Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Babangida Hosts APC, Says Nigeria is Greater than PDP

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were in Minna, the
Niger State capital, Wednesday to discuss with former military
president, General Ibrahim Babangida and a former Head of State, Gen.
Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The meeting with the opposition leaders raised eyebrows in the state
about its agenda, prompting the two former military leaders to defend
their decision to hold talks with the opposition party.
Babangida, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in reaction
to the speculations that he was being wooed to join the opposition
party, said the APC leaders had the right to visit him for
consultations, adding that Nigeria is greater than the ruling party.
"Nigeria is bigger than PDP. They came to talk about Nigeria and how
to move the nation forward with me; it is not about anybody but about
Nigeria as a country," he said.
According to him, he will always welcome anyone seeking his advice on
how to move the nation forward.
The APC delegation, which included Major-General Muhammadu Buhari,
Senator Bola Tinubu and the party's interim National Chairman, Chief
Bisi Akande, first met with Babangida at his residence.
"The APC leaders visited me to discuss the welfare of the country,
which should be the responsibility of every Nigerian, whether you
belong to a party or you do not have a party. You have an assignment
assigned to you to protect the integrity of the country.
"People who come to talk about Nigeria and the way forward will always
be welcomed by me. We have to find a way forward for this generation;
what we are doing is for this generation.
"The meeting had to do with the welfare, well-being, education,
security and economic well-being of the country. Anything that would
promote and move the country forward would be encouraged by me," he
On his part, Abdulsalami, who spoke after the APC leaders had met with
him, denied speculations that they had come to woo him to join the
opposition party.
"I am not a politician; I am not a partisan politician and I don't
need to be wooed," he said.
He explained that the APC leaders came to brief him on the
amalgamation of the new party, what they were doing, how far they had
gone, and how things were moving.
"What I told them, they have already heard. I advised them on how all
of us need this country and to make sure that we maintain peace in the
country," he said.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to be allowed to exercise their
rights to join any party of their choice.
Abdulsalami said: "Whether you are in the opposition or in government,
in the various ways of your manifesto, you are serving the country. So
whatever role any party finds itself, it should play that role very
Explaining their mission to the two former military leaders, Akande
said they were in the state to consult with them so that they could be
better prepared in running the activities of the party.
"We need to pick the brains of former rulers in this country in order
to be wiser than we were before we came here," he said.
He added that the consultations would continue until they had met with
all the wise men in the country.

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