Babangida: I won’t seek elective office agains

Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida yesterday pledged to defend the country’s unity with his blood.  

He spoke at the ninth yearly Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja.

Babangida said he would resist anybody or group which tries to break up Nigeria.  

Babangida, who was the chairman on the occasion, also said he will never seek any political office again.    

He said: “There is always what you call the struggle for self determination and is quite easy for people to come out with. This same country we fought the war for almost three years for the purposes of living together. I carried a bullet in my lap. So, nobody will talk to me about cessation or breaking away. If you do, I will call a tailor, take my measurement, get back into khaki to go and fight even at age 71.

“I have always argued that there has never, and I don’t think there will be conflict in this country between a Muslim and a Christian, or there is no such phrase like Muslim North and Christian south. Wherever you go in this country, you will find in the north that Christians is as much as we have Muslims in the South.

“But I think  emphasising Christian North , Christian South , Muslim North , we should not make it part of our discourse in this country and I think the media is guilty in this regard. Even if people say it, you ignore it because you know that it’s not true. So, don’t even write it.” 

He went on: “Anything that touches on our sensibilities as people, anything that touches on our unity as country, I will want to suggest that those are what I’ve always referred to as a settled issue in our politics. We should not encourage those sorts of things.”

“Some people will say if anything happens to President Jonathan, forget about Nigeria, forget about whatever you want to call it. I know those saying this will say yes, we are supporters of the president, but I believe the President is a sensible person. So why waste your time to say the world will come to an end if anything happens. This is our son. Of course, he is your son, he is our President.”

On his decision not to seek political office, he said: “I can also understand that a man who has been out of public office for nearly two decades but who declares himself to be a presidential aspirant must also be ready to answer endless questions from the press not only on what he intends to do in the future, but also about some events and episodes of the past. Never mind that many of the events of the past that the media relishes in asking questions about are rumours, hearsays, conjectures, concoctions, innuendoes, not to say “the fertile imaginations” of some people.”

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Babangida: I won’t seek elective office agains