Ibrahim Babangida, a former military president of Nigeria, elaborated on the reasons behind the military’s decision to stop from intervening in Nigerian politics any further. He emphasized that military interference had deprived Nigeria of experiencing genuine federalism. Moreover, Babangida pointed out that the time when the military would interfere in politics has come to an end, as Nigerians have developed a greater aspiration for a fully democratic nation. These insights were shared by him during an interview with Channels Television on Friday.
He said that the absence of true federalism is a consequence of the deviance exhibited by previous military regimes, hampering the progress of democracy. Although he acknowledges such occurrences, he remains confident that history will not repeat itself. He asserts that Nigerians are presently driven by a strong desire to establish a genuinely democratic nation within Africa, thereby reducing the likelihood of a reoccurrence. However, he emphasizes that during his tenure as a military leader, he prioritized economic liberation.
Devolution of powers will grant the states an increased authority.
By shifting the focus of the economy towards the private sector, he claimed responsibility for the transformation. Additionally, Babangida acknowledged that the moment had arrived to empower the states further. Elaborating on this, he embraced the idea of restructuring and the devolution of powers to grant the states an increased authority. Consequently, this implies providing them with additional means to operate their own affairs, thereby enabling the effective functioning of a federal administration in alignment with international federations’ norms and practices.
Additionally, IBB proposed a solution to the escalating issue of Nigerians moving to foreign nations in search of better opportunities. He emphasized the importance of fostering a conducive atmosphere that inspires citizens to take pride in serving their own nation just as fervently as they do in other countries. By doing so, he believed that Nigerians would be inclined to stay within their homeland, forsaking the pursuit of greener pastures abroad. He believes that by creating the environment, individuals will be inspired to devote themselves to the betterment of their nation.
Conducive environment will contribute positive impact in Nigeria
He strongly believes that Nigerians have made a name for themselves in various countries like the US and UK. He wonders why they cannot achieve the same level of success in their own country. Therefore, he suggests creating a conducive environment for them to contribute their services to their homeland. He is optimistic about the possibility of this endeavor. Babangida, who has a background in military leadership, addressed concerns regarding Nigeria’s potential shift towards a one party dominance, asserting that Nigerians will vigorously resist such a scenario.
The Nigerians stand firm against the notion of a one-party rule, resolute in their commitment to a democratic society where no dictatorship can thrive. They will not tolerate it, and they possess an undeniable power of persuasion. Even if someone agrees to it initially, they will ensure that the idea is discarded and forgotten, as declared by the former military leader. In pursuit to facilitate significant funds and mitigate the challenges inherent in a multi-party system, he earnestly advocated for the establishment of a two-party state as the optimal solution for Nigeria.
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Lastly, he proposed another idea, advocating for the inclusion of independent candidates in political competitions. He emphasized that individuals with enough strength to gather supporters should be given the opportunity to run as independent candidates. It is important to remember that Nigeria was plagued with numerous military interventions in its political landscape, overshadowing civilian rule until 1999. During that period, Babangida emerged as a prominent figure among the military personnel, spearheading the leadership of the nation for a span of eight years from 1985 to 1993.