By Jide Ajani, Kingsley Omonobi, Henry Umoru, Chris Ochayi, Luka Binniyat & Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA—AFTER several months of speculations, former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, yesterday, formally declared his
intention to contest the 2011 presidential election.

Babangida, who anchored his interest on the abysmal lack of governance in the country, said that Nigeria as a nation was in a crisis.

He said he would pursue a macroeconomic framework that would, among others, attract investment, promote stability and sustain high non-inflationary growth.

The former military leader who is vying for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also promised to use Nigeria’s wealth of natural resources to diversify the nation’s economy
that would, at the end of the day, help reduce the country’s over
dependence on oil and gas.

He said: “Today, Nigeria stands at the threshold of history. As we celebrate 50 years of independence, the country faces a pressing urgency for accelerated development to actualize the tremendous
expectation that our enormous endowments evoke. It is equally
distressing that we have not succeeded in remarkably harnessing the
enormous human and natural resources to provide the foundation for a
productive and caring nation such that we now stand in grave danger of
state failure.

“Today, the reality of our present circumstance is that our country is in a crisis. We cry over the economy; and we agonise over the state of our educational system as well as over organized crime. Our
infrastructure has collapsed and we continue to live with epileptic
supply of electricity. We bicker over the never-ending issue of subsidy.

Challenges of the society

“Two decades ago, the central challenge of the Nigerian society and economy that we grappled with, was the big, inefficient State that had a stranglehold on the society, occupied the commanding heights of the
economy; and behaved like a general business enterprise, producing and
selling myriads of commodities running airlines; managing commercial
banks and owning cement factories.

Naturally, it ended up as a colossal failure in this regard, since it neither had the bottom-line sense of a business enterprise nor the residual claimant motivation to ensure
proper and efficient management of the societal resources under its

“Today, however, Nigeria faces a qualitatively different challenges. The reality in our country is that of an abysmal lack of governance. The State has virtually become overwhelmed by multi-dimensional crisis
constraining its ability to minister to the needs of the “For me, the
response to such issues defines governance. Our challenge today is to
come together and make Nigeria work better. We should awaken ourselves
to challenges of building a productive economy and a caring society.

There is no option open to this nation than to create an economic framework that prioritises job creation, entrepreneurship, productive engagement of our  teeming population. I am making a solemn undertaking
to devote the four years that would be available to me, if elected
president, to create the foundation for creating that economic

“The first requirement of attaining the above is to ensure that the economy grows at such a rate as to

absorb the productive labour continuously being generated in the country. In particular, with the growing rate of urbanization in the country and with growing
mechanization of the country’s agricultural sector, we must find
placements for the surplus labour that is bound to be released.

The key sectors of manufacturing and services that will, therefore, be given importance in this regard, is the programme of boosting small and medium scaled enterprises to improve not just their service
delivery and wealth creating potentials, but the capacity to engage the
labour of millions of Nigerians.

Potential for job creation

“A previously neglected sector in terms of potential for job creation is so called informal sector that

currently houses the productive endeavours of millions of Nigerians. Steps will be taken to formalize the informal sector by integrating it to the mainstream,
structured economy. Other sectors that would also have very significant
impact on job creation include a revitalized solid minerals sector, the
emerging information and communication technology industry, the tourism
sector including hotels and the budding Nigerian film industry.

“Nigeria has the material resources, the intellectual endowment, the capacity and the pressing need to attain the above objectives. The ingredients necessary for the achievement of these noble goals are
competent leadership, social orderliness.

We would then draw up and resolutely implement a bold innovative National Reconstruction Plan which ensures the sustained mobilisation of all the people, their resources, imagination and institutions, on an
urgent task.

“The Nigerian economy can and will be driven to secure two-digit, non-inflationary or minimal-inflationary growth rates over a long period at least two decades -  as some of Asian economies have
done. Clearly, traditional economic management – planning and budgeting
methods and norms cannot serve, for essentially they ignore the factor
of mobilization, which must be grasped for sustained long-run progress.
There is much work to be done by all Nigerians and much benefit for al
Nigerians, in the attainment of this objective.

“At the same time, the policy of equity in the distribution of the gains would mean increased wealth and improved welfare for all Nigerians, as well as stimulation of the spirit of enterprise, with due
compensation for valid risk-taking, on the basis of justice and
diversity. Growth will be principally measurable in terms of aggregate
output and employment, although other major variables will be of
interest. There is no more debate or doubt the debilitating role of
corrupt practices in governance, public policy design and
implementation, and even in the relationship between the public and
private sectors.

