It was cheering news for the Presidential ambition of former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki as former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida throws his weight and support for him as the right man to take over from President Muhamadu Buhari come 2023.
General Babangida was responding to a request from a delegation of the Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ABS, National Campaign Advocacy Council led by its Chairman, Prof Hagher Iorwuese, and Director- General, Chief Osaro Onaiwu who were at the Minna Hilltop residence of the former military strongman to seek support for Saraki.
Babangida who did not hide his admiration for Saraki did not mince words, but equate Saraki to a Self Propelled(SP) artillery gun, an abbreviation for Senate President, whose credentials and personality speak for him.
According to him, many aspirants have come and will come here. But a young man of his( Saraki) status who knows the country well should lead the country for maximum results.
“Am glad to have found people who have defined who a true Nigerian leader should be. This definition was lacking. Am happy you have identified someone who can do the job. The narrative has to change. I know your client very well. I am part of him. His father was very close to me.
You have zeroed on a good candidate. I call him SP. In the artillery, we have a Self Propelled gun called SP with strategic responsibility and functions. That is who he is”.
Babangida, popularly referred to as IBB, commended Saraki’s patriotic efforts as President of the 8th Senate saying,” It was Saraki’s efforts that saved the nation from the imminent crisis that ensued. Remember if he was not able to nip the crisis, only God knows what would have happened. It was his intelligence at play that saved the nation. He is the best for Nigeria.
“But a lot of work must be done to convince colleagues and Nigerians to this. You have identified the right person for the leadership of this country. We need a leader that can utilise our rich diversities to our advantage. We have abused our diversity and are not able to use it well to our advantage. I believe that the young Saraki has the capacity to bring back this glory to our nation. He has my prayers, he has my absolute support”.
The leader of the large delegation, Prof Hagher had asked for IBB’s blessings and support for Saraki, who is within the youthful age canvassed by IBB himself for the leadership of Nigeria.
Hagher said,” Your Excellency Sir, we are here to present to you your son, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki. The country has not fared well under the present system and if nothing is done, the situation will be worst. We remember how you provided concrete leadership for this country. We recall with great sense of pride your intelligence, how you were able to assemble the best brains, to built a strategic network of contacts, connections, and lasting relationships which are still standing strong today. You don’t forget your friends neither do you forget your relationships built over the years.
Your son Saraki has your DNA and is following these beautiful footsteps of yours. He has all that it takes to provide the kind of leadership you bestowed on this country.
He is intelligent, cosmopolitan, patriotic, determined, energetic and strategic to do the job”.
Making a case for the North Central zone, Hagher added that while the South West, South-South, and North West have produced Presidents for Nigeria, and the North East and South East have produced Vice Presidents, the North Central, full of capable and competent human resources is yet to express its leadership potentials for the country. We respectfully aver that the North should produce the next President, the North Central.
In the delegation were former Governor Shaaba Lafiagi from Kwara State, former Senators Solomon Ewuga, Suleiman Adokwe, former national and state assembly members, and critical stakeholders across the country.