Ahead of the national convention of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, billed for Saturday, December 9, former military President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has warned that monetary consideration should not dictate who becomes the national chairman at the elective convention.
In a statement on Sunday, Babangida, fondly called IBB, said he was frightened that money may play a big role rather than allowing the will of the people to prevail.
The statement released by his Media Aide, Kassim Afegbua said “In the countdown to the Saturday 9th December, 2017 convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, [PDP], as founding fathers and stakeholders, we need to collectively assure Nigerians and our teeming members that we have indeed learnt our bitter lessons.
“Following the defeat of the party in the 2015 election, it is incumbent upon us as leaders and stakeholders to use the opportunity of the convention to sober reflect on the challenges confronting us, identify our flaws and seek plausible ways to correct them in order to come out stronger in subsequent elections.
“An elective convention presents as it were, a rare opportunity and veritable platform to elect in a holistic manner a credible, tested, down-to-earth and truly urbane candidate with enough stamina, distinguished character and national acceptability who is driven by incurable optimism and passion for a united Nigeria.
“At this point of our political history as a party, we need a National Chairman who is driven by uncommon initiatives, creativity in ideas and a rich content of character to lead and stabilize the party in line with the laudable ideals of the founding fathers of the party. Such an individual must possess national recognition to be able to galvanize political opportunities and transform them into tangible outcomes in our democratic engagements.
“When we were conceptualizing the idea of the PDP at formation, we had in mind a party that offers platform for all Nigerians in their pursuit of legitimate political aspirations. The choice of her motto; POWER TO THE PEOPLE was in sync with our clear objective of recognizing the people as the repository of power. In any democratic engagement, the people decide the outcome of elections through popular and inclusive participation. The monetization of our electoral process is disturbingly eroding that power which should ordinarily reside in the people.
“In the last few days, I get frightened by the monetary consideration that is likely to dictate who emerges as the National Chairman of our great party rather than what the people truly want.
“The discussion is more on the side of heavy monetization of the process and ultimate “procurement” of the position of the Chairman by the highest bidder. This approach, in my humble view, defeats the whole essence of participation, free choice and voting which are the essential attributes of any democracy without inducement and outright manipulation.
“I wish to plead that we tread on the path of caution and common sense, conscious of our recent history of avoidable political crisis,” Babangida said in the statement.