Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, said yesterday that it was his wish that lawmaking in the National Assembly be made a part-time job in order to cut the cost of governance.
In an interaction with journalists at his residence in Minna, Niger State, to mark his 75th birthday, the former president regretted that he was unable to make the legislature part-time while in office, adding that if given another opportunity, he would do things differently.
“During my public life, there were a number of decisions we took as a military officer or as a political officer that if I had the chance again, I would have done differently. For example, in 1989, we proposed that the National Assembly (duties) should be part-time.
“I still believe that if I had the opportunity, I would make the National Assembly part-time. I believe in that very strongly. It is all in an effort to cut down the cost of governance,” he said.
While responding to a question bordering on people’s perception of his personality, Babangida said that he was not the evil person some people took him to be.
According to him, he was largely misconstrued by most people.
He noted that he had an excellent background and that by his training; he was bound to love people and not to be the evil doer people take him to be.
“I am not the evil that quite a lot of people consider me that I am. I have had a very excellent background and, by training, we have to love one another. However, I can understand the feeling.
“But by virtue of the job I was doing, I was bound to be misconstrued and people will take it like that but I consider it as an opinion. As long as I am not what you think I was, I feel satisfied,” he said.
While giving instances where he was misconstrued by many in Nigeria, he said, “I read somewhere some time ago that they said I stole $12.8 billion and I said if I stole such money, I had no business staying in the country, but those are the type of things that one has to live with.
“I hope the younger generation will carry out a research about leadership, people, individual and what role they played in the development of the nation and (that) they come up with a different conclusion from what is on ground now.”