“Indeed, corruption has been established as a fundamental cause in the underdevelopment of our economy and society. We will insist upon and deepen the policies and instruments of  transparency and
accountability in governance. The existing institutions such as EFCC
and ICPC will be sustained, strengthened and complemented by other
anti-corruption authorities such that the national and global
constituencies of the Nigerian state shall bear concrete witness to our
efforts in dealing with the phenomenon of corruption.

“From the above, the following specific objectives, among others, would constitute the focus of our economic management policy in a determined effort to re-inaugurate a caring society, a macro-economic
framework that attracts investment, promote economic stability and
sustain high non-inflationary growth; a strong partnership between
public and private sector which is private sector-driven with the
government as the enabler.

“Use Nigeria’s wealth of natural resources to diversify the economy, and thus reduce significantly over dependence on oil and gas; the growth and development of small and medium scale business top provide
wider economic opportunities, employment and poverty alleviation; a
modern, well-structured, efficient and competitive financial; and
banking system that caters for the long term needs of the economy.

“Transform our urban and rural communities as well as the waterways into centres of production, and thus generate employment opportunities for our people; human development programmes through massive investment
in education, health and housing; restore and sustain our family values
and morals as the basis for as caring society; collaborate with the
states, local governments, the legislature and judiciary to sustain
democracy and federalism as the definitive character of the Nigerian
state and as the framework for achieving our objectives of economic
productivity and a caring society.”

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Hear him speak about lack of governance! Who is he to make such a stupid utterance? Isn't he one of those that raped Nigeria, siphoning off its wealth into personal accounts overseas? No, Babangida does not want to remedy the ills that have been done to the people of Nigeria; he wants to be given another opportunity to plunder what few resources are left. Like Obasanjo, his fellow turncoat, he wants to be given yet another chance to marginalize our economy and destroy any sense of decency that is still left in the governance of Nigeria. If I had anything to do about it, he would be in jail right now, and not broadcasting his stupidity for all to hear. I am sick of this country!! :-(
I am deeply sorry for the former senate president Ken Nnamani in his attept to shoot himself on the foot by joining Babangida's sinking ship. I make bold to say here that Babangida shall lose on both ends with a wide margin. Mark my words!
i will like by saying am disappointed by your newspaper's PR job for IBB. we are all aware of his inglorious exit which was a resultant effect of his cruel leadership for 8 years. i expect an analytical newsreport like what Punch newspaper did. once again am disaapointed with the way ur medium painted IBB's declaration. Yours is a commercialised news. Your quest for money irrespective of the source is a disgrace to this country. Shame to you Vanguard!!!!!!!!! Learn from other dailies
Why I want to be president again — IBB
BECAUSE, EVERY NIGERIAN IS A BRAIN DEAD, GULLIBLE, SADO-MASOCHIST with short memory and very short attention span.
COME SHAFT US AGAIN IBB, we deserve it.
Well,IBB has the right to aspire to come back as the president of our Great Country. His reasons as spelt out in his declaration speech are not convincing enough! He talked about corruption,infrastructural decay, electricity,etc, and I beg to confirm that all these negative issues were not better either during his first tenure. Infact, corruption was legalised by him as he particularly amassed outrageous wealth! I think Nigerians are too matured and intelligent to be decieved by propounded theories that can not be actualised! However, we are all watching closely to see how events will unfold!Above all, he never believed in democracy,as evidenced by June 12 annulment. Others laboured for us to have it,so he can not enjoy it's gains.
God Bless Nigeria and Nigerians.
It is so wonderful that General Ibrahim Babangida is so eloquent after months of rehearsing prepared text, the content of which he did not really understand, for if he does he wouldn’t be blabbing over and again on issues that he failed woefully to implement in his inglorious 8 years murderous, corrupt and retrogressive military dictatorship.

He talked about corruption, has he answered questions surrounding the disappearance of 12.4 billion dollars gulf war money? He talked about decline in education; he took education to its lowest ebb? Has he forgotten how he closed down universities during the Jega led ASUU who incidentally is the INEC chairman?

Has he also forgotten how he masterminded the closure of industries through his evil induced SAP, which the IMF has distanced itself from?
When he talked about crime, IBB don’t understand the intent and purpose of the script that was written for him by his promoters, under whose administration did a letter bomb killed Dele Giwa, the founding editor of Newswatch magazine? And how often the late Chief Gani Fawinhmi was detained and threatened over his relentless efforts to bring to justice the killers of Dele Giwa and other sundry corrupt cases?

