IBB camp dismisses President Jonathan Goodluck’s 2011 chances

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The campaign team of former military president, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, has declared that he will be the People’s Democratic Party candidate for the 2011 general elections.

They dismissed reports that alleged that governors from the south-west had declared their support for President Goodluck Jonathan.

Kassim Afegbua, Mr Babangida’s spokesperson, said Nigerians are coming out to lend their support to the former general’s ambition.

“[They] are too highly educated and politically sophisticated to endorse President Jonathan, who has not declared his intention whether to run or not to run,” he said.

However, he said the campaign would not reveal its strategies for winning over the south-west region on the pages of newspapers. He assured that Mr Babangida had solutions to the problems confronting the country. “IBB cannot lose,” Afegbua said.

“Rather, we are to ask if Jonathan loses the primary to him, will the former military ruler fly the PDP ticket?”

Not all confidence

Mr Afegbua also debunked recent media reports that Mr Babangida’s meeting with former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, suggests the former general may not be as confident as his supporters claim.

“Atiku is just one of the individuals we are talking to,” he said.

“We are not limiting our consultation to Atiku; we are consulting other notable personalities and groups all over Nigeria.”

However, supporters of the vice president were equally confident of their chances at the PDP primaries – provided he is allowed to rejoin the party.

Henry Iyanyan, an Abuja-based lawyer and member of Mr Atiku’s campaign team, said he was angry at the delays stalling Mr Atiku’s return.

“It is moral corruption for them not to allow Atiku to contest in PDP, waiver or no waiver. If the PDP grants Atiku a waiver today, he will empty Jonathan’s camp. That is why they are afraid of him,” he said.

Mr Iyanyan disagreed with Mr Afegbua that Mr Babangida was a force to be reckoned with.

“Atiku’s credibility cannot be found on any of [the other] politicians jostling to rule Nigeria today,” he said.

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