on daily basis, and the level of division in the country.
“As a leader, you made the welfare of Nigerians the thrust of governance. You were also concerned about the peace and unity of this nation. You created and built people as well as institutions. Today, our nation is drifting and as leaders you cannot afford to keep quiet and watch on the sides. Leaders like you must come together and take a firm position on how to save our nation from the precipice. We are rebranding and repositioning to make our party open to all and regain the land for the people.
“We are determined to give opportunities to the youths and our women. We also want to mentor a new generation of young Nigerians that will take our nation to the next millennium,” Secondus is quoted as saying.