What did Babangida did to the refineries in his inglorious 8 years? If in 8 years he failed woefully, how did he intend to achieve in 4 year what he couldn’t in 8 years?

Babangida truncated growth and democracy in this country, he raised an army of hangers on, who became millionaires over night through corruption, it is those group that are ready to die with him, the little leeches cocooned corruption are the praise singers today.
The assurance is that IBB WILL BE DEFEATED ANY DAY ANY TIME, EXCEPT THROUGH MILITARY COUP, IBB CANNOT HAVE A SHOT AT ASO ROCK AGAIN. The ghost of June 12 will forever hunt you in any democratic election.
Good night o’ coup General, and rest in peace.
The former dictator talked of abysmal lack of governance and that our country is in crisis at present. He forgot that he left the country in more serious crisis than we are now when he left power many years ago. My only concern is for chief Nnamani who has decided to pitch his tent in the wrong camp despite the fact that many see him as a good leader judging from his performance when he was in the Senate.
Let us wait and see whether Babangida can get to anywhere with the present nigerians.

God bless Nigeria.
This your Babangida does not have shame?. After stealing $12.5b he now wants to rule Nigeria again to increase the amount of his theft may be to $100b.

Anyway for me and my family we can never, never and never vote for IBB even in a Councillor election because he is a thief and should be in Kirikiri prison not Aso Rock.
Babaginda,people should keep on remembering him of the past in which we are still drinking the bitter water he prepared for the country in the past.My dear General what did you forget in Aso Rock that you are going to carry now?If anybody should vote for this man history will never forgive us.IBB of june 12,IBB of Ogoni land,IBB of gulf war,IBB of ASSU,For eight good years all Nigeria road network awarded without execution.
These people think that we are children. I was in my final year in the University when IBB rode into power and he had thrilled me with his rethorics and human right agenda and i fell for him. Eight years later, he left Nigeria in such a chaos that Nigeria was kept together by the divine intervention. Now he comes again and I am 25 years older than I was when he came the first time and he still believes that I have not grown, that i have no memory, that his tricks can always work and Nigerians are fools forever. This man destroyed the educational system, destroyed the health delivery system, destroyed the middle class, destroyed the military and today he comes back to tell me what he told us in 1985 and I should believe him. This is so disrectful and Nigerians can decide whether to take it or not; that is the beauty of democracy that IBB was unable to deliver to us in his eight years in office. To see the respected former President of the senate standing there with him turns my stomach. I am reminded in this uncertain times of a Roman proverb that says "those whom the gods want to kill, they first make mad" and I believe that the gods want to settle our problem with IBB. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Babangida! What you are suppose to be doing now is not to vie for any political position, but to confess your sins all the remaining days of your life. Some fools call genius, genius in annuling the freest and fair elections Nigeria ever coducted,genius in initiating bribery and corruption into Nigeria's socio-economies in your sup and sup dictatorial military goverment. You have failed already the host heavens are against you.You know are coming back and killed Nigeria as nation economically ,socially etc. When you were a self- styled president you looked robust,strong and energetic .But now nature is at play even in your look that to tell you God is the ALMIGHTY.All those politicians that came to your Abuja's campaign were there to spend your stolen Gulf war windfalls.Do you ever think that Godluck will be your opposition . Think twice
Truely, IBB will never enjoy the gains of democracy cos he led the forces that never allow it to grow in nigeria. IBB need to learn how democracy has work so far in nigeria after 17 yrs he "step aside". He need to play by the rules and recognise that decision making process is different from what he was used to, dictorial rule. He will fail, the inoccent bloods that make sacrifice for democracy will hunt him for life.

Well,IBB has the right to aspire to come back as the president of our Great Country. His reasons as spelt out in his declaration speech are not convincing enough! He talked about corruption,infrastructural decay, electricity,etc, and I beg to confirm that all these negative issues were not better either during his first tenure. Infact, corruption was legalised by him as he particularly amassed outrageous wealth! I think Nigerians are too matured and intelligent to be decieved by propounded theories that can not be actualised! However, we are all watching closely to see how events will unfold!Above all, he never believed in democracy,as evidenced by June 12 annulment. Others laboured for us to have it,so he can not enjoy it's gains.
God Bless Nigeria and Nigerians.


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