Minna — Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), at the weekend said he has faith in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) because of the calibre of its leadership.
Babangida made the declaration in Minna, Niger State capital when he received the Chief Olu Falae-led party at his uphill residence.
According to him, "If I hadn't been too old, I would have loved to join the youth vanguard of your party. I have faith in the political party for what it is and what it stands for.
"This party is real because most of the names are names that I have known and I have worked with for the sake of this country. So the party is smart to have convinced all these gentlemen to join them.
"That is why I did not hesitate to give direction to those who came to me to seek advice on which direction to go."
Babangida expressed confidence that the SDP would bring the desired hope for Nigeria, stating that "I know it can be done. I have never said this to any political party before, but I can tell you that the party has people who have contributed a lot to this country; people whose contributions to Nigeria are legendary, and what you have put ahead of you is what this country needs
"I remember when Jerry Gana was the Chairman of MAMSER, one of the primary things he did was to educate the ordinary person. The level of awareness then was not as high as it is now, so you should take advantage of the digital age now and pass a lot of information to the young men and women of this country because they form over 65 per cent of the population, and if you succeed in doing that, the better for this country."
The former military president then called on "the younger generation, including the Nigerian women, to rally behind SDP because it is populated by men of integrity, men who when they work, they work well, when they speak, they speak well."
Babangida also advised the leadership of the party to as a matter of necessity, make its manifestos public to Nigerians so that they could be held accountable to it.
"You must tell Nigerians what you intend to do for them because this is very important. The people must know what to expect if we vote SDP, and by then, it becomes politics of issues not politics of insult and name calling," he said.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Olu Falae, had told Babangida that the leadership of the SDP were in his house as part of the nationwide consultations to brief him on their activities and to equally solicit for his support and wise counseling.
Falae said he also decided to come to Minna with the entire leadership of the party "as a mark of respect" because "Babangida brought me into political limelight 32 years ago when he appointed me Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG), and since then, he has remained in the political arena of the country.