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Nigeria does not need ‘analogue’ Buhari in 2019, says Babangida


Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida

Former Nigerian head of state Ibrahim Babangida has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to shelve any plans to seek reelection in 2019, noting that Nigeria would be better without Buhari’s “analogue system.”

Babangida, a former Nigerian military leader, is the second former Nigerian leader to ask Buhari not to seek another term.

Last month, former President Olusegun Obasanjo who also led the West African country as military man and as a civilian, said Buhari’s performance in office since 2015 does not merit another term.

Although Buhari has not publicly said he would be seeking re-election, governors from his ruling All Progressives Congress have asked him to.

“I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation when personal ambition should not override national interest,” Babangida said in a statement issued by his spokesman Kassim Afegbua on Sunday.

The man, who annulled arguably the freest election in Nigeria, said Nigeria would do well without Buhari’s leadership.

He said, “This is the time for us to reinvent the will (sic) and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, stimulate their entrepreneurial initiatives and provoke a conduce environment to grow national economy both at the micro and macro levels.”

In January, Obasanjo, a former Buhari supporter, accused him of nepotism and deception, while noting that the president “is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy.”

“The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today,” Obasanjo said in a 13-page statement titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement’.

Much like Obasanjo, who led the formation of Coalition for Nigeria Movement aimed at easing out Buhari out of office next year, Babangida insisted that Buhari’s ‘analogue system’ of governance is out of touch with modernity and needs urgent replacement.

“Modern leadership is not just about “fighting” corruption, it is about plugging the leakages and building systems that will militate against corruption,” Babangida said, adding that accountability in leadership should flow from copious examples.

Buhari’s supporters, however, insisted that criticisms against the president were ill-conceived and perpetuated by those who could not feed fat on the country’s treasury anymore.

Alhough the Nigerian government is yet to react to the latest onslaught against the President, his spokesman Garba Shehu said last month that his boss has done well considering the mess he met in the office in 2015.

“Even a beetle-eyed critic cannot pretend not to notice the tremendous progress in the area of security and the war against corruption,” Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu said in a statement.

Shehu insisted that his principal has shown a total commitment to the independence of the judiciary and legislative arms of government.

But that, obviously, is not enough for Babangida, who explained that his support for a new breed of Nigerian leadership will mark a radical departure “from recycled leadership to creating new paradigms that will breathe fresh air into our present polluted leadership actuality.”

The ruling All Progressives Congress, he said, has failed Nigeria and deserved to be voted out in the next general election.

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