IBB Denies Mentioning Atiku, Tinubu as Unfit to be President of Nigeria
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda (retd) has denied mentioning the names of Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu as unsuitable to be Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Blueprint newspaper quoted the former president as blaming the press for quoting him out of context.
The daily said he insisted that a Nigerian around 60-year-old age bracket and with requisite experience remains Nigeria’s best choice as president in the 2023 general elections.
Both Atiku and Tinubu are in their late seventies and sixties respectively, and they are believed to be eyeing the nation’s number one seat in 2023.
In a recent interview with ARISE Television, Gen. Babangida said: “I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person, who is very versed in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in his sixties.”
But providing further insight into his position in an interview with Blueprint on Sunday in Minna, Niger state, Babangida said he never mentioned names nor ruled out anybody.
Asked if the latest call for a 60-year-old to be Nigeria’s president didn’t negate his administration’s policy which encouraged the new breed to be actively involved in politics, he said those new breed of that time are now well over 60 years of age.
The former Nigerian leader said such Nigerian must have been a public servant, private entrepreneur or professional who must have acquired some level of experience over a period of time.
Babangida told Blueprint: “You the media misquoted me to say that I said Atiku and Tinubu should not contest in 2023. I never mentioned anybody. I just talked about what I think we should be looking for in the next President. My take is that at the age of around 60 years, the person must have been a public servant, private entrepreneur, a professional and would have acquired a lot of experience to rule the country. That is all; I did not say it to rule out anybody.”
“The new breed I spoke of then (as president) are well over 60 now if I am not mistaking. So, you can see that they are qualified and must have acquired the necessary experience,” he added.