Ibrahim Babangida Declares His Faith In SDP
Former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida has declared his faith in the Chief Olu Falae-led Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Babangida, who spoke in Minna at the weekend when the party’s national leaders, led by Falae, visited him at his hill-top mansion in Minna, said the party has the zeal to deliver democratic dividends to the people.
“If I hadn’t being too old, I would have loved to join the youths vanguard of your party. I have faith in the political party, for what it is and what it stands for. When I heard in the news that a party has come on board, the first thing that occurred to me was that the name sound familiar. So, I made a decision that I will wait and see how it plays out. I was looking at how SDP will populate itself. And then the next pleasing thing that I heard was that it has people like Olu Falae, Prof. Jerry Gana and Prof. Tunde Adeniran.
“After that, I said this party is real, because most of the names are names that I have known and I have worked with and for the sake of this country. So, I said the party is smart to convince all these gentlemen to come and join them. That is why I did not hesitate to give direction to those who come to me to seek advice on which direction to go.”
Babangida noted that the vision he had for the country was the same vision shared by those driving the party.
He said: “The security and well-being of Nigerians is very important and you have identified this in your programme. So, Nigerians must rally round you and support you to ensure that this is realisable.”
Babangida urged the younger generation and women to give their support to SDP as it is “populated by men of integrity, men who when they work, they work well, when they speak, they speak well.”
He advised the party leadership to make its manifestos public so that they can be held accountable.
“You must tell Nigerians what you intend to do for them because this is very important. The people must know if they say, ‘if we vote SDP, what do we expect?’ So that, it will become politics of issues and not politics of insult and name-calling.”
The SDP National Chairman said they were in the state to see Babangida as part of the party’s nationwide consultation to brief him on its activities and to solicit for his support and wise counseling.
Falae said SDP was a child of necessity, born out of the desire to rescue the country from the present decay in every sphere of lives.
“When I was approached to accept all the progressives, who have been frustrated from different political parties to come together to form a formidable team to rescue Nigeria, I readily agreed because this country must be rescued from the present state of corruption and impunity.”
He lamented that the country’s situation is becoming worse and needs to be addressed.
“Since this present government came on board, the herdsmen seems to think that they now own Nigeria. And it is a lie, there arms must be taken away from them, their minds must be disabused and while doing that, provision must be made for them to be able to do their business legitimately so that the rest of us can also do our farming business as well because both agriculture and animal husbandry are good to the country’s economy.
“Nigeria as a country is passing through a terrible time. The present government talks about fighting corruption all the time but corruption today is worse than it was in the immediate past.”
He gave the assurance that when SDP takes over the government in 2019, it will reduce corruption to the nearest minimum.
“Corruption can be fought if we the leaders genuinely embrace transparency and not what we are seeing today.”