8 February 2013

Nigeria: I Want to Be President, Niger Governor, Babangida Aliyu, Says

The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said his lifelong ambition is to be the President of Nigeria and he has been preparing himself for the task.

The governor made the revelation on Thursday at the Shehu Yar' Adua centre Abuja during the public presentation of a book 'The Accidental Public Servant,' written by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nasir El Rufai.

Making reference to the title of the book, Mr. Aliyu said unlike Mr. El Rufai, he is not in public service by accident.

"I am not an accidental public servant; I have been preparing myself to be president, I am just not saying anything now," he said.

The governor also said he welcomes the idea of opposition parties merging into a mega party.

"I am one of the few people in PDP that prays fervently for the success of the merger because it is for the good of the nation that we have stronger, bigger parties," he added.

Apart from Mr. Aliyu, four other governors attended the book presentation. They are Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Tanko Almakura of Nassarawa.

Mr. Fashola, who was the chief presenter of the book commended Mr. El-Rufai for writing the book to share his experiences while in government.

He also advised the author to take up teaching so that he can pass on his wealth of experience to the next generation of leaders.

Mr. Fashola also said success of persons like Mr. El-Rufai should be a pointer to the government to look towards the private sector for competent hands to join the government and move the country forward.

In his own remarks, the chairman of the occasion and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Masari, described Mr. El-Rufai as "a radical and a non conformist'.

He also called on all that are in government to follow the footsteps of the author and write their experiences while in office so that it will serve as a guide to others.

Former Head of State and the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari, also spoke at the event and chided Nigerian leaders for devoting too much of the nations resources on non productive sectors.

"How can a nation develop when it allocates only two per cent of its resources to Education and virtually uses the rest as security vote?," he asked.

Mr. Buhari also said most institutions in the country have collapsed and there is need to bring in people with strong personalities into governance.

"Nigeria was destroyed by politicians and we need strong technocrats to rebuild what has been destroyed," he said.

Governor of the Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi, also attended the book presentation and informed the gathering that one of the problems the nation is facing is not giving the right people the chance to offer their service to the nation.

"Our major problem as a country is the total disregard for courage and competence," he said, adding that "until we stop talking about where one is from, but what he has to offer, we will go nowhere as a country".

He also said people mistake sycophancy with loyalty.

"Loyalty is not about telling your boss that everything he said is right, but the telling him the right thing all the time," he added.

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