Babangida adds his voice to calls for Buhari not to seek a second term next year asking him to stand down

FORMER military dictator General Ibrahim Babangida has become the latest person to write to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him not to stand for re-election next year asking him to retire at the end of his first term.


Elected in 2015, President Buhari is eligible to run for office again in 2019 but of late, he has come in for sharp criticism over his handling of the economy and security. Two weeks ago, former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo wrote to President Buhari, asking him to retired gracefully at the end of his term in May next year.


In a 13-page public letter, Chief Obasanjo castigated President Buhari over his failure to address the ongoing security situation in the country that has led to heavily-armed Fulani cattle herdsmen attacking farming communities. President Buhari has also come in for sharp criticism over the perceived nepotism of his administration that has divided Nigerians along ethnic lines.


Adding his voice to the calls for President Buhari to call it quits when his first tenure ends, General Babangida urged the president to complete his first term and then allow a new generation of leaders to take control of the affairs of the nation. In a lengthy public statement made available through his media aide, Prince Kassim Afegbua, General Babangida said President Buhari should put Nigeria above any personal interests.


General Babangida said: “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country. While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running.


"While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for but there comes a time in the life of a nation, when personal ambition should not override national interest."