John Adams, Minna
In what could be described as a formal endorsement, Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, has urged women and youths in the country to rally behind the Chief Olu Falae led Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 General Elections.
General Babangida made the call in Minna on Saturday when the national leadership of the party, led by its national chairman, Chief Olu Falae, visited the ex-head of state at his hilltop mansion.
“If I hadn’t being too old, I would have loved to join the youth vanguard of your party,” said IBB, continuing that “I have faith in the political party for what it is and what it stands for.
“When I heard in the news that a party has come on board, the first thing that occurred to me was that the name sounds familiar. So I made a decision that I will wait and see how it plays out. I was looking at how the SDP will populate itself. And then the next pleasing thing that I heard was that it has people like Olu Falae, Professor Jerry Gana, Professor Adeniran.
“After that I said this party is real, because most of the names are names that I have known and I have worked with for the sake of this country. So I said the party is smart to convince all these gentlemen to come and join it.
“That was why I did not hesitate to give direction to those who to came me to seek advice on which direction to go.”
Babangida pointed out that the vision he had for the country was the same vision that shared by those driving the party, adding that, “the security and wellbeing of Nigerians is very important and you have identified this in your programme, so Nigerians must rally round you and support you to ensure that this is realizable.”
The former military ruler went on to commend the party, saying: “I know it can be done, I have never said this to any political party before, but I can tell you that the party has people who have contributed a lot to this country, people whose contributions to Nigeria is legendary; and what you have put ahead of you is what this country needs.
“I remember when Jerry Gana was the Chairman of MAMSA, one of the primary things he was doing was to educate the ordinary person. The level of awareness then was not as high as it is now, so you should take advantage of the digital age now and pass a lot of information to the young men and women of this country because they form over 65% of the population; and if you succeed in doing that I think it will be better for this country.”
“So I call on all the younger generation, including Nigerian women, to rally behind SDP because it is populated by men of integrity, men who when they work, they work well, when they speak, they speak well,” Babangida said.
While emphasizing the importance of security to the overall development of the country, IBB congratulated Chief Olu Falae for coming out of his abduction ordeal alive, saying: “I want to say that God has kept you for a purpose. You now know how important security is because you were kidnapped.
The retired General advised Falae to “remain firm in this your project because the country has a lot to benefit from you.
“The people are willing and ready to follow whoever is going to lead them aright, and I am sure your leadership of the party is going to do that.”
Babangida also advised the leadership of the party to, as a matter of necessity, make its manifesto public to Nigerians so that they can be held accountable.
“You must tell Nigerians what you intend to do for them because this is very important. The people must know if we vote SDP what do we expect so that it become politics of issues not politics of insult and name calling,” he said.
Earlier, the national chairman of the party, Chief Olu Falae, explained General Babangida that the leadership of the SDP were in his house as part of nationwide consultations, part of which was to brief him on the activities of the party and to equally solicit for his support and counsel.
Falae said he decided to come to Minna with the party leadership as its first port of call as a mark of respect because Babangida brought him into political limelight 32 years ago when he appointed him Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and since then he has remained active in national politics.
“32 years and four months ago, I had the privilege of sitting with President Babangida for the first time in Council Chamber at the Dodan Barracks, Lagos,” Falae recalled.
“That was when he appointed me Secretary to the Federal Government and, to me, that was the day he me recruited into politics
“So, Babangida recruited me into politics 32 years ago and he didn’t know it was going be permanent because I thought at the end of my tenure, I will return to my banking industry at Broad Street in Lagos. But that was not to be. Till today I am still in politics,” he said.
Chief Falae told his host that the SDP was child of necessity, born out of the desire to rescue the country from its present troubles in every sphere of life.
“When I was approached to accept all the progressives who have been frustrated from different political parties to come together to form a formidable team to rescue Nigeria, I readily agreed because this country must be rescued from the present state of corruption and impunity,” Falae stressed.
He described as unacceptable the killings of Nigerians by rogue Fulani Herdsmen across the country, pointing out that any government that failed to provide security for its people is a failed government.
