Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Babangida rejects PDP's invitation; ...reiterates retirement from partisan politics

Ibrahim Babangida
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has turned down the invitation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to attend its rebranding National Conference slated for Thursday in Abuja, saying that he was no longer involved in partisan politics. 

This was contained in statement personally signed by Babangida and made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday. 

General Babanginda, in the statement, also dismissed the speculation that one of the rationales for the PDP rebranding was to position him as its presidential candidate for 2019. 

The statement read: "I wish to make some clarifications concerning the invitation extended to me on the scheduled PDP Rebranding Conference slated for Thursday, 12 November, 2015, aimed at repositioning the party after its poor outing at the last elections. 
"While I welcome the invitation to the event as a mark of respect as one of the founding fathers, I want to be excused on the grounds that I have long bid bye to partisan politics.
"Four years ago at an elaborate event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja, I announced my retirement from partisan politics after my failed attempt to contest for president and having attained the gracious age of 70, in a society where life expectancy stands at a ridiculous 47 years. 
"In appreciating what Allah has done for me in life, seeing me through many challenges, stabilising me during periods of tribulations and safeguarding me through the thick and thin of political risks, I did state at that event that journalists would not push me around again.
"Attaining the age of 70 in 2011 was to me a great accomplishment for which I remain eternally grateful to Almighty Allah and my family who have shown tremendous support and encouragement throughout my political trajectory. Since 2011 till date, I have been playing my role as an elder statesman and 'consultant-in-chief' to political office seekers and other like-minds who want my input in their aspirations. 
"At 74, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment in my new role as non-partisan elder statesman and a patriot; available to all categories of persons without the burgeoning label of any political party or affiliation. I have many friends and associates in the two dominant political parties; APC and PDP, and numerous other smaller political parties. 
"At this stage of my political journey, I want to be able to interact and socialise with them without being branded 'anti-party.' 
"It is on the score of this that I have elected to turn down this request to participate in the rebranding conference of the PDP in a partisan manner. My fulfillment in life is further bolstered by the emerging scenario that is evident in our present political reality. 
"First, the idea of a two-party system which has always been my desire; and the stack reality that, incumbents can be defeated at various levels of election as a function of growing awareness and consciousness on the part of the electorate. These to me, present interesting dimensions in our political evolution as a country grappling with so many challenges," he said.

Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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