“In the fullness of our present realities,” the statement reads, “we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country.”
The general maintained that the call on Buhari to quit the stage in 2019 and allow fresh ideas had become necessary because according to him:
“When the ruling party campaigned with the change mantra, I had thought they would device new methods, provoke new initiatives and proffer new ways to addressing some of our developmental problems.
“It is short of saying enough of this analogue system. Let’s give way for digital leadership orientation with all the trappings of consultative, constructive, communicative, interactive and utility-driven approach where everyone has a role to play in the process of enthroning accountability and transparency in governance.
“By now, in line with her manifesto, one would have thought that the APC will give fillip to the idea of devolution of powers and tinker with processes that would strengthen and reform the various sectors of the economy”
Babangida said that he speaks from his prospective as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot.
He pointed out that:
“While saying this also, 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.”
General Babangida insisted that it was time for the country to reinvent the wheel and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, to stimulate their entrepreneurial spirit and create a conducive environment to grow the economy at every level.
The former Head of State said that in the past few months and weeks he played host to many concerned Nigerians who have continued to express legitimate and patriotic worry about the state of affairs in the country.
“Some of them have continued to agonize about the turn of events and expressly worried why we have not gotten our leadership compass right as a country with so much potential and opportunity for all. Some, out of frustration, have elected to interrogate the leadership question and wondered aloud why it has taken this long from independence till date to discover the right model on account of our peculiarities.”
Babangida further stated that Nigeria was at a major crossroads at this moment in its history, warning that “the choices we are going to make as a nation regarding the leadership question of this country and the vision for our political, economic and religious future will be largely determined by the nature or kind of change that we pursue, the kind of change that we need and the kind of change that we get.”
He said he was particularly delighted that Nigerians were becoming more and more conscious of their rights, and their ability to speak truth to power and question those elected to represent them without fear of arrest and harassment, adding that:
“These are part of the ennobling principles of representative democracy. As citizens in a democracy, it is our civic responsibility to demand accountability and transparency. Our elected leaders owe us that simple but remarkable accountability creed.”