General Ibrahim Babangida has said that Nigerians should give him credit for conducting June 12 election and not critique him for cancelling the freest election in the country.
Former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida
IBB speaking in an interview with Channels Television, said
‘During the war of national unity, at least two or three million people have lost their lives in the course of keeping the country one; are we as a people fair to those who put down their lives so that we remain united?
“So I think to be fair to them, we have no option but to accept what they have done because they sacrificed their lives for us to remain united – we shouldn’t negotiate anything to the unity.
“People may not read it (autobiography) because it is coming from a dictator. A lot will say dictator, he cancelled June 12 and that will kill the book,”
“If God spares my life, I will discuss about June 12 election because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to put across.
Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons involved are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us.
“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether.
“They keep saying ‘he cancelled the freest election’ but why not give us credit for conducting that election,” he said.
“He (Abiola) knew my feeling, I knew his feeling on the country generally because we do talk about Nigeria with the presumed winner of the truly democratically freest election, we talked about it, we even talked about it during the crises itself,” he said.
“I’ll hate to say that despite all that two of us understood ourselves very well, that the level of friendship is so strong that we value our relationship very much but like I said typical Nigerian, no ooh, don’t do it, I think it’s always the people, If you try to educate them, it sounds boring, or if you try to reason.”
“What I want to see is a young man that has what I will call ‘four in one’, he said during an exclusive interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019 which aired on Monday.
“I want to see a young man who has a vision of a man called Obafemi Awolowo; I want to see a young man who has the charisma of a man called the Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello; I want to see a young man who has the eloquence and education and powers of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe; and I want to see a young man who has convictions like General (Olusegun) Obasanjo,”.
“If these two are not options, then somebody should be sitting down to think about what to do. Surely not to add more 90 political parties, but a constructive outfit and that is durable because we have a free press.
“I haven’t seen arguments why these two are not options; I may have my own opinion but I think the arguments have not been well articulated,”
He also went further to say that Nigeria has to look at the reward system: saying that when soldiers board buses and they don’t pay they feel proud that the country recognize them… and hence they will be gratefull to the nation the military.