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Former president Ibrahim Babangida - Yar'aduaTicket Belongs to the North in Nigeria

Published on Tuesday 31st August 2010

Former president Ibrahim Babangida said yesterday that the PDP was being dishonest when it said President Jonathan could run for election next year on his initial joint ticket with the late Umaru Yar'adua.

Babangida, who is seeking to be the ruling party's candidate for the 2011 presidential election, said the late Yar'adua's ticket belongs to the North and so Jonathan, a southerner, should not be allowed to use it.

"The PDP decision on Jonathan to continue on Yar'adua's ticket is dishonest as the ticket belongs to Yar'adua and not Goodluck as the South already has their eight years so the North is only asking for Yar'adua's ticket," the former military ruler told newsmen in Minna, Niger State.

The People's Democratic Party earlier in the month retained the power rotation policy but said President Goodluck Jonathan could seek its nomination because he inherited the late Yar'adua's ticket.

Babangida is among top Northern politicians canvassing for the execution of the power rotation agreement such that the president would not be given the party's presidential ticket for 2011.

He said it would be unfair and unpatriotic to talk about Jonathan retaining Yar'adua's ticket because the president was only a choice as running mate and not necessarily as someone who should be president in 2011.

Babangida also spoke on the level of his acceptance across the country, saying he is more popular in the South-Western part of the country.

Apparently reacting to the decision of the PDP in the South-West on Saturday endorsing Jonathan's candidature, the former president said he was a grassroots politician who has no problem of acceptance across the country, including in the South-West.

"What is on ground suggests that I am more popular in the South-West because I have no problem with them, they are civilized and highly political people who will vote for ideas and not on tribal sentiments," he said.

When asked if he would leave the PDP to contest on a different platform in the event the ruling party denies him its ticket, the former president reiterated that he would exhaust all the party procedure first, and added that he was confident the party would not manipulate the process.

Also yesterday, Babangida accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of watering down his earlier claim for neutrality by participating in the South-West PDP's endorsement of President Jonathan.

A statement by his spokesman Kassim Afegbua said Obasanjo, who is chairman of the PDP board of trustees, "has repeatedly said that he and other party chieftains would maintain their neutrality to all aspirants but would exercise their right to vote at the primaries for an aspirant of their choice. The recent reported endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan who has not declared his intention to run defeats the earlier neutrality position of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on choice of aspirants.

"As one of the leaders of the party, a former president and elder statesman, we expect that his word should be his bond. We will not be drawn into any argument with those who easily suspect the political moves of former President Obasanjo, but we insist that a true leader should stand by his word."

Afegbua also said the endorsement by the South-West PDP "does not reflect the actual permutations on ground. The South West is no doubt a politically sophisticated and enlightened zone comprising distinguished Nigerians who are well familiar and at home with the political dynamics of the country. It is therefore unlikely that such distinguished, enlightened, civilized and politically conscious people would reportedly concede to the endorsement of an aspirant that has neither declared nor made public his intentions. We suspect that someone is trying to be smart by half."

He also dismissed reports speculating on how states would vote in the PDP presidential primaries, saying "it is too early in the day for anyone to declare the results of an election that has not been held let alone determine who holds the ace."

Afegbua said the reported claim that President Jonathan has 18 states backing him and IBB having 12 states "does not hold water. Those figures are not only disputable but unrealistic in view of the fact that most incumbent state governors, have not declared their position. It is therefore too early in the day for any political observer to draw conclusions on that basis particularly on a delegate election that is about to commence except that the public is being made to understand that the forthcoming elections, despite repeated assurances of credibility, would go the way of other previous elections. We believe very strongly that former president General Ibrahim Babangida remains a major contender thus far amongst those who have boldly declared their intentions under the platform of our dear party, the PDP."

Babangida last week raised his campaign team, headed by Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Senator Mahmud Kanti Bello. He also announced that he would make a formal declaration for the presidential race on September 14.

Comments

Ticket............. IBB

what do ibb mean by saying that the ticket is for the north???. is it ticket to go n wach films or what??????. please let any one who is ready for one nigeria come on the train. when ll we ever ve our right n all the good things that God created for us in this country call NIGERIA. all this old men, why not push ur children forward than all this acts of yours... God in heaven, hear our prayers AMEN.

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