By Philips Sunday
Minna, (AN24) – Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) has expressed confidence that the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will not only take back power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but will go ahead to rule for 60 successive years, if the current leadership crisis rocking the opposition party are resolved.
The PDP Chieftain made this comment on Saturday, March 11, at his country home in Minna, the Niger state capital, when the Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs Committee of the PDP led by Jerry Gana presented its report on how to move the party forward, to him.
According to him, the PDP is the only political party, whose presence had been felt, known and accepted by the people.
“PDP’s presence is felt not only in Abuja or Lagos, but down to the lowest level,” he said.
“If you go to the grassroots, the ordinary man will talk about PDP; that is the asset the party has and should use to spring back to reckoning.
“Already, it is accepted and known. All you have to do is work harder and try to convince the people back to your fold,” IBB said.
The ex- Military President also re-echoed his support for a two-party system, adding that it was the best option toward deepening democracy.
“Gradually, my earlier suggestion about the practice of a two-party system is gradually coming to the fore in the country.”
“In 1999, when I was advocating for a two-party system, some of my colleagues had their doubts, but I told them that it provides a choice, which is the first essence of democracy.” He said.
Meanwhile, before IBB’s remark, Jerry Gana, head of the delegation, had urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to allow opposition political parties to always voice their opinion on issues.
Gana also advised the APC to allow rival parties to develop so as to offer Nigerians other options “at all times”.
“The presence of opposition is key to democratic growth; we must allow Nigerians to listen to the other side,” he said.
Furthermore, he described IBB as “a visionary leader, who read the future and advocated a two-party system long ago”.