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NIGERIA: PDP, NGF Crises Disappointing – Babangida

Former military president,  General Ibrahim Babangida, Thursday expressed disappointment with the crises in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

Babangida, who is one of the founders of the party, told THISDAY in an exclusive interview at his residence in Minna, that he and other founding members of the party were not happy about the trend in the party.

He also wondered why it was difficult for governors to abide by the rule they set for the election of the NGF chairman to enable them conduct a free and fair poll.

Babangida blamed the PDP crisis on indiscipline, adding that for the party not to lose everything  it had struggled for in the  past years, the leadership of the party have to go back to the drawing board.

He said: "The crisis in the PDP is surely giving some of us who are founding fathers of the party great concern and it’s just because maybe at a certain stage, party disciple broke down completely but the truth is that I feel really disappointed with the way things are happening now.

"I am looking forward to hearing that members of the party will realise their mistakes and say come on, we have not lived up to the expectations of the people, let's come back to the drawing board."

According to him, if the party does not start to solve its internal problems early enough, the consequences will be bad for it in 2015.
"Let's sit, talk and ask what we did wrong so we can right those wrongs and also re-establish the confidence that the people have in us. If we don't do it, there will be grave consequences,"  he added.

Also speaking on the NGF crisis, the former president said it was disappointing that 36 people could not coordinate themselves and conduct a free and fair election.

He said: "I think I feel a bit disappointed about these issues going on within the governors’ forum because if we should have to abide by the policies of all 36 of them as people from their states, then they should also be able to abide by simple rules too. Since they have chosen to democratise the chairmanship of the forum, then they should abide by it.

"It is unfortunate to state that if only 36 of them, not  two million or  three million, cannot manage themselves, then something is really wrong".

He also added that it was unfair for anyone to think that President Goodluck Jonathan was interfering in the NGF crisis, saying in the first place, the forum is just an association of governors, which was not in the constitution, wondering why anyone should lose sleep over the NGF.

"I think it is unfair to say the president is interfering in the NGF. These governors are elected just like he was so what is he interfering for?

"If something is happening in their states that will eventually affect the nation like the security challenges and his declaring a state of emergency, then we can understand; but I don't think it is fair to say the president is interfering,"  he added.

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