Laleye Dipo in Minna
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has told the leadership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to ensure it conducts a transparent, free and fair presidential primary election in order to avoid the problems of the past.
Babangida said impunity accounted for the defeat of the PDP in the 2015 general elections.
The former military president made the remarks when a presidential aspirant Alhaji Attaihiru Dalhatu Bafarawa paid him a visit after addressing PDP stakeholders at the party secretariat in Minna recently.
A statement on the visit made available to newsmen on Wednesday quoted general Babangida as saying that: “the forthcoming presidential primaries must be free and fair and transparent, devoid of any rancour.
“The aspirants should not see the contest as a do or die.”
The statement signed by the Director General of the Bafarawa Presidential Campaign Organisation Malam Yusuf Abubakar warned that the PDP could not afford to go into another round of crisis hence the need for “right thing to be done to the satisfaction of all stakeholders”.
General Babangida was said to have recognised the fact that all those angling for the presidency under the PDP “are eminently qualified” but said they should realise that only one person will pick the ticket at the end of the day.
The former military president, according to the statement, described Bafarawa “as an upright and honest man with an intimidating political credentials good enough to pilot the affairs of the country.”
According to the statement, the former military leader said: “your recent triumph at the courts over corruption allegations is a clear indication that you are a honest and transparent person, and Nigerians need someone like you”.
Bafarawa had earlier briefed the former military president on his reason for joining the presidential race saying that: “I joined the race to rescue the country from the present situation of insecurity, hunger, injustice and impunity”.
On Bafarawa’s entourage were the Director General of the Bafarawa Campaign Organisation, BCO, Senator Paul Wampana, Mrs Becky Igwe, Alhaji Sani Kabiru, Dr Amanze Obi and Dr Iliya Stephen.