Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) has stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for this weekend’s Niger East senatorial by-election, Barrister David Umaru, is like a son to him and promised to treat him as such.
The former Nigerian leader’s comment is coming on the heels of the confidence expressed by the national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun that Barrister Umaru will emerge victorious in the by-election scheduled for tomorrow.
IBB as he is fondly called by admirers, who hosted APC leaders led by Odigie-Oyegun and the governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso at his hilltop mansion in Minna, the state capital, said that Barrister Umaru has been a member of his household and so not new to him.
He stated that “David Umaru is like a member of my family; I see him like my son and I will do to him what a father does to a son. I will surely do. His wife and my children always share ideas together, his wife and my children also schooled in the same school”.
IBB congratulated Mr. Odigie-Oyegun on his emergence as the national chairman of APC, adding that he has the capacity to lead and congratulated the party for his emergence.
The former military ruler called on all the parties to ensure peace during the by-election and for the wish of the people to prevail adding that Niger State is a home of peace and commended them for doing a good job.
Earlier, the national chairman of APC said that the team was in Niger State to find out about the popularity of David Umaru that they have been hearing about and that they were impressed with what they saw on ground.
According to him, the country needs change and the time for change has come because people are saying the government at the centre is corrupt, but those who are saying the government is corrupt are just praising the government because what is on the ground is worse than corruption.
The APC chairman noted that the problem of Nigeria has gone beyond building roads, bridges and other infrastructures because what Nigeria needs is general change of psyche and attitude hence if it is not changed, the generation to come would look at corruption and other aberrations as a way of life.
Chief Oyegun said, “We need you (IBB) to support us to change the psyche of Nigeria because permanent damage has been done to the psyche of our people, the trend must change”.
Also speaking to journalists after the visit, he stated that they were to hold a rally in Minna but were denied use of the state polo playing field, describing the development as a crude way of politics that should not be condoned in a civilized society.
“We find a way to talk to our supporters in a very quiet place but it is not good that we were denied venue to hold our rally”, he said.