In the heat of the debate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter, ex-military ruler Ibrahim Babangida has denied reports that he called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to re-contest in 2019.
He described the statement as the personal views of the writer.
Obasanjo had released a letter he purportedly wrote to Buhari advising him against re-contesting for second term. This has generated national debate but presidency took the advice philosophically.
Babangida said that “as former President and Statesman, I have unfettered channel of communication with the highest authorities without sensational public correspondence”.
“I am a realist that believes in all issues in a democratic atmosphere are sincerely discussed and resolved in the spirit of give and take.
“I always have one clear objective that freedom can only be achieved through democracy. Some people find this freedom as an avenue for eroding democracy by antics of hate speeches under the guise of religion, tribal or self-imposed mentorship.
“This trend of pitting political class and the people is unhealthy and skewed.”
He added that the current challenges facing the country would be solved through constructive engagements by politicians rather than overheating the polity.
“Recent happenings and utterances by political gladiators is alarming and not in the interest of common man that is already overstretched and apparently living from hand to mouth due to precarious economic conditions.”
Babangida said that the clamour for re-alignment of governance in the country is a welcome development only if the agitations are genuinely channeled through legislation and total supremacy of the constitution.
Any attempt outside this circle of democratic tenants is deceptive and divisive idea capable of plunging our political journey into disarray.
“It is high time that, we dialogue more on any issue in order to have a political solution on any problem affecting us.
“It is sad that, Nigeria had its fair share of conflicts, and we cannot continue to fall back to those dark years of bloodshed.
“As a people, now is the time to come together to address all Communal conflicts and criminality under any guise to further unite the country in line with the vision of our founding fathers so that as a nation, we can forge ahead in the task of building a more prosperous nation.”