“I am sure you must have heard and read about the killings by the cattle herdsmen and what they did to me. When I was kidnapped, I was machetes all over my body and for four days I was sleeping in the bush. But I thank God I came out because I believed that I am serving a living God,” said Falae, recalling his high-profile abduction.
“The current situation is not good enough for this country. I know when I was growing up as a child, the Fulani herdsmen mingled with our people as they grazed and there was no problem at all, so why now?
“Since this present government came on board, the herdsmen seem to think that they now own Nigeria, and it is a lie. Their arms must be taken away from them, their minds must be disabused and, while doing that, provisions must be made for them to be able to do their business legitimately so that the rest of us can also do our farming business as well, because both agriculture and animal husbandry are good for the country’s economy.
“Nigeria as a country is passing through a terrible time, the present government talks about fighting corruption all the time but corruption today is worse than it was in the immediate past,” said Falae.
“When SDP takes over the government in 2019, by the grace of God, we will reduce corruption to the nearest minimum. If I am preaching against corruption and I am stealing money, people will not follow my example. But if I am totally committed to fighting corruption without bias, people will surely take me seriously. Corruption can be fought if we, the leaders, genuinely embrace transparency not what we are seeing today,” he concluded.
15th April 2018
15th April 2018
15th April 2018
12th April 2018
Paul Osuyi, Asaba Some police officers attached to an outpost in Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, are facing interrogation by authorities of the State Police Command following the invasion of the outpost by a gang hoodlums suspected to be cultists last week. Public Relations Officer of the Command, DSP Andrew Aniamaka,…
— 16th April 2018
Moshood Adebayo The Lagos State Tourism Summit has commenced at the Eko Hotel & Suites, on Victoria Island. The summit has at its theme Destination Lagos: Towards a Sustainable Tourism-Driven Economy and was declared open by Minister of Information, Culture & Culture, Lai Mohammed. The key note Speaker at the event is a former President…
— 16th April 2018
Molly Kilete, Abuja The first African Land Forces Summit is currently underway at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton hotel, in Abuja. The week-long summit is aimed at affording military leaders in the African region the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ways of tackling emerging security challenges on the continent. The…
— 16th April 2018
NAN President Muhammadu Buhari will be the guest of United States President Donald Trump, on April 30, in Washington DC, the White House announced, on Sunday. According to the statement, PresidentTrump would discuss issues such as promoting economic growth and fighting terrorism with Buhari. “The relationship of the United States with Nigeria is deep and…
— 16th April 2018
Lukman Olabiyi Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar‘s son, Aminu, has approached the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, to upturn a magistrates’ court verdict awarding custody of his two children to his ex-wife, Unmi Fatima Bolori Aminu told Justice Kazeem Alogba that the lower court did not grant him fair hearing before the judgment in Bolori’s favour…..
Entertainment— 15th April 2018
Nollywood movie Ojukokoro and three other flicks – Oblivious, The Encounter, and Tell Me Sweet Something – were screened on Saturday night at Metrograph Theatre, New York. Ojukokoro (greed) is the hilarious feature film leading the line-up at the inaugural ‘Nollywood 3.0 Images and Stories From the African Diaspora Film Series’ in New York City….
