Former Military President, Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has disclosed that he will not contest for the presidency of the country in 2019 as he has quit partisan politics.
IBB also declined the request by the opposition People Democratic Party (PDP), asking him to participate in the rebranding conference of the party.
In a statement personally signed by him yesterday and made availably to LEADERSHIP last night, IBB stated that he publicly quit partisan politics since 2011 when he clocked 70 years, saying that he would not renege on the promise.
The statement reads in part, “I wish to make some clarifications concerning the invitation extended to me on the scheduled PDP Rebranding Conference slated for Thursday, 12 November 12, 2015, aimed at repositioning the party after its poor outing at the last elections. While I welcome the invitation to the event as a mark of respect as one of the founding fathers, I want to be excused on the grounds that I have long bid bye to partisan politics.
“Four years ago at an elaborate event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja, I announced my retirement from partisan politics after my failed attempt to contest for president and having attained the gracious age of 70, in a society where life expectancy stands at a ridiculous 47 years.
“Since 2011 till date, I have been playing my role as an elder statesman and “consultant-in-chief” to political office seekers and other like-minds who want my input in their aspirations.
“At 74, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment in my new role as non-partisan elder statesman and a patriot; available to all categories of persons without the burgeoning label of any political party or affiliation”.
On the speculation of his presidential ambition, IBB said, “I have heard whispers from different political arenas that one of the rationales for the rebranding of PDP was to prepare me for future elections in 2019. How ridiculous? God’s willing; by 2019 I will be 78 years old.
“If I called it quit in 2011, why would PDP contemplate fielding a 78 years old man in a presidential election in a country that parades very vibrant men and women of lesser age? I have no intention whatsoever to run for any office again in Nigeria” he declared.[Leadership]