Laleye Dipo in Minna
Former Military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar to work together for the development of Nigeria.
Buhari, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Party, won the February 23 presidential election defeating Atiku, candidate of th Peoples Democratic Party, and 70 others.
General Babangida in a congratulatory message to Buhari copies of which were made available to media houses on Saturday asked them to close ranks and move the country forward.
“I call on the former Vice –President Atiku Abubakar to close ranks and work with the winner of the election in an objective and constructive manner so that democracy will continue to thrive in our country at this crucial period of renaissance.
“I urged him also to endeavour and prevail on his admirers to eschew bitterness and violence. They must be prevailed upon to understand that politics is a game in which there must be only one winner” General Babangida said.
While congratulating President Buhari on his victory, Babangida noted that the “electioneering campaign was very strenuous and the contest very keen. That despite the turbulent terrain of politics, the President submitted and subjected himself to this process. Indeed it is a clear testimony that he believes in the democratic process and ideals”
He therefore charged the president – elect to “heal the wounds of the heated campaign exchanges by embracing those who contested alongside with him.
” The President must resist the temptation to see them as enemies; not even opponents, but fellow compatriots who merely disagreed with him on how best to move our country forward”.
He further advised that “Now that the President has won his reelection bid, he should confront with renewed vigour the most urgent problem confronting Nigeria: ‘insecurity of lives and property’ saying that :”The Boko Haram insurgency remains a threat to many Nigerians particularly in the North East sub region, while the twin evils of kidnapping and armed robbery/armed banditry also remains a major national menace.”
“The president must pay priority attention to these security issues,” he maintained
On the economy of the country General Babangida advised President Muhammadu Buhari to be more creative in formulating policies that would improve the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities and give hope to our teaming youths.
“The President may wish to heed to the yearnings of reasonable Nigerians for restructuring and seek all constitutional means to devolve some powers presently exercised by the Federal Government to the other tiers of government,” he said.
Babangida congratulated Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the election and asked that same should be replicated in state elections this weekend.