Former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida has told those aspiring for the presidency to put Nigeria above other interests in everything they do.
Babangida gave the counsel when he received the former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Bauchi, and Sokoto State governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambwal respectively when they paid him a courtesy visit at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State on Thursday.
“Your belief in having a better Nigeria featured very prominently. You made my day. What you talked about is Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn,” Babangida said in reaction to the comments from Mr Saraki who led the three-man delegation.
“I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn. What you are doing is good, this is how the country should develop.”
He promised to support the group “so long as you stay on the course of promoting Nigeria all the time, making it a secure country”.
Earlier, the former two-time governor of Kwara State had said they were in Minna “as part of our consultations; going round the country talking to our elders and stakeholders”.
Saraki, who spoke to newsmen after the visit to General Babangida, said the team felt the former military president should be briefed about the efforts they are making to get a consensus presidential candidate that will face that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s election.
“We took him through what we are doing. This is part of what we call solution providing. We are trying to provide a solution to the political process because we want to ensure that it is smooth, it is not rancorous and it leads to a better Nigeria at the end of the day,” he said.
He said it was out of their “desire to make a better Nigeria that those of us who are aspiring to be president came together that we must find a way of having a consensus so that we can reduce the number and ensure that we have a candidate who is competent who has the support of everybody”.
According to him, they could not achieve the objective without the wise counsel of General Babangida and other leaders.
Saraki said Nigerians have been going through hell, especially in the last few days. He condoled those who lost their loved ones and those whose relations are injured or missing due to the train bombing incidents in Kaduna recently.