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Page 18 new Count me out of PDP rebranding conference—IBB From Ahmed Tahir Ajobe, Minna Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has turned…

Page 18 new

Count me out of PDP rebranding conference—IBB

From Ahmed Tahir Ajobe, Minna

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has turned down an invitation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be part of the rebranding conference slated for tomorrow.

In a statement yesterday in Minna, the former military president said he had long bid goodbye to partisan politics.

According to him, “Four years ago at an elaborate event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja, I announced my retirement from partisan politics after my failed attempt to contest for President and having attained the gracious age of 70, in a society where life expectancy stands at a ridiculous 47 years.

“ In appreciating what Allah has done for me in life, seeing me through many challenges, stabilizing me during periods of tribulations, and safeguarding me through the thick and thin of political risks, I did state at that event that Journalists would not push me around again,” he noted.

He said since 2011 till date, he has been playing the role of an elder statesman and “consultant-in-chief” to political office seekers and other like-minds who want his input in their aspirations and would like to continue in that stead.

“At 74, I feel a deep sense of fulfilment in my new role as non-partisan elder statesman and a patriot; available to all categories of persons without the burgeoning label of any political party or affiliation.

“I have many friends and associates in the two dominant political parties; APC and PDP, and numerous other smaller political parties. At this stage of my political journey, I want to be able to interact and socialize with them without being branded “anti-party,” he said.

These according to him, has presented interesting dimensions in the nation’s political evolution as a country grappling with so many challenges.

“I have heard whispers from different political arenas that one of the rationales for the rebranding of PDP was to prepare me for future elections in 2019. How ridiculous? God’s willing; by 2019 I will be 78 years old.

“If I called it quit in 2011, why would PDP contemplate fielding a 78 years old man in a presidential election in a country that parades very vibrant men and women of lesser age?

“I have no intention whatsoever to run for any office again in Nigeria. I will consistently pray to Almighty Allah to grant me good health and sound mind to watch my dearest beloved country grow from strength to strength during my lifetime and beyond,” he noted.

He wished PDP the best of luck in its desire to rebrand for future electoral challenges, while wishing Nigeria and Nigerians the uncommon wisdom to manage its internal contradictions for the sustenance of national unity.

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