South-West Report— 12th April 2018
Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure The history of Yoruba is certainly not complete without reference to Oranmiyan, a direct descendant of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the race. Oduduwa was believed to have descended from heaven and landed on Ile-Ife, Osun State, and from where he founded other Yoruba towns. Oranmiyan was a warrior who fought many wars…
Abuja Metro— 11th April 2018
Nkechi Onyele & Marcus Nkire A red light area is not only a place where prostitution is carried out or men go to buy sex; it is also a place where generations live and where children are born and raised. Children of women in prostitution who live in red…
Oriental News— 11th April 2018
…Want contractor back on site Okey Sampson, Aba Residents of part of Ogbor Hill, Aba, the commercial capital of Abia State comprising Federal Housing Estate, Pepple, Aguwa, Akpu, Ovom roads and other adjourning areas breathed a sigh of relief when in 2001, the administration of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu constructed access link from Ogbor Hill…
Features— 16th April 2018
Emma Emeozor, [email protected] Ian Khama took the international community by surprise when he announced early in the month that he was voluntarily stepping down as president of Botswana. The 65-year-old leader will be the second African president to step down in recent time after Angola’s former President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 75. Kham’s announcement came not…
Literary Review— 14th April 2018
Henry Akubuiro, Lagos Perhaps more than any other group in the last three decades, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), has contributed to the promotion of reading and discovery of new literary talents in Nigeria. Founded in 1981 by the legendary novelist, Chinua Achebe, the association has through, its routine creative writing workshops, award of…
Lifeline— 16th April 2018
Job Osazuwa They sway and dangle from electric poles, constituting a scary sight. Some hang so low that you could touch them with your hands. These sagging and hanging cables and wires have become a familiar sight in major cities across Nigeria. And the situation has become a serious cause of concern as it poses…
Education Review— 10th April 2018
Clement Adeyi, Osogbo Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede who was inaugurated as the 11th substantive Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State in June last year, bares his mind on efforts being put in place by his administration to improve on the school’s infrastructure, maintain the rich academic standard that the university is…
TSWeekend— 13th April 2018
Fatimah Muhammad-Omolaja Fast rising actor, Yomi Fabiyi lost his beloved mother recently. But much as he still feels the pain of her demise, he takes solace in the advice she gave him while alive. In an online chat with the thespian, he talked about how his late mother’s advice has continued to sustain him in…
Opinion— 16th April 2018
Iliyasu Gadu Against the goodwill, hope and expectations that Nigerians invested in him and elected him to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has not just delivered precious little, but has on account of his stewardship so far, lost the plot. There is no other way to describe a situation in which a person who…
The mistake we have been making in this country since our democratic evolution is to vote for political parties irrespective of candidatures. This is majorly why we have had issues with most of the characters foisted on us. If it were not so, I do not see how Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ayo Fayose…
Okigwe South Federal Constituency is fast gaining popularity as the nation prepares for next year’s general elections. This popularity derives from the meddlesomeness of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who, not being satisfied with his vile endorsement of his son in-law as his successor, has traversed the entire landscape of the state, dictating who gets what post…
Last Monday, the All-Progressives Congress likely standard bearer in the 2019 presidential election finally verbalised the message we had long inferred from his body language. The somewhat shock announcement came during his party’s National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja, a day before the president left for London to attend to commonwealth and health matters. It…
As a newspaper publisher, I am quite familiar with the famous journalism dictum: “Comments are free, facts are sacred.” What this means is that everyone has a right to hold and express his opinion without let or hindrance. But while that is true, I haven’t found where it is written or stated that you can…
The Federal Government has been releasing what it calls the looters’ list. The first episode of the soap opera came with its controversies. Before the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, could release the second episode, a number of characters in the cast list had threatened court action. Some have wondered why the list contained mainly…
Often times, I wish I was never on WhatsApp because it can be annoying. My phone beeps endlessly with messages that don’t make sense at all. For me, having to juggle between reading tons of inspirational quotes that have no bearing with my life, to dealing with moral stuffs threatening me to forward to others…
It is another windy and rainy day, everyone has closed and I even had to force Debbie to leave, assuring her that I will lock up properly when I am done. She left reluctantly probably convinced I will not be able to cope without her, I should feel insulted. I was so engrossed in what…
Money is good. It enables you live well and work well. The argument of the poor that money is bad is just an anticipatory defence mechanism. But money is good when it is a blessing that adds no sorrow; when it is the product of hard work and sincere efforts. Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer…
Only leaders regarded by their followers as caring are good enough. Leaders, whether in the private or public sector, must care about the larger society, and not just immediate profit and private acquisitions. Aristotle’s the common good is now a creed among social scientists. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has in the last few years become…
Suddenly a new political fever is gripping the nation. If I ask you to guess, you are likely to point to the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also tell me how useless they have become to our quest for a new Nigeria. I am…