Obasanjo’s emergence in 1999 saved Nigeria- IBB
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida on Saturday said the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo as President in 1999 saved the country from disintegration.
Speaking on Kaduna based Liberty Radio Guest f the week programme monitored in Kaduna , Babangida said that the events in the country as at the time Obasanjo was elected in 1999 demanded a leader who was quiet conversant with the country and ready to war to keep the as country one.
“We have to simplify a lot of things without going back to what happened before. The emergence of Obasanjo came about as a result of what happened in the country. The country was in a very serious crisis and we had to find solution to these problems. Therefore, we needed a leader, that leader who is known in the country.
“We did not believe in foisting somebody who is not known. So we looked for a man who has been involved in the affairs of this country, who held position either in the military or in the cabinet who has certain believes about Nigeria.
“For all of us that were trained in armed forces, there is the one believe that you cannot take away from us and that is the fact that we believe in this country. It is part of our training and we fought for this country.
“So, when you have a situation like that, you need a leader that has all this attributes and quite frankly, Obasanjo quickly came to mind. Remember those days, the fight was against the north’s perpetuation. But here, we have one who knows the north, knows the south and who fought a war, who believes and he says it.
“People with that type of connection, the people recognized you, and this is what we did in the case of Obasanjo. What he did is between him and the Nigerian people; but his emergence saves a lot of problem in Nigeria. At least, we did not disintegrate because we believe he can go to war again, to keep this country”.
Speaking on the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) he said “I am a firm believer in two party systems and I also studied the emergence of political parties in this country since after independence and it shows that this country will be heading for a 2 party system. You heard about the national alliances, parties coming from the north and aligning with those from the south, NEPU aligning with NCNC.
“So when we came, we introduced the two party systems and democratically, you have to have a choice and you can vote without belonging to a political party. You vote for the quality of the man you want to represent you. So, it is nothing new because I believe in two parties and I see signs of the possible emergence of two party systems. So, I welcome it becuase it is good for the polity as well as the unity of this country.”