He said the circumstances which led to the formation of ING in 1993 were totally different from today’s.
He also sought support for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, and his team for the courage they have shown in preparing for elections on March 28 and April 11.
He said he had no doubt that the elections will hold on the appointed dates – in line with INEC’s assurances.
Gen. Babangida, however, asked Nigerians to appreciate the creativity and innovation of the card reader which INEC has introduced to make for credibility and transparency.
Gen. Babangida, in a statement by his Media Office, said his thoughts were shared with former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki on Monday in Minna
He said he had seen it all and cannot be a party to any contraption, which is undemocratic.
The statement said: “Following different reports and analyses in the print and on-line media, it has become expedient in the life of our political history to make certain clarifications to avoid unwarranted cynicisms usually promoted by naysayers, alarmists and political apologists to score cheap political mileage.
“One would have ignored this lazily scripted and well orchestrated political permutation as the usual run-of-the-mill chit-chat and ridiculous permutation that is often on sale in our political lexicon, but for record purposes, this statement becomes instructively appropriate.
“To state the obvious, let it be on record that I am not in any way connected with alleged ‘plans’ to encourage, promote, orchestrate or moot the idea of an interim government or whatever ‘contraption’ so called.
“I have no doubt in my mind therefore, to state unequivocally, that elections will hold on the appointed dates in line with the unflinching assurances from INEC. Those mooting the idea of an interim government and trying to drag my name into it should please look elsewhere.”
Gen. Babangida said he had seen it all and would not be part of any contraption to scuttle the nation’s democracy.
The statement said: “I did state categorically in 2011 that I was quitting partisan politics and wouldn’t want to be ordered around in any way or form as seeking public office in whatever guise. I took that decision when I attained the age of 70 and I stand by that decision till date.
“Having been privileged to preside over the affairs of this great country for eight unbroken years as a Military President, I can declare with all sense of modesty that I have seen it all.
“And I give all praises and thanks to the Almighty Allah for giving me the rare opportunity to contribute my quota to the development of my fatherland. That opportunity remains my highest, most enduring moment in my entire trajectory through life’s bramble forest.”
Gen. Babangida explained the rationale behind the idea of ING by the military administration in 1993.
Gen. Babangida sought support for Attahiru Jega and his team for the successful conduct of March 28 and April 11 elections.
”Let me state in emphatic terms that Professor Attahiru Jega and his colleagues in INEC have to be encouraged, motivated, animated and commended for the sheer courage and determination they have shown thus far in their preparations for the March 28 and April 11 elections.
“They have demonstrated their sense of patriotism in a manner that underscores their readiness for the elections and love for country. Rather than condemnation, they deserve our commendation. They need to be encouraged to deliver on their statutory obligation to the Nigerian state,” the statement said.
The former military leader supported the use of Card Readers during the forthcoming elections – a move which the ruling Poples Democratic Party (PDP) claims will disenfranchise many. It will tackle rigging, INEC has said.
The statement said: “We must appreciate the creativity and innovation of the card reader which INEC has introduced to make for better election credibility and transparency.
“In a digital world where almost everything is driven by technology, the offer of the card reader is a welcome development.
“We may not get to the fullest merit of this, but it is a good way to start. This is one way to bridge the technological gap between those developed and under-developed nations of the world. Let us repose confidence in the system in the interest of the unity of our great country.”
Gen. Babangida also gave insights into what he discussed with Mbeki on Monday.
He said: “I shared some of these thoughts with my guest, former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, in my Minna home a couple of days back and we both stressed the all-important role of Nigeria in the continent and the need for credible elections at those appointed dates. We cannot afford not to get our elections right this time round.