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5 qualities Nigeria’s next president should have according to Ibrahim Babangida

The nation is looking forward to replacing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and Ibrahim Babangida has an idea of who the next president should be.

Ibrahim Babangida - Former Head of State

Since the beginning of the year, presidential aspirants have been announcing their interests in the 2023 presidential race.

The aspirants have also been going around the country to consult, seek alliance, and woo statesmen and former leaders to endorse their ambitions.

Former Heads of State, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo are some of the leaders the aspirants have visited to seek their support.

But Babangida who ruled the country as a military president from 1985 to 1993, believes Nigeria’s next president should have certain qualities.

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Although he has not expressed his support for any of the presidential aspirants that have visited him in Minna, Niger State, the former military leader believes Nigeria’s next president should have certain qualities, and that might be the aspirant he would like to see in Aso Rock come 2023.

These are the qualities Babangida thinks Buhari’s successor should possess.

The former Head of State believes whoever would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari should not be his contemporary.

Babangida is 80-year-old, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is 75, while his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu is 70-year-old.

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According to Babangida, anyone seeking to lead the country in 2023 should not be someone who is old like him.

The idea that Nigeria needs a technocrat to govern the country does not seem to resonate with Babangida’s presidential ideal.

The former Head of State in a recent interview said President Buhari’s successor must be a politician.

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Babangida also believes a president should be able to communicate his ideas and express his opinions about issues affecting the people of his/her country.

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 said.

In Babangida’s view, a nonentity has no business seeking a presidential seat in a country as big as Nigeria. He believes a Nigerian presidential candidate must be a famous person whose popularity cuts across the six geo-political zones.

According to him, the next president “must have somebody he knows in every part of the country…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.”

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A candidate may have all the aforementioned qualities and still not qualify to lead the most populous country in Africa.

This is why the former Military ruler said the presidential aspirants who meet the criteria above are fit to lead the country as long as they are Nigerians.

He said, “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.

This is quite significant because it is the first box a presidential aspirant has to check to confirm his/her eligibility for the number one political office in the country.

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