- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 06:13
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 2141
The president relived his meeting with former military ruler, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. The details of the meeting was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Ima Niboro.
Niboro added that the meeting with Babangida was part of the ongoing meetings with past leaders as part of the efforts to ensure that the next presidential elections do not degenerate into a do-or-die affairs.
The statement reads: "Since June 12, 1993, Nigerians have in successive elections become wiser. The next presidential elections, no matter who the candidates are, would sound a resonant Never Again! Never again shall the will of the Nigerian people be quashed underfoot by the vaunting ambitions of a few.
"This is what the President has promised Nigerians, and he is fully committed to delivering on this pledge. It is, therefore, unfortunate that any self-respecting newspaper should lend its pages to reporting a series of lies against the person and the institution of the Presidency. These tales are unverified and sourced from openly interested parties. They are lies, pure and simple.
"Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the President knows he is not one who dissuades people from pursuing their personal ambitions. This is even more so when there is no purpose to be served by it, since the long suffering mass of the Nigerian people would decide who governs them in a free and fair contest.
"The fact is that President Jonathan has been meeting different leaders on different occasions and platforms. Some have come to inform him of their intention to run for the presidency. Others he has met with as a matter of courtesy being a sitting president, and keen to ensure that the next presidential elections do not degenerate into a do or die affair as our elections are sometimes wont to do.
"He has met former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; he has met Babangida; he has met Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and will meet him again soon. He has met with Gen. Yakubu Gowon, two time president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar. He will meet with even more leaders and political actors as the race to 2011 heats up.
"It is extremely uncharitable for any one to spin these meetings in such negative lights, and attempt to force the President into retreat from these well thought out engagements with political leaders of all hue and disposition in the interest of the country."