2023: IBB cancels Atiku, Tinubu
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), might have canceled out a former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, from the 2023 presidential run, because they would be in their 70s by the next election.
Although IBB as Babangida is fondly called did not in any way mention their names as ineligible for the nation’s number one seat, he however suggested that individuals in their 60s should be the focus of Nigerians as potential presidential candidates in 2023.
By the next general election in 2023, Atiku, who is 75 this year would be 77, while Tinubu, who marked an official 68th birthday in March, would have turned 70 years.
Babangida, who himself will be 80 on August 17 this year, was confident that the nation is endowed with both human and natural resources, hinted at a few individuals, whom he said were in their 60s, had the capacity to become president and could effectively run the country.
Speaking in a sneak preview of a two-part series of an exclusive interview to be aired on the Arise News Channel this morning, focusing on the State of the Nation, IBB said one of the reasons Nigeria has refused to progress and achieve the dreams of the founding fathers was because Nigerians no longer believed in the future of their own country.
The former leader, who accused the Nigerian people of creating and at the same time, destroying their own country, identified bad leadership as yet a major reason for the socio-economic challenges facing Nigeria.
Talking about the presidential hopefuls he had in mind, IBB said they were persons in their 6os with contacts across the nation and who had been traversing the geo-political zones marketing their acceptability and capacity.
Specifically on the importance of leadership in nation-building and where he thought the likes of Atiku and Tinubu no longer fit the bill, IBB said: “If you get a good leadership that links with the people and tries to talk with the people; not talking on top of the people, then we would be okay.
“I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with.
“That is a person, who is very verse in economics and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in his sixties.”