Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), former military head of state, says the ideal president for Nigeria in 2023 should not be as old as he is.
He said this in an interview with Daily Trust TV.
When asked about his choice of president in 2023, 80-year-old IBB responded saying: “It is not who do I have in mind but who fits in”.
“Any person who fits in within these criteria, then he is the right person as long as he is a Nigerian; he is a politician, he is not old like I am; he is very conversant with the country, he communicates, he is a very good communicator,” he said.
“He should be able to communicate because a president should be able to walk into a group of people and talk to them on issues concerning Nigeria; not all the time but most of the time.
“He must have somebody he knows in every part of the country. It is not a tall order.
“You could limit it to states, you could limit it to local governments even to the wards if you can but somebody such that once you hear the name, it is somebody you will say, yes, I have heard that name before either in the country or in his profession; if he is a doctor, a journalist or whatever, all areas, we have heard the name before; okay then I will make an effort to know more about him.”
On whether he sees such a person among the current political office holders, he said he believes the process will take care of that.
Although IBB as Babangida is fondly called did not in any way mention their names as ineligible for the nation’s number one seat, he however suggested that individuals in their 60s should be the focus of Nigerians as potential presidential candidates in 2023.
“Within the process, of those people you mentioned now, there are people who could fit into this category and I believe the process can take care of that,” he said.
The former head of state also spoke about his decision not to remarry after the death of Maryam Babangida, his wife.
She died at the age of 61 on December 27, 2009, after battling ovarian cancer for years.
IBB said he stayed unmarried to honour his late wife.
“The media still snoop around me, they should have known. I haven’t. It is a matter of choice; I decided to honour her by being not a bachelor but being unmarried,” he said.