This was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Minna personally signed by the former military president which was conveyed to newsmen by one of his media aides, Mr Kassim Sule Afegbua.
IBB also asked the PDP to count him out of the scheduled PDP rebranding conference slated for Thursday, 12 November, 2015, aimed at repositioning the party after its poor outing at the last elections.
According to the former military President, he has no intention to run for any public office in the country, especially that he has publicly declared his retirement from active politics back in 2011.
“I have heard whispers from different political arenas that one of the rationales for the rebranding of PDP was to prepare me for future elections in 2019.
While describing this as “ridiculous”, IBB restated that he has quit active politics as according to him, “God’s willing by 2019, I will be 78 years old. If I called it quits in 2011, why would PDP contemplate fielding a 78 years old man in a presidential election in a country that parades very vibrant men and women of lesser age?
“I have no intention whatsoever to run for any office again in Nigeria. I will consistently pray to Almighty Allah to grant me good health and sound mind to watch my dearest beloved country grow from strength to strength during my lifetime and beyond,” IBB was quoted to have said.
Recall that the PDP Post-election Review Committee chaired by Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu had blamed the failure of the party on the violation of the zoning arrangement, among other issues, with the party agreeing to zone the presidency in 2019 exclusively to the north.
On the invitation extended to him by the PDP to attend the party’s rebranding conference, IBB said it was a mark of respect for him as one of the founding fathers of the party, but wanted to be excused on the grounds that he had long bid farewell to partisan politics.
“Four years ago at an elaborate event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja, I announced my retirement from partisan politics after my failed attempt to contest for President and having attained the gracious age of 70, in a society where life expectancy stands at a ridiculous 47 years.
“In appreciating what Allah has done for me in life, seeing me through many challenges, stabilizing me during periods of tribulations, and safeguarding me through the thick and thin of political risks, I did state at that event that journalists would not push me around again.
“Attaining the age of 70 in 2011 was to me a great accomplishment for which I remain eternally grateful to Almighty Allah and my family who have shown tremendous support and encouragement throughout my political trajectory. Since 2011 till date, I have been playing my role as an elder statesman and “consultant-in-chief” to political office seekers and other like-minds who want my input in their aspirations.
“At 74, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment in my new role as non-partisan elder statesman and a patriot; available to all categories of persons without the burgeoning label of any political party or affiliation. I have many friends and associates in the two dominant political parties; APC and PDP, and numerous other smaller political parties. At this stage of my political journey, I want to be
able to interact and socialize with them without being branded ‘anti-party’.
“My fulfillment in life is further bolstered by the emerging scenario that is evident in our present political reality. First, the idea of a two-party system which has always been my desire; and the stack reality that, incumbents can be defeated at various levels of election as a function of growing awareness and consciousness on the part of the electorate. These to me present interesting dimensions in our political evolution as a country grappling with so many challenges”.
The former president however wished the PDP best of luck in its desire to rebrand for future electoral challenges, also wishing the country uncommon wisdom to manage emerging internal contradictions for the sustenance of national unity.
Source: The Herald