Babangida also says Nigeria will have to abandon zoning for democracy to thrive.
Former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, says he already has someone in mind as the ideal next President of Nigeria, and he’s a man in his 60s.
Speaking on the 2023 presidential election during a televised interview on Friday, August 6, 2021, the former military dictator said his idea of a good Nigerian leader is someone who has a friend ‘virtually everywhere’.
He said such a person must also be well-versed in economics, and be a good politician able to talk to Nigerians.
“I have seen one or two or three, already in their 60s,” he said.
When asked if he thinks one of them should emerge, he said, “I believe so if we can get him.”
The 79-year-old also said the region of the candidate should not matter.
He said Nigeria must allow the democratic process run its natural course, as that’s the only one that will produce the right person to lead the country.
“Whether we do it (cancel zoning) now or don’t, we’ll have to do it,” he said.
Babangida said the right candidate is the person whom everyone knows their qualifications and accept their beliefs, regardless of where they come from.
There’s an unwritten agreement on the rotation of the presidency between the north and the south, with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, set to end his second term in 2023.
Nothing appears concrete as to where the two major political parties will zone their tickets less than two years to the next elections.
Even if the parties zone the tickets to the south, there are internal conflicts about which geopolitical zone deserves to have it.
President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) from the south west, and President Goodluck Jonathan (2010 – 2015) from the south south have both occupied the nation’s highest political office.
There have been demands for the 2023 slot to go to the south east but there’s no consensus yet in the